Why is a rail vehicle used

All products that are (should) be used in a rail vehicle and have a possible fire potential must generally meet fire protection requirements in order to offer passengers and staff adequate protection and to enable effective evacuation and rescue in emergency situations.

Through the EU regulation 1302/2014 requirements are placed on the fire protection of rail vehicles in passenger traffic. Concretized by the technical specification for the interoperability of the subsystem "vehicles - locomotives and passenger cars" of the rail system of the European Union (in short: TSI LOC & PAS). For more information on technical specifications for interoperability, please contact the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA).

With the entry into force of the TSI LOC & PAS it is clearly regulated that for the fulfillment of fire protection in rail vehicles at the latest from 01/01/2018 all products and components installed in vehicles meet the normative requirements of DIN EN 45545-2 must comply. (See EU 1302/2014, Section 4.2.10.2.1.)

The DIN EN 45545 series of standards regulates fire protection in rail vehicles in the European Union and is used in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia and Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Cyprus. In addition, since the first version of DIN EN 45545 was published in 2013, the acceptance of the series of standards has increased beyond the borders of the European Union, so that DIN EN 45545 is increasingly being used worldwide in addition to NFPA 130. DIN EN 45545 is being drawn up by all participating member states at CEN.

Depending on the infrastructure on which the rail vehicle is used, it is divided into one of four Operation classes (Operation Categories). This classification is based on the influence of the environment in order to be able to carry out a rapid evacuation of the rail vehicle. The operating class, for example, depends on possible underground sections of the route and the associated difficult evacuation and rescue.

In addition to the operating classes, the macroscopic attributes of the rail vehicle are decisive for deriving the fire protection requirements. According to DIN EN 45545-1: 2013-08, Section 5.3, these are divided into one of four Design classes (English Design Categories):

  • A: Vehicles that are part of an automatic train and that do not have emergency trained personnel on board;
  • D: double deck vehicles;
  • S: sleeping car and couchette car;
  • N: all other vehicles (standard vehicles).

The requirement for the quality of the fire protection performance of all installed components, products and materials then results from the operating class and the design class. Example: In a sleeping car that passes long sections of tunnels, all materials have to meet higher fire protection requirements than, for example, a local train, which can stop above ground in short sections and be evacuated quickly.

Requirement EN 45545-2 - but how do you have to test?

In addition to a general part, DIN EN 45545-2 contains a table of listed components (English listed products). These are components that are commonly found in many rail vehicles. In order for it to be compliant with DIN EN 45545-2 (and thus TSI LOC & PAS), each component must have a Requirement set (English requirement set). The fire protection requirements for all components are currently represented in 26 requirement sets (e.g. R1, R17, R21, ...). Each requirement set consists of one or more test methods and the associated permissible limit values.

According to DIN EN 45545-2: 2016-02, Table 1, one of three results from the operating class and the design class Risk levels (English hazard level = HL). The hazard level shows which requirements (= limit values) a component must meet in order to reduce the risk emanating from this component to an acceptable level. Hazard level HL1 corresponds to the lowest material requirements; HL3 meets the highest requirements.

The combination of requirement set and risk level leads to the test procedures to be carried out and limit values ​​to be adhered to in order to be compliant with DIN EN 45545-2.(E.g. R21 - HL2)

Ideally, you already know the required set of requirements for your product. Since the risk level is derived from the overall context of the rail vehicle, you will usually receive this from your customer or the system manufacturer of the rail vehicle.

Do you need support in determining the requirements for your product? No problem. Contact us.

Please note: The standardized fire tests according to DIN EN 45545-2 are to be understood as material tests. (A test is usually carried out on the corresponding semi-finished product as sheet goods.) It is therefore usually not possible to test complete assemblies, such as monitors or coffee machines. These must be assessed according to the grouping rules according to DIN EN 45545-2: 2016-02, Section 4.3. Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us.