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2021 T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 229 Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Subject Areas Public Transportation â¢ Safety and Human Factors â¢ Vehicles and Equipment Assessing and Mitigating Electrical Fires on Transit Vehicles Ralph Malec TRC Engineering, LLC Winter Springs, FL
TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 229 Project C-23 ISSN 2572-3782 ISBN 978-0-309-09414-6 Â© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 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 TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement 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. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transporta- tion Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Cur- rent systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating prob- lems, adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Coopera- tive Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the successful National Coop- erative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit ser- vice providers. The scope of TCRP includes various transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organi- zations: FTA; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Commission. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Commission to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Commission defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for propos- als), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired effect if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminat- ing TCRP results to the intended users of the research: transit agen- cies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, train- ing aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are imple- mented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Published research reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 229 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Gwen Chisholm Smith, Manager, Transit Cooperative Research Program Stephan A. Parker, Senior Program Officer Stephanie Campbell, Senior Program Assistant Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Heather DiAngelis, Associate Director of Publications TCRP PROJECT C-23 PANEL Field of Engineering of Vehicles and Equipment Erin K. Schepers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL (Chair) Steven D. Bezner, Rockville, MD Desmond R. Cole, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA Rufus Francis, Fairfield, CA Kevin P. Heaslip, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA Steven H. Lu, MTA New York City Transit, Maspeth, NY James P. OâBrien, West Haven Fire Department, West Haven, CT Paul A. Petruccelli, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA Andrew J. Powers, Michigan Department of Transportation, Lansing, MI Quon Y. Kwan, FMCSA Liaison Joseph W. Powell, FTA Liaison Stephen J. Andrle, TRB Liaison Claire E. Randall, TRB Liaison
TCRP Research Report 229 documents the fire data collected from over 50 transit sys- tems. Reports were collected on 164 recent bus fires and 67 rail vehicle incidents. The num- ber one root cause identified in these incidents was electrical in nature. This report will be of particular interest to transit bus and rail safety professionals, maintenance directors, procurement officers, and training directors. The research team focused on preventive maintenance processes and training programs for maintenance staff. The team identified a series of strategies to mitigate the number of electrical fires occurring on transit vehicles. Some of these recommendations can be implemented successfully by individual transit systems. Others might be most effectively implemented industry-wide. The objective of TCRP Project C-23 was to develop guidance for assessing and mitigating electrical fires on transit vehicles. Led by principal investigator Ralph Malec, the TRC Engineering, LLC, research team first reviewed and categorized 140 relevant documents for rail, transit bus, motorcoach, school bus, over-the-road truck, and light-duty vehicles from a variety of sources, including: â¢ Research institutes; â¢ Standards development organizations; â¢ Testing and certification institutes; â¢ Federal and state agencies; â¢ Industry trade organizations; â¢ International agencies; and â¢ Other sources. A PowerPoint presentation that offers an overview of the project and an electronic ver- sion of this report are available on the TRB website (TRB.org) by searching for âTCRP Research Report 229.â F O R E W O R D By Stephan A. Parker Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
1 Summary 4 Chapter 1 Review of Existing Data and Information 4 Document Review 4 Overview of Literature Search 8 Chapter 2 Review of Data 8 Data Analysis 8 Transit System Needs and Concerns 12 Chapter 3 Guidance on Reducing the Incidence of Electrical Fires 12 Data Analysis 12 Design of the Inspection Process 13 Inspection Staff 13 Proposals for the Training of PM Inspectors 14 Predictive Maintenance Functions 15 Chapter 4 Fire Suppression System Studies 15 Additional Research Activities 15 Study of the Effectiveness of Current Fire Suppression Systems 20 Evaluation of Fire Suppression Systems for Use on Battery Powered Transit Buses and Electric Rail Cars 23 Chapter 5 Implementation of Research Team Recommendations 23 Plan for Implementation 23 Review of Preventive Maintenance Inspection Procedures 23 Training for Employees Performing Preventive Maintenance Inspections 24 Development of Predictive Maintenance Guidelines for Transit Systems 24 Development of a National Transit Bus Fire Database 24 Development and Testing of Fire Suppression Systems on Battery Electric Buses 25 Appendix A Document Database 46 Appendix B Vehicle Manufacturer Questionnaire 48 Appendix C Fire Suppression Manufacturer Questionnaire C O N T E N T S