Event Recorders for Rail Rapid Transit Systems   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The Federal Transit Administration, stimulated in part by a recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board, is exploring the effectiveness and efficiency of using event recorders on rapid rail cars in recognition of NTSB's strong emphasis on the value of data derived from event recorders in rail accident investigations. This study presents and analyzes data, defines various aspects of using accident/incident event recorders, performs a cost, feasibility and benefit analysis, and identifies the technical requirements for these devices in rapid rail transit. Data from actual experience is used where available. Event recorders, defined in the broadest sense, are valuable for monitoring and diagnosis of equipment and system problems, for engineering and administrative management of system operations and system performance, as well as for accident and incident analysis. Several usable technologies are available. Costs of installing event recorders are likely to be different for older transit cars compared with those recently built. The lowest cost and least difficulty is incurred when these systems are installed during the construction of new cars. The assessment concludes that the greatest value accrues from a combination of recorder functions for operations, maintenance and diagnostics integrated with those needed for accident/incident investigation. The safety record in transit operations is good when compared to most other transportation modes, and it can be argued that accident investigation is often simpler for transit than, for example, for aviation and maritime applications. At the same time, the capture of complete, timely and accurate information for investigations, which recorders can provide, is highly beneficial."

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Public Domain
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Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.gov/
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