Fire protection of rail vehicles: New European and German developments in 2007

Fire protection of rail vehicles is described in the draft European Technical Specification series CEN/TS 45545 Parts 1 to 7. The European standardisation work started in the 1990ies and is still ongoing, as many parts of the standard were rejected and others are still under revision. In order to speed up the procedure, first all parts will be published as Technical Specifications. It is hoped that they will be adopted by the end of 2007, and that the standard EN 45545 will be published in 2010. The new CEN/TS 45545 is to be referenced in railway directives in order to immediately make methods and classifications compulsory.

CEN/TS 45545 Part 2 "Requirements for fire behaviour of materials and components" is also still under enquiry, and is to be adopted in autumn 2007. In CEN/TS 45545-2, heat fluxes of 25 and 50 kW/m² for materials > 0.25 m² or > 100 g in railway interiors are applied for the following tests:

* flame propagation - radiant panel to ISO 5658-2

* heat release - cone calorimeter to ISO 5660-1

* smoke/toxicity - single chamber box to ISO 5659-2

The toxicity requirements concern the following components of fire effluents:

Gas components Reference concentration mgm³
CO² 72000
CO 1380
HF 25
HCI 75
HBr 99
HCN 55
NO2 38
SO² 262

In Germany, requirements regarding the fire performance, smoke development and dripping apply for materials and components used in rolling stock. To date, there were no German toxicity requirements. However, for allowing German rolling stock to be used immediately in other European countries with toxicity requirements, the new CEN/TS 45545-2 smoke and toxicity requirements and tests foreseen for rail vehicles are about to be nationally introduced in an annex of DIN 5510-2, probably mid-2007. This national regulation will remain effective until EN 45545 is implemented in 2010, and the national standard DIN 5510 withdrawn.