Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Ground Transportation Systems: Safety of Advanced Braking Concepts for High Speed Ground Transportation Systems

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1995
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-95/09.1
SUBJECT: High-Speed Passenger Rail, Maglev
KEYWORDS: high-speed; rail; magnetic levitation; braking equipment; fault-tolerant; fail-safe; FMEA; safety; failure modes
ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to develop qualitative and quantitative information on the various braking strategies used in high-speed ground transportation systems in support of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The apporach employed in this study is composed of two steps: first, build a technical understanding of the various braking strategies, and second, perform a safety analysis for each system. The systems considered in this study include seven operating high-speed rail transportation systems and three existing magnetic levitation systems. The principal technique used in the system safety analysis is Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), an inductive approach to identifying system failure modes that depends on a thorough understanding of the system design and operation. Key elements derived from the system safety analysis are the fault-tolerated and fail-safe characteristics of the braking system. The report concludes with recommended guidance on the structure of potential future regulations governing high-speed rail braking systems.

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