A Holistic Approach to Safety in Rail Vehicle Design and Performance Monitoring

This paper describes how the overall goal of each rail/transit operator is to promote safety of the system. It describes how concurrent efforts of all stakeholders is needed in order to achieve the best possible results. That should include as a minimum standard development groups and committees (FRA, APTA, FTA, ASME, IEEE, etc.), vehicle designers, train operators, train and infrastructure maintenance, quality assurance, safety and risk management, and engineering consulting companies. Recently, security of transit system has an increased impact. This paper focuses at specific topics of vehicle design and occupant protection, derailments, friction management, and fire safety. Most of these issues are interrelated; therefore any change in each category may impact all other categories as well. The objective was to evaluate specific impacts of each category, in order to improve passenger safety and underline most influential factors for future vehicle designs. The objective of a crashworthy design is to provide a vehicle capable of managing crash energy through the use of controlled crash zones. Secondary impact injuries can be controlled by limiting the maximum force required to initiate controlled deformation of carbody energy absorption zone, and by attention to interior design. While it is impossible to prevent all types of derailments, the probability of derailment may be reduced by appropriate systematic measures. Concurrent impact of various causal factors including friction management, vehicle design and contact geometry may adversely influence safety margin against low speed wheel climb derailments. Fire, smoke and toxic fumes present a considerable hazard to passengers. Materials used for vehicle design must provide assurance that this hazard is minimized. All combustible materials used in the construction of the car shall be minimized and shall satisfy standard requirements. Passenger evacuation is a key aspect of rail vehicle fire safety – the vehicle needs to remain “fire safe” until all passengers leave the train.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: 2007 Proceedings Rail Conference

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051613
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1931594260
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2007 11:32AM