Research Results

Passenger Rail Car Egress Computer Model

  • 27
  • Oct
  • 2015
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Emergency egress; egress time modeling; egress time prediction; evacuation; passenger train; passenger rail; passenger train emergencies
ABSTRACT: The Office of Research, Development, and Technology of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is investigating ways to enhance regulatory requirements that address the safe, timely, and effective evacuation of occupants from passenger rail vehicles in various emergency scenarios. Several evacuation concepts, strategies, and techniques are currently being investigated and evaluated for applicability to U.S. passenger rail cars. FRA is also interested in determining the feasibility of applying performance-based emergency evacuation time-based requirements to passenger rail cars. The requirements would be similar to minimum evacuation times specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (e.g., 14 CFR Part 25.803 stipulates as part of its certification process that occupants can be evacuated within 90 seconds). However, it is necessary to assess how long it would take for passengers to egress from passenger rail cars to different locations using exit designs and configurations present in the unique railroad-operating environment. Therefore, FRA provided partial funding to the Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG), University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, to develop a new prototype railEXODUS® software model that is designed to accurately predict passenger rail car egress times for a variety of emergency scenarios.
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