As the world’s number one overland transport system, trains are routinely expected to deliver safety, efficiency and comfort for passengers and goods. Supporting the sector, ISO standards for railways will help to make rail travel the preferred choice for the future.
The effect of an earthquake on a moving train depends on both the earthquake and the train.
Safety, security, convenience and the passenger experience have long been priorities of the railway sector, and looking forward, it is expected for this to continue. It goes without saying that security and the role of technology in keeping passengers safe will continue to be a big issue. This is particularly true when it comes to earthquakes.
The effect of an earthquake on a moving train depends on both the earthquake and the train. The slower the train and the smaller the earthquake, the higher the probability that the train will stay safely on the tracks. The larger the earthquake, the higher the chances that the train will tip or derail. The direction of ground motion is also important. Problems for moving trains can be caused by earthquakes in a couple of ways. Shaking the tracks beneath a moving train can directly cause derailment. Or the earthquake can cause offset on, or damage to, the tracks ahead of a train, causing a derailment even after the earthquake is over.
We’ve seen in the past that a railway system impacted by earthquakes can cause critical damage, and, more importantly, great sorrow. Take, for instance, the massive earthquake of 8.9 magnitude that hit mainland Japan on 11 March 2011. Various kinds of solutions have been executed based on previous experiences of disasters and accidents. So what are the lessons learned from such phenomena?
ISOfocus sat down with Roberto Previati, who is pioneering this work in technical committee ISO/TC 269, Railway applications, subcommittee SC 3, Operations and services, as its Chair, to discuss why railway is getting it right with new earthquake-resistant standards and what ISO standards will bring for the future of rail transport – earthquake or not