National Academies Press: OpenBook
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26288.
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Page ii
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26288.
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© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research for this document was conducted through one or more programs administered by the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: • Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). • Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) research is sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). • National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). • Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) research is sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply endorsement by TRB and any of its program sponsors of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. DISCLAIMER To facilitate more timely dissemination of research findings, this pre-publication document is taken directly from the submission of the research agency. The material has not been edited by TRB. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this document are those of the researchers who performed the research. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board, the National Academies, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. This pre-publication document IS NOT an official publication of the Cooperative Research Programs; the Transportation Research Board; or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Recommended citation: Malec, R. 2021. Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles. Pre-publication draft of TCRP Research Report 229. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.

ii Table of Contents Summary ....................................................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter 1 – Review of Existing Data and Information .................................................................................. 4 Document Review ..................................................................................................................................... 4 Overview of Literature Search .................................................................................................................. 6 Chapter 2 – Review of Data .......................................................................................................................... 8 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................................. 8 Transit System Needs and Concerns ......................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 3 – Recommendations for Reducing the Incidence of Electrical Fires .......................................... 12 Data Analysis ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Design of the Inspection Process ............................................................................................................ 12 Inspection Staff ....................................................................................................................................... 13 Recommendations for the Training of PM Inspectors ............................................................................ 13 Predictive Maintenance Functions ......................................................................................................... 14 Chapter 4 – Fire Suppression System Studies ............................................................................................. 15 Additional Research Activities ................................................................................................................ 15 Study of the Effectiveness of Current Fire Suppression Systems ........................................................... 15 Evaluation of Fire Suppression Systems for Use on Battery Powered Transit Buses and Electric Rail Cars ............................................................................................................................ 21 Chapter 5 – Implementation of Research Team Recommendations .......................................................... 24 Plan for Implementation ......................................................................................................................... 24 Review of Preventive Maintenance Inspection Procedures ................................................................... 24 Training for Employees Performing Preventive Maintenance Inspections ............................................ 24 Development of Predictive Maintenance Guidelines for Transit Systems ............................................. 24 Development of a National Transit Bus Fire Data Base .......................................................................... 25 Development and Testing of Fire Suppression Systems on Battery Electric Buses ................................ 25 Appendix A – Document Database ............................................................................................................. 26 Appendix B – Vehicle Manufacturer Questionnaire ................................................................................... 51 Appendix C – Fire Suppression Manufacturer Questionnaire .................................................................... 53

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Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles Get This Book
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Transit vehicle fires have safety implications for passengers and employees as well as liability implications for manufacturers, suppliers, and operators. Many of the electrical/arcing fire events experienced in the transit industry have led to a total loss of the vehicle and/or serious smoke incidents.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's pre-publication draft of TCRP Research Report 229: Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles provides transit systems with information and techniques to avoid the interruption of revenue service, passenger injuries, and expenditures of operating and capital funds that occur as the result of fires on transit buses and rail vehicles.

Supplemental to the report is a Presentation describing details of the project.

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