Technical Reports

Passenger Train Emergency Systems: Review of Egress Variables and Egress Simulation Models

  • 25
  • Apr
  • 2013
AUTHOR: Stephanie H. Markos and John K. Pollard
SUBJECT: Emergency Preparedness, Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: Egress computer models, egress simulations, emergency egress, emergency evacuation, emergency preparedness, exits, Federal Railroad Administration, passenger rail, passenger trains, railroads, transportation
ABSTRACT: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations are intended to ensure the safe, timely, and effective evacuation of intercity and commuter rail passengers when necessary during passenger train emergencies. Although it is recognized that during the majority of emergency scenarios, it is much safer for passengers to remain on the train, it may be necessary for passengers and crew to evacuate a passenger train quickly, due to certain life-threatening conditions (e.g., fire). FRA is sponsoring a research program to investigate a variety of emergency evacuation concepts, strategies, and techniques for applicability to passenger trains operating in the United States. One aspect of the FRA research program is directed at evaluating the potential applicability to passenger trains of performance-based criteria specifying minimum necessary evacuation times. No methodology currently exists for evaluating the passenger rail car emergency egress system as a whole, or the effects on egress times of failures within this system. However, with certain refinements to existing egress computer model calculations, time-based egress models could have potential applicability to passenger rail cars. This report presents the results of a review of passenger rail car egress variables and evaluation of the potential application of computer models that simulate egress for developing passenger train evacuation times.

This report is a revised version of the original which can be found at DOT/FRA/ORD-13/22 Revision A