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Chunnel safety

by DoDo Sun Feb 27th, 2011 at 02:21:04 PM EST

Questions about the safety of trains running across the Channel Tunnel repeatedly made headlines in recent times: first on the occasion of the September 2008 fire in a truck shuttle, then the snow-related breakdowns in December 2009, then German Railways' push to run its own high-speed services across the tunnel last year; then the battle over existing high-speed operator Eurostar's order for new trains, which employed the French government and British courts late last year; and finally the recent trial of a new fire suppression system in the Channel Tunnel.

In comments, I have criticised the false naivety of German Railways' protestations against supposedly absurd rules, but also called out the hypocritical protestations against supposedly worsened safety rules from the Alstom/French government side, which took the British court for a fool. However, deviating from the focus of the recent brouhaha, I have my own views on where safety could/should be improved, as first detailed in Cost-saving and the Eurotunnel fire. So, below the fold, I give a summary and my own take on the Channel Tunnel's safety principles.



The players

First let's establish the players.

The Channel Tunnel infrastructure itself, and the shuttle trains carrying road vehicles across it, are operated by private company Eurotunnel. The high-speed trains are operated by an independent company, Eurostar, which is a joint subsidiary of French state railways SNCF, its Belgian counterpart SNCB, and a (changing) British partner. The latter also control the infrastructure other competitors have to use to reach the Channel Tunnel. The first of those is former German federal railways Deutsche Bahn (DB).

Channel Tunnel safety is regulated by the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (IGC), which is staffed by the British and French governments. It was the IGC that launched an inquiry in 2009 into revising Channel Tunnel safety rules. The recent disputes also involve Germany-based rail industry giant Siemens, which will build the new trains for both high-speed competitors, and France-based rival Alstom, which lost against Siemens in Eurostar's tender.


The trains

When looking at how well trains fulfil safety rules, how strict those rules are, and how much sense they make; at least seven train types have to be considered:

  • Truck Shuttles: 800 m Eurotunnel trains consisting of two locomotives at either end, a passenger car for truck drivers, and 33 semi-open wagons with grid-like sidewalls to carry trucks without their drivers.
  • Passenger Shuttles: 800 m Eurotunnel trains consisting of two locomotives at either end, and in-between two 14-car sets of hermetically closed wagons to carry cars and buses. Passengers remain in their vehicles.
  • Class 373 "Three Capitals" sets: these are the standard high-speed trains presently operated by Eurostar between London, Paris and Brussels. The 20-car, 394 m trains consist of two traction heads at both ends and two nine-car articulated sets in-between.
  • Class 373 "North of London" sets: a 14-car, 320 m version originally planned to run direct services to northern England bypassing London, but never used as such.
  • Deutsche Bahn Velaros: 8-car, 200 m high-speed trains with distributed traction which DB will operate in pairs on Frankfurt–London runs.
  • Eurostar Velaros: 16-car, 400 m version of the former, ordered by Eurostar.
  • Alstom's AGV: the articulated distributed-traction high-speed train offered in a 400 m version to Eurostar in Alstom's losing bid.

Now let's look at the individual safety principles.


Driving through

In the original safety concept of the Channel Tunnel, the default reaction to fire was driving the train out of the tunnel to fire-fighters at the portals, leading to the requirement that trains be fast enough to drive through in under 30 minutes, and for fireproof doors within the train able to contain the fire for the same amount of time. Quoting from the IGC Concession Agreement, the 1986 document setting out basic rules (download from here):

Shuttle rakes must be provided with intermediate fire doors or curtains with a fire resistance time of at least 30 minutes to prevent the spread of smoke along the train in the event of a fire occurring on board. As far as is practicable, the design of shuttle rakes should be such as to enable, in appropriate circumstances, a train to continue on its journey to clear the tunnel in the event of an outbreak of fire.

This principle is fulfilled by all but one of the present and future trains: Truck Shuttles have no separating doors. But apparently that wasn't seen as relevant, because there were no passengers on those cars who could have choked on the smoke.

However, this principle ignored something basic: winds feed fires, and the faster you go the stronger the relative winds. This is not an issue when the fire is on-board in a closed train, or if it is external but can't catch on or damage essential equipment. Relative wind is, however, a big issue when you have open cars, and successive trucks with flammable cargo in them.

Indeed both big Channel Tunnel fires involved Truck Shuttles, and in both cases, the burning trains had to stop in the tunnel, resulting in total burnouts and massive material damage. In spite of this, Eurotunnel was unwilling to invest in closed truck shuttle cars. Instead, they opted for the installation of fire suppression stations one-third into the tunnels. This is an improvement, shortening the distance to travel; however, it doesn't work in cases when there is a derailment, or some damage to the catenary (causing power loss).


Mobility with reduced power

For various reasons, long mountain rail tunnels are usually built with a slight grade from both portals until a summit within the tunnel. If a train loses power, normally it can still roll out by gravity. The Channel Tunnel is, however, a sub-sea tunnel, so trains must climb out with their own power, thus a special rule is justified.

This principle is fulfilled by all present and future trains. However, all the accidents showed that this principle is of limited applicability.

In the Channel Tunnel fires, once the trains stopped, the fire soon damaged the catenary, thus there was no power for any part of the train to leave on its own. In the 2009 snow chaos, all motors of five successive trains broke down at the same time, and diesel shunter locomotives were needed to pull out the trains. Eurotunnel is now buying more shunters for this task.


Separability

The original Channel Tunnel safety concept assumed that damage to trains serious enough to stop them mid-tunnel is typically localised. For such cases, the idea was to evacuate passengers from the damaged half of the train into the intact one, and decouple the latter to drive out of the tunnel.

This theory can, in principle, be implemented with all trains. However, while the past accidents lessened the applicability of the previous principle, they completely negated this one: in all cases when the option of half-train evacuation would have came handy, the entire train couldn't move any more.


Powerheads vs. distributed traction

As operating rules were originally drawn up, both of the previous two principles were implemented by prescribing two locomotives per train, one at both ends:

Except where operating rules otherwise permit, all trains shall be equipped with two locomotives, one situated at the head and the other at the rear of the train enabling the train to be split and to reverse direction. This arrangement may be modified for certain types of trains (particularly in the case of freight trains) and in certain operating conditions provided that the operating rules are followed.

If taken literally, this rule is fulfilled neither by the Deutsche Bahn and Eurotunnel Velaros, nor by Alstom's AGV: all three trains lack locomotives and have distributed traction instead (underfloor motors in multiple cars), and the end cars are unmotorised.

Was the two locos rule based on any safety advantage of trains with locomotives over trains with distributed traction (as claimed by Alstom lawyers and French government officials thinking no one will notice that Alstom offered a distributed traction vehicle)? No. It's just that in 1986, all high-speed trains that were in people's minds – the French TGV, Britain's own HST and then upcoming IC225, Germany's experimental ICE – had traction heads (permanently coupled power units with drivers' cab only at one end), while Shuttles and freight trains had locomotives. The emphasis is quite clearly on redundancy and bi-directionality (having two traction heads rather than one).

Distributed traction can, in theory, mean a difference in fire safety: fires connected to electrical equipment would be possible along the entire length of the train, rather than concentrated at passenger-free ends.

However, on one hand, this is not something untested (as claimed by Alstom lawyers). Trains with distributed traction routinely cross tunnels with more than half an hour travel time for decades now – in subway tunnels and commuter railway tunnels (f.e. Paris's RER). In Japan, all high-speed trains have distributed traction since 1964, and cross long tunnels, including the 18,713 m Shin-Kanmon Tunnel under the Kanmon Straits, and a succession of long tunnels altogether 102 km long on a 130 km section along the Joetsu Shinkansen.

On the other hand, consider what was flammable in traction equipment: carbon brushes in DC motors with commutators, and cooling oil for transformers and power electronics. However, Siemens's Velaros have modern contactless AC motors, and water-cooled transformers and converters.


Train length

A key element of EU-induced rail reform is the separation of infrastructure and train operations. Infrastructure managers are now obligated to prepare so-called "Network Statements", which contain basic information and rules for any train operator to access their network.

With its 2007 Network Statement, Eurotunnel (not the IGC) introduced a new rule (not present in the 2004 version):

The availability of emergency exits every 375m into the protected environment of the service tunnel is a main feature of the safety arrangements for occupants of the Channel Tunnel. One of the preconditions for efficient and safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency is to stop the train, and more specifically a coach carrying passengers or directly accessible by passengers, alongside an emergency exit. In order for this condition to be systematically achieved, irrespective of stopping conditions in particular, passenger trains are normally required to be at least 375m long (excluding power cars, unless passengers can easily evacuate from them) and passengers have to be able to pass from one end to the other. This base configuration provides the optimum conditions of safety if evacuation is necessary.

The 375 m rule persisted until the 2011 Network Statement, but was dropped in the 2012 version.

From the viewpoint of going practice, this was a rather bizarre rule: at present, only the Passenger Shuttles fulfil it! In Truck Shuttles, passengers – the truck drivers – are in one single car, and can't walk along the train (at least not safely) due to their trucks. Without traction heads, Eurostar's "Three Capitals" version of the Class 373 is only 348 m long, the "North of London" version much shorter. Of the Velaros, the Eurostar version would have fulfilled the 375 m rule.

There is a good rationale for such a rule: consider the situation that a train comes to an uncontrolled stop somewhere in the tunnel, and the tunnel is smoke-filled due to an external fire or some similar problem, ruling out evacuation to the emergency walkways on the tunnel sides. In that case, it would be best to evacuate the whole train across a single door, the door that came to a stop closest to an emergency exit. Note that the rule was shabby there: what counts is not the length of trains minus passenger cars, but the distance of extreme doors. (For the current Eurostar trains, that's 338 m.)

However, this consideration ignores another factor: evacuation time. When DB held an evacuation drill with an ICE3 train in the Channel Tunnel last October, it took 13 minutes to evacuate 300 volunteers across a single door. Eurostar's Class 373 "Three Capitals" sets have a capacity of 750 seats, its on-order Velaros are planned to seat more than 900. And the tunnel's one person wide gangways won't allow much faster speeds, either. Thus IMHO fast evacuation of a 400 m train in a tunnel towards a single emergency exit is just unrealistic.

Here it is again what I called the nasty little secret of new long tunnels: the spacing of cross-passages (which function as emergency exits). The 375 m spacing on the Channel Tunnel suits going EU regulations, and many recent tunnels have a spacing significantly longer than that. The best is 200 m, on the recently opened Perthus Tunnel on the Catalan/French border. I would make less than 200 m (which is also the new standard length of European high-speed trains) compulsory – for the Channel Tunnel, that would mean a doubling of emergency exits.


Staff preparedness

If you want to evacuate lots of people across a narrow cross-section, organisation and psychology become major factors. Train staff have to direct the flow of people, inform people and act in a way to prevent panic, they have to prevent logjams by helping elderly, young or disabled persons; and have to have the self-confidence that they can handle the situation, so that they don't panic themselves. In this field, both Eurotunnel and Eurostar showed deficiencies. As unrealistic its evacuation drill was, DB at least held one. (Then again, the behaviour of DB's staff during last year's air conditioning problems was deficient, too.)

A particular field of staff action which could be regulated explicitly is the direction of the flow of people in the case evacuation is done using multiple doors, to prevent dangerous logjams forming where multiple lines of evacuees meet. By default, drivers of 400 m trains could be advised to try to get the front of the train stop just at an emergency exit, so that evacuation at both ends is possible. Evacuation at both ends should be what the staff organises in the case there is simultaneous internal and external damage blocking the path of passengers (for example bomb damage). In case there is no such damage but there was an uncontrolled stop with the emergency exit somewhere in the middle, in 400 m trainsets, it would be best to open the next door ahead of the exit for passengers in the front, and the next door behind the exit for passengers in the rear. In the case of two coupled 200 m trainsets, the train next to the emergency door should be evacuated across the door next to the exit in the opposite direction from the other trainset.

:: :: :: :: ::

Check the Train Blogging index page for a (hopefully) complete list of ET diaries and stories related to railways and trains.

Display:
Train Blogging without pictures! But, I hope it's of interest.

For the record, this long in coming blog post was inspired by an article in the December 2010 issue of Today's Railways Europe - however, I double-checked what I took form there, some of my conclusions from the facts depart far from those of its author's.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 27th, 2011 at 02:27:41 PM EST
are always worthwhile.

I might have access to some old (in the U.S. sense) pictures of steam donkeys and log transport, if you're interested. Not real RR stuff, but part of the transportation process nonetheless.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 02:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 03:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lazy Picture Diary.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 06:42:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my rush to publish on Sunday, I see I forgot to finish the last section! And just with the stuff where my deviation from the said articleToday's Railways Europe are the strongest (its author thinks evacuation across lots of doors is the solution). Now complemented with one sentence and one additional paragraph.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 01:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it possible to add such cross-tunnels after the fact to undersea tunnels? I'm assuming it is, since you're suggesting it, but it strikes me as a decidedly nontrivial bit of engineering.

Incidentally, it also strikes me as something that would have been much cheaper to do when the tunnels were first made...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 03:27:55 PM EST
Yes, it is possible to add cross-tunnels after the fact -- that's how they were first built, and, incidentally, the fire suppression stations Eurotunnel is constructing now include similar work:

Railway Gazette: Eurotunnel demonstrates €20m fire suppression system

The most costly part of the SAFE programme is the excavation of four equipment rooms from the sides of the service tunnel, each housing two 250 kW motors driving a high-pressure pump. These rooms are located between the service tunnel and the running tunnels, and are similar in size to the cross-passages used for evacuation.

Of course, it would be cheaper to build them when the tunnels were first made. And of course, railways 'prefer' a less frequent spacing of cross-passages than what I suggest to save construction costs. I shall emphasize that Eurotunnel's 375 metres is one of the shorter ones: 500 m is more typical, and there are spacings of up to 1000 metres on tunnels built in the nineties.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 04:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Other than the disruption to schedule, why is it hard?  We're talking a, what, 10m long, 3m diameter pipe through chalk?  Surely this is a trivial piece of engineering compared to building underground railways and whatnot?
by njh on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 at 05:54:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see a couple of practical limitations in the above case:

  • You have to bore from the limited space of the service tunnel, whereas in the construction phase, you could bore from the much more spacious main tunnels, in which boring machinery could easily turn around.
  • At the same time, the tunneling works should not inhibit the safety function of the service tunnel, probably meaning that it should be possible to dismantle boring equipment in minutes and move it out of the way.
  • At the time of the original construction, there was temporary infrastructure in place to carry the excavated material outside. Now they will have to do it in small amounts with those intra-service-tunnel road vehicles.
  • You have to take great care to avoid causing cracks to the existing tunnel lining. (In the original construction phase of a rail tunnel, damage to the initial tunnel lining can be repaired before the other layers of lining are constructed.)

For the extra cross-passages I would like to see, construction could be done with less complications: the main tunnels are connected at two points, thus one track on one third of the tunnel could be closed at a time during the nights, and tunnel borig could be done from special work trains that also have cars to carry out the excavated material. Then again, with about 2x130 cross-passages to bore (each 10 m long), it would take years to complete the work.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 03:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo,

I've been reading your rail postings now for several years. They're amazingly well done--sophisticated, and informative.

If I haven't said so before, thanks for making them available. They must take a very big chunk of time.

Paul


Paul Gipe

by pgipe (pgipe(at)igc.org) on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 11:47:37 AM EST
Fully agreed. Good to see you around, Paul.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 11:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Off-topic, but have you heard about the Danish IC4 that turned up recently in Libya?
An interesting photo in International Railway Journal, has started a series of articles in the Danish media.
The big question is how a Ansaldo built Danish IC4 diesel Intercity train set can suddenly appear in Libiya.
One theory is that Berlisconi (Silvio Corrupzioni as Danish cartoonists call him) sent it as a present to Gadaffi on the occasion of his 40 years anniversary as dictator, and probaby in the hope of securing some HS orders for Ansaldo.
Well I hope the train works better than the models sent to Denmark, where the order for over 90 sets is over 5 years delayed and still doesn´t work very well.

The Libyan Investment Authority owns 2 per cent of Finmeccanica, AnsaldoBreda's parent company.
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 06:17:17 PM EST
To be fair, though, that was our own damn fault for insisting on dual diesel/electric trains rather than getting off our asses and electrifying our rail net. If we'd done that, we could have bought off-the-shelf Alstom or Siemens units, and we wouldn't have had to deal with Corruptioni's buddies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 02:35:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, let's criticise the Danish authorities some more: they could have bought off-the-shelf (or at least off-the-SNCF-development-line) diesel/electric trains from Alstom, too, but they chose the cheapest offer.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they chose the cheapest offer.

Well, they chose lowest bid. That was not, as it turned out, quite the same thing.

But I'm sure nobody could have predicted that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 08:30:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... that prospective cost increases be unpredictable, otherwise they can be too easily added to your low bid at the time of the bidding.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 12:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no need to be that elaborate when you're dealing with a government that's blind, dumb and deaf-mute. Or simply doesn't mind delays and cost overruns on rail projects, because they are rhetorically useful in justifying opposition to rail.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 12:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... bids. Predictions by the hoi polloi don't count.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 01:00:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean unpredictable plausibly deniable by whomever is taking the bids.

Fixed it for you.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 01:05:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that they are so often clueless as to what is going on and are following an established precedent for fear of making a mistake makes the plausible deniability close to automatic.

Just find the blind spots in the precedent they will be following, and park truckloads of unexpected costs there.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 01:31:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never heard of that, I only know that the relationship with B gave Ansaldo the signalling contract for new rail lines, even though the billion-Euros construction contracts were given to Chinese and Russian state firms. Maybe the train is there for trials.

Regarding railways in Libya under Ghaddafi, I'm reading about grand plans and announcements of start of work since I am on the internet, but things got serious again when oil/gas money began to flow again in 2008, that is when the construction contracts were awarded:

Railway Gazette: Work starts on Libyan railway

LIBYA: On August 30 Russian Railways formally began the construction of a 554 km double-track railway parallel to the Mediterranean coast between Surt and Banghazi.

...Libya has long held ambitions to construct a railway along the coast between the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. Earlier this year China Railway Construction Corp was awarded contracts worth 3·2bn dinars to construct a 352 km line between Al Khums and Surt by 2013, as well as a 800 km line from iron ore deposits at Wadi Shati near Sabha to the port of Misratah by 2012.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found this from September 2009:

Railway Insider - AnsaldoBreda presents the train for the high-speed line in Libya

AnsaldoBreda presented in Tripoli the project of the future intercity train circulating on Ras Ajdir-Sirt line. The vehicle will reach speeds of 200 km/h and was manufactured by the Italian company in collaboration with Libyan railways. The train was designed to run on the new coast line manufactured by RZD and Ansaldo STS and on the future line linking Tripoli with Bengali. Ansaldo STS is responsible for the installation of the signalling, telecommunication and supply systems within a EUR 541 Million contract.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:33:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now for something funny: there would be nothing special about the following press report – had it been released earlier than the above news, rather than later (in August 2010):

Ansaldo-Breda/Bombardier win bid for Italy trains | Reuters

Aug 5 (Reuters) - A consortium of Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI) unit Ansaldo-Breda and Canada's Bombardier (BBDb.TO) has won a contract to supply Italy's state railways with 50 high-speed trains, the railway said in a statement on Thursday. The deal, confirmed at a board meeting, is believed to be worth about 1.5 billion euros. The railway said earlier this week the Italian-Canadian consortium had the highest points among the companies that competed for the contract.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:36:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get the joke?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 08:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In August 2010, Libya announces the winner of a tender. A year earlier, that winner already spoke about delivering. Wasn't that a funny tender, where the winner was known beforehand?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 02:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that it was Italy, not Libya, that awarded a tender in August 2010...
by Gag Halfrunt on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 02:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooops! I read that real superficially... (checking, the only Libya in the link was in the side links...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 05:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any reason why the truck carrying vehicles are open to the wind blast ? Even in terms of wind resistance it must be a colossal penalty in the tunnel

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 02:35:47 PM EST
Saving weight, mostly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:01:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
surely a film siding such as widely used on trucks would have little weight penalty and a large aerodynamic advantage?
by njh on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 09:20:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there international rules for fire safety on trains? Is there train fire safety commissions in national governmets?

I am asking because I have some experience of fire safety regulations in Sweden in non-moving commercial facilities, but none from trains. It would be reasonable with more strict rules for trains, but what is reasonable is not always the case.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 03:24:40 PM EST
Yes, the International Union of Railways (UIC) has this and this, but I am not familiar with them. Regarding tunnels, there is the TSI-SRT. (TSI stands for "technical specification of interoperability", these are semi-standards issued as EU directives; SRT stands for "safety in rail tunnels".) The rolling stock related rules are on page 5, and include the same ideas for rolling to an emergency station, fire barriers (but only for 15 minutes),  The fire-related stuff has a very general language. The IMHO lenient emergency exit and cross passage rules are on page 20. What I will quote is a counter to claims that EU rules could serve to water up Chunnel safety rules:

Generally, the specifications of this TSI are harmonised requirements. The existing safety level shall not be reduced in a country as stipulated in Directive 2004/49/EC Article 4.1 (Safety Directive). Member states can retain more stringent requirements, as long as these requirements do not prevent the operation of trains complying with Directive 2001/16/EC as amended by Directive 2004/50/EC.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 05:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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