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7th International Symposium: Fire Safety in Railway Systems, 26-27.03.2015, Vienna
von Julian Bulk
Rail vehicles feature a high standard of safety and, therefore, rank among the safest means of conveyance. Nevertheless, fires occurring in passenger trains may lead to casualties with a large number of victims. One explanation is that railway vehicles form a closed system where, potentially, several 100 passengers are simultaneously present. Thus, depending on the rail infrastructure, passengers may be forced to stay on board in case of fire up to 15 minutes until a safe place is reached and an evacuation becomes feasible.
To enhance passenger and staff safety inside railway vehicles, innovative fire safety concepts base on holistic approaches comprising modern technologies with regard to
- restricted ignitability, flame spread and generation of toxicity for materials and components,
- fast and reliable fire detection systems as well as
- effective means of fire suppression, where required.
Every two years, IFV Bahntechnik e. V. ‒ the Interdisciplinary Railway Research Association ‒ organises an international symposium for railway and fire safety experts. The goal of the international meeting point for experts and companies is to discuss the state of the art in the continually growing field of fire safety. During the 7th Symposium all relevant aspects of fire safety of different categories of rail vehicles (vehicles for high speed transportation systems, light rail vehicles, trams, locomotives, coaches, freight wagons etc.) and rail infrastructure (tunnels, stations etc.) are considered. Speakers from different countries prepare highly specialised presentations to discuss relevant topics with participants from all over the world. The conference brings together researchers from universities and institutes, product developers, manufacturers, suppliers as well as operators and administrations.
A special highlight of the 7th International Symposium was the city tour of Vienna with a historical tram and the subsequent dinner in a restaurant with regional food and beverages which encouraged the participants to take part in intensive networking after the first conference day. After 16 presentations within the two conference days and numerous expert talks the symposium turned out to be a great success.