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Fire Safety of Passenger Trains. Phase 2. Application of Fire Hazard Analysis Techniques.

pdf icon Fire Safety of Passenger Trains. Phase 2. Application of Fire Hazard Analysis Techniques. (7536 K)
Peacock, R. D.; Reneke, P. A.; Averill, J. D.; Bukowski, R. W.; Klote, J. H.

NISTIR 6525; 185 p. December 2002.

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passenger trains; fire safety; fire hazards; hazard analysis; cone calorimeters; egress; fire hazards assessment; fire models; furniture calorimeters; heat release rate; railroad safety; test methods; transportation


A comprehensive multi-phase fire safety research program is being conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of heat release rate-based test methods and hazard analysis techniques when applied to passenger train fire safety. The results of Phase II of the program which focused on the application of hazard analysis techniques using heat release rate data and computer modeling to evaluate passenger rail car fire performance is presented. In addition to materials, the impact of car geometry, detection and suppression systems, and egress time on the safety of passengers and crew for representative intercity passenger coach, dining, and sleeping rail car designs were evaluated. For the three passenger rail car analyses conducted, passengers and crew are safe from unreasonable hazard of death or injury from interior fires involving materials or components exhibiting fire growth rates at or below a medium t-squared level, similar to the growth and HRR of a typical upholstered sofa. For all but the most severe ignition sources, conditions in all three passenger rail car designs studied remain tenable sufficiently long enough to allow safe passenger and crew egress, e.g., more than 10 minutes in some cases.