Technical Reports

Passenger Train Emergency Systems: Single-Level Commuter Rail Car Egress Experiments

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 2010
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Emergency Preparedness, Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: passenger trains; railroads; passenger rail; commuter rail; emergency preparedness; emergency evacuation; emergency egress; emergency exits; egress computer models; egress experiments; egress simulation; emergency evacuation simulation
ABSTRACT: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is investigating how to improve rule provisions addressing the safe, timely, and effective evacuation of intercity and commuter rail passengers in various emergency scenarios. A variety of evacuation concepts, strategies, and techniques for applicability to passenger rail cars operating in the United States are being investigated. Under the sponsorship of the FRA, three experimental series of egress trials were conducted to obtain human factors data related to the amount of time necessary for individuals to exit from a passenger rail car. Controlled variables included exiting from the car using one or two side doors to a high platform or an end door to an adjacent car outside the rail car, and lighting conditions. This interim report describes the results of all three series of egress experiment trials.