Factors affecting delays in rail transportation projects using Analytic Network Process: the case of Iran

Mohsen Tavassolirizi, Hadi Sarvari, Daniel W.M. Chan, Timothy O. Olawumi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Delays in the implementation and commissioning of rail transportation projects can cause economic damages to project stakeholders and the cities linked by such rail networks. Hence, the current study aims to investigate the key delay factors and provides salient recommendations. In this study, multi-criteria decision-making–the Analytic Network Process (ANP) and the DEMATEL (Decision Making trial and evaluation laboratory) method was employed to help decision-makers in prioritizing these delay factors and evaluating their interactions, respectively. A Delphi approach was used to validate the study’s findings via expert questionnaire surveys–based on a rail transportation development project for the Mobarakeh Steel Complex (MSC). The study’s findings revealed the management factors as the most important delay factors, followed closely by the financial, design, and implementation factors. Other potent issues include the existence of numerous decision-making stations, lack of central role, and sufficient authority for the project managers are responsible for project delays. Overall, the results show that resolving problems with the ‘management’ domain can significantly avoid or alleviate the extent of delays in rail transportation development projects. The study’s findings and recommendations can serve as a policy and consultative instrument for the relevant stakeholders in the railway industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2712-2723
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Analytic Network Process (ANP)
  • Iran
  • Project delays
  • rail transportation project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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