Railways are a particularly safe mode of passenger transport. This high level of safety is achieved through active systems such as signalling. Nevertheless train accidents (particularly end collisions between trains and collisions between trains and road vehicles at level crossings) continue to occur and result in fatalities and serious injuries to passengers and crew; on average over 100 passenger and crew fatalities a year occur in train accidents within the EU. The objective of this project is to devise standards for vehicle construction, based on measures to improve vehicle crashworthiness and occupant survivability, which will, in due course, lead to a substantial reduction in the overall rate of fatalities to rail passengers and crew in the EU. A more specific target will be developed after a more detailed review of accidents within the project. This project will outline the philosophy for the design of railway vehicles so as to achieve the objective of reducing casualties as is described above and to bring forward appropriate standards and codes of practice which will be applied to trains in the future. Although the application of active safety through the signalling system is fundamental to railways, passive safety (the crashworthiness of vehicles) will continue to need attention and improvement.
The main principles can be set down as: provide collapse zones capable of absorbing the collision energy in accidents up to (15rn/s 54 km/hr). The collapse zones would be in areas not occupied by passengers; avoid vehicle overriding, reducing the extent of vehicle collapse and hence casualties; limit accelerations experienced by passengers; provide additional protection to staff located at ends of trains e.g. Cab occupants. This leads to a structural design philosophy based on: proof loading to withstand normal service without permanent deformation; specification of collapse behaviour of the vehicle structure in representative accidents; definition of acceptable consequences. This includes structural consequences such as force accelerations but also consequences for the passengers and crew in terms of injuries and the corresponding bio-mechanical limits; proposals for codes of practice and standards to ensure a common safety level.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
DE24 8YB Derby
47829 Krefeld - Verdingen
B8 2YF Birmingham
00 275 Warszawa
3526 AB Utrecht