Technical Reports

Fire Safety of Passenger Trains Phase I: Material Evaluation (Cone Calorimeter)

  • 01
  • Jan
  • 1999
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: system safety; heat release rate; large-scale fire tests; small-scale fire tests; fire test methods; NIST; Cone Calorimeter; fire safety guidelines; fire modeling; fire hazard assessment
ABSTRACT: As part of the passenger equipment rulemaking required by Congress, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has proposed that its existing fire safety guidelines be made mandatory. 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.