Potential scenarios of concern for high speed rail operations
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Potential scenarios of concern for high speed rail operations

Filetype[PDF-945.52 KB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Publication/ Report Number:
    • Resource Type:
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-High Speed Ground Transportation;NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-RAIL TRANSPORTATION;NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Planning and Policy;NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety;NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety;
    • Abstract:
      Currently, multiple operating authorities are proposing the

      introduction of high-speed rail service in the United States.

      While high-speed rail service shares a number of basic

      principles with conventional-speed rail service, the operational

      requirements on a high-speed rail system are typically more

      demanding than those for conventional-speed operations. The

      operating environment will require specialized maintenance

      and inspection procedures, enhanced protection or gradeseparation

      of highway-rail crossings, effective separation of

      other rail traffic, and detection of potential hazards along the

      track to help ensure the safety of the system. With the required

      implementation of positive train control (PTC) by passengercarrying

      rail operators, the frequency and/or severity of several

      types of railroad accidents can be decreased. While all of these

      measures will contribute to the overall system safety, incidents

      that pose a threat to passenger and crew safety may still occur

      that cannot be prevented through the design of the operating

      environment alone. It is important to consider these types of

      incidents when selecting the rail vehicles for use in a particular

      operation, and include appropriate crashworthiness and

      occupant protection measures.

      This paper presents a series of example scenarios of some of

      the potential hazards that may affect the safe operation of highspeed

      passenger trains in the United States. These situations

      are drawn from actual accidents that have occurred in the U.S.

      and abroad. The scenarios provide a starting point for

      discussing system safety features, which includes vehicle

      crashworthiness and occupant protection features.

      As an operating environment may be designed to limit the

      likelihood of certain types of incidents from occurring, three

      different hypothetical high-speed operating environments are

      discussed in this paper. While the number of potential

      scenarios varies with each operating environment, in all

      environments it is important to consider the need for a train’s

      crashworthiness features to mitigate the consequences of

      potential incidents.

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