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Concepts for Fire Protection of Passenger Rail Transportation Vehicles: Past, Present, and Future.


pdf icon Concepts for Fire Protection of Passenger Rail Transportation Vehicles: Past, Present, and Future. (2073 K)
Peacock, R. D.; Reneke, P. A.; Jones, W. W.; Bukowski, R. W.; Babrauskas, V.

Fire and Materials, Vol. 19, No. 2, 71-87, March/April 1995.

Keywords:

fire protection; passenger vehicles; transportation; heat release rate; hazard analysis; fire hazard; risk assessment; railroads; fire risk assessment

Abstract:

Recent advances in passenger rail transportation, fire test methods, and hazard analysis necessitate re-examination of requirements for fire safety. Several studies have indicated nearly random ability of current bench-scale tests to predict actual fire behavior. Fire safety in any application, including transportation, requires a multi-faceted approach. The effects of vehicle design, material selection, detection and suppression systems, and emergency egress and their interaction, on the overall fire safety of the passenger trains must all be considered. The strengths and weaknesses of current methods for measuring the fire performance of rail transportation systems are evaluated. A systems approach to fire safety which addressed typical passenger train fire scenarios is analyzed. A rationale is presented for the direction in which most fire science-oriented organizations in the world are clearly headed - the use of fire hazard and fire risk assessment methods supported by measurement methods based on heat release rate.