Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Magnetic Levitation Transportation System: U.S. Maglev System Concept Definition (SDCs) - System Safety Review

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1993
AUTHOR: David L. Gilles, Wayne L. Gilles, Thomas C. Griego, John M. Simon, William F. Hayes
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-93/22
SUBJECT: Maglev
KEYWORDS: National Maglev Initiative, Passenger Trains, System Safety
ABSTRACT: Magnetic levitation (maglev) technology has the potential to provide very high speed travel with the capacity and convenient access of conventional passenger railways, while relieving U.S. highway and airport congestion. A need exists for the assessment of the safety implications of this new form of guided ground transportation. This is the responsibility of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which is charged with ensuring the safety of maglev systems in the United States under the provisions of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 1988. As a part of the National Maglev Initiative (NMI), Magneplane, Foster-Miller, Grumman, and Bechtel prepared detailed system concept definition (SCD) final reports which conceptually define the technical feasibility, performance, and cost of constructing and operating their respective designs in the United States. The respective SCD contractors were required to meet minimum safety requirements and perform a system hazard analysis to address safety considerations associated with their respective system characteristics. This report presents the results of the systematic review of the four SCD maglev technologies in terms of major system elements, as documented in each SCD final report. The system safety review was performed in terms of the safety requirements contained in the original SCD statement of work (SOW), as supplemented by additional issues identified by the SCDs, by the FRA/Volpe Center, or by BoozeAllen. The report is intended to assist the FRA in ensuring that potential safety-critical hazards and unsafe conditions associated with the SCDs and other proposed maglev system designs are identified and resolved early in the life-cycle of U.S. maglev system development.
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