"Although the number of fires occurring on passenger rail vehicles has been historically low, the consequences, when a fire does occur, can be catastrophic, depending on the location of the train and the operating environment, particularly if the fire occurs at night or in a tunnel. [...] Accordingly, fire safety is an area of particular importance for inter-city passenger and commuter railroad operations. A "systems" approach to fire safety addresses passenger rail equipment design and materials for fire prevention, fire detection and suppression, passenger evacuation, and the interrelationship between these elements. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and other U.S. agencies and organizations, individual European countries, the International Union of Railways (UIC), and most recently, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), have all developed performance requirements for passenger rail vehicles, intended to provide such a "systems" approach for passenger safety that includes but extends beyond fire behavior test methods and related performance criteria."
Research and Innovative Technology Administration: http://ntl.bts.gov
FIVE 2012: The 2nd Conference on Fire in Vehicles, Chicago, September 2012