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Fire Safety of Passenger Trains, Phase II: Application of Fire Hazard Analysis Techniques



Richard D. Peacock, Paul A. Reneke, Jason D. Averill, Richard W. Bukowski, J H. Klote


As part of the passenger equipment rulemaking required by Congress, the Federal Railroad Adminstration (FRA) has issued new requirements making its existing fire safety guidelines mandatory. Part of this fire safety rule requires fire hazard analyses for all existing and new rail passenger equipment. A major conclusion of a FRA-funded 1993 study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was that the use of fire hazard assessment techniques, based on modeling and supported by measurement methods based on heat release rate (HRR), could provide a more credible and cost-effective means to predict real-world fire behavior of passenger train materials than the current approach.A comprehensive three-phase fire safety research program is being conducted by NIST under the sponsorship of the FRA Office of Research and Development to demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of HRR-based test methods and hazard analysis techniques when applied to passenger train fire safety. The results of the research program will assist the FRA in determining appropriate fire safety requirements for the final passenger equipment rule.This document presents the Phase II results of the program which focused on the application of fire hazard analysis techniques to the design and evaluation of passenger rail car fire safety. The analysis examined the impact of design and materials on the safety of passengers and crew for specific intercity coach, dining, and sleeping car designs.
Fire Safety Journal


fire models, fire safety, fire test methods, hazard analysis, heat release rate, passenger trains, railroads, transportation


Peacock, R. , Reneke, P. , Averill, J. , Bukowski, R. and Klote, J. (2002), Fire Safety of Passenger Trains, Phase II: Application of Fire Hazard Analysis Techniques, Fire Safety Journal, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created December 1, 2002, Updated February 17, 2017