Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Guided Ground Transportation Systems: Comparison of Magnetic and Electric Fields of Conventional and Advanced Electrified Transportation Systems.

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 1993
AUTHOR: Fred M. Dietrich, William E. Feero, William L. Jacobs
KEYWORDS: Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF): Static (dc) Magnetic Fiel'd: Alternating (ac) field; Extra Low Frequency (ELF): Passenger Trains: Maglev: Rapid Transit Rail;
ABSTRACT: Concerns exist regarding the potential safety, environmental and health effects on the public and on transportation workers due to electrification along new or existing rail corridors, and to proposed maglev and high speed rail operations. Therefore, the characterization of electric and magnetic fields (EMF) produced by both steady (dc) and alternating currents (ac) at power frequency (50 Hz in Europe and 60 Hz in the U.S.) and above, in the Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) range (3-3000 Hz) is of interest. The report summarizes and compares the results of a survey of EMF characteristics (spatial, temporal and frequency bands) for representative conventional railroad and transit and advanced high-speed systems including: the German TR-07 maglev system; the Amtrak Northeast Corridor (NEC) and North Jersey Transit (NJT) trains; the Washington, DC Metrorail (WMATA) and the Boston, MA (MBTA) transit systems; and the French TGV-A high speed rail system. This comprehensive comparative EMF survey produced both detailed data and statistical summaries of EMF profiles, and their variability in time and space. EMF ELF levels for WMATA are also compared to those produced by common environmental sources at home, work, and under power lines, but have specific frequency signatures.