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Emergency Response Training for Locomotive Accidents

[+] Author Affiliations
Samiullah K. Durrani, Judith B. Gertler

QinetiQ North America, Waltham, MA

S. K. (John) Punwani

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Paper No. RTDF2012-9436, pp. 101-106; 6 pages
  • ASME 2012 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • ASME 2012 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • Omaha, Nebraska, USA, October 16–18, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4507-3
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Proper training of emergency responders is essential to safely and effectively respond to a train accident. While there are several existing programs that address training with respect to passenger trains and hazardous materials, training focused on rescuing entrapped crew members from the locomotive cab is lacking. To address this need, the Federal Railroad Administration is sponsoring QinetiQ North America to develop a multi-modal training program to better prepare firefighters to respond to locomotive-involved accidents. The training emphasis is on freight locomotive crew rescue and encompasses three main topics: 1. locate the scene of the incident, 2. access the interior of the cab to rescue personnel, and 3. maintain scene safety. One of the challenges involved in developing this program is the deficiency of knowledge with respect to the tools and techniques that should be utilized in locomotive rescue operations. For this, QNA conducted structural analysis of locomotive cabs and experiments with rescue tools on locomotives. The experiments involved fire rescue personnel and rescue tool manufacturers. Tools ranging from a standard Halligan bar to specialized tools such as hydraulic cutters were tested for effectiveness, speed, and safety. This paper discusses the experimental methodology and lessons learned.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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