Minutes of asce automated people mover standards committee

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Reston, Va. - September 24th and 25th, 2009

Meeting held at Dulles Airport – Conference Room B in the non-secure area near the baggage carousels.

OPENING: Larry Smith opened the meeting at 9:00 AM Thursday, September 24th.  Some new members and guests were present, so Larry asked that everyone introduce themselves. 

Larry Smith, Chairman                                           Chuck Elms, consultant
Tedd Snyder, Vice-Chair                                        Charlie Martin, Lea+Elliott
Paul Didrikson, Secretary                                       Rod Falvey, Lea+Elliott
Mike Shumack, Configuration & Webmaster        Ray Warner, Walt Disney Co.
Victor Howe, Washington Dulles Airport              Michael Deiparine, Parametrix
Ortfried Friedreich, Axis Engineers                       David Taliaferro, DFW Int’l Airport   
Mike Riseborough, GTAA                                      Richard Prell, Conductix – Wampfler Gary Houts, Tampa International Airport              Douglas Baird, Parsons            
Santiago Ruan, Doppelmayr                                   Matt Barkley, Bombardier       
Geoffrey Baskir, Parsons Brinckerhoff                  Michael Ang, MHIA
Dick Rhoton, Bombardier                                       Darin Friedman, MHIA
Kevin Dow, APTA                                                  Peter Muller, PRT Consulting
Yves Clarissou, Siemens Transportation Systems
Roy Fuller, MWAA (present only part-time)

LOGISTICS:  Victor Howe of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Roy Fuller, Manager of the Maintenance Engineering Division of MWAA, meeting hosts, welcomed participants.  Darin Friedman of MHIA gave the details of the technical tour of the Dulles AeroTrain system. 

NOISE IN TUNNELS:  Chuck Elms presented the Commentary regarding interior and exterior noise limits in tunnels that he had drafted following the request of the Chairman at the Atlanta meeting to do so.  The proposed commentary is appended as Attachment 1.  A line-by-line review of the commentary was performed by the Committee.

MOTION:   Charlie Martin moved, seconded by Mike Riseborough, that the Committee should accept Chuck Elms’ commentary and present it for a ballot.  The motion passed. 

NOISE IN STATIONS:  Chuck Elms proposed that in the future the Committee may want to revise Sections 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 to avoid or correct the fact that this section presently requires a measurement in a reflective environment (i.e. in a passenger station).  Chuck proposed that it might be more logical to measure the noise emitted by the vehicle in a free field by placing noise measuring instruments at the door openings to measure the noise emitted by the vehicle/train/APM system.  Considerable discussion followed, with Ray Warner suggesting that it is necessary to obtain noise spectra, not just amplitudes, to properly address the acoustic treatment of a passenger station.  Ray mentioned that ASTM Standard 2291 for amusement park rides has a comprehensive treatment of similar noise issues.  A working group (already established) led by Chuck Elms and including Ray Warner, Martin Lowson, and Rod Falvey will consider these issues as part of the reaffirmation of Part 1.

Approval of minutes from ATLANTa MEETING:   Paul Didrikson stated that comments received from Anselme Cote of RATP in June regarding the minutes from Atlanta will be attached to those minutes as an addendum.   A motion was made by Mike Shumack to accept the minutes (including the addendum), seconded by Doug Baird.  The motion carried.

APM UserS Group:  Mike Shumack stated that the name of the International Airport APM Association (IAAPMA) has been changed to APM Users Group to reflect the fact that its membership is no longer restricted to airport APM operators.  The present membership has about thirty airports and one non-airport.  Victor Howe is the president of the APM Users Group.

NFPA UPDATE:  Rod Falvey stated that the 2010 edition of NFPA 130 is issued and available for purchase.  The revisions in the new edition include:
(a) metric conversions that properly reflect the required precision, and
(b) clarification of the requirements for handrails for raised walkways. 
Rod’s presentation is Attachment 6.

MODEL ELEVATOR CODE:   Michael Deiparine reported that he is not aware of any new enactments of the MEC into state laws, but it is possible that some may have occurred without his knowledge.  He stated that he had applied for an inspector’s license and obtained it without too much trouble.  It required references, but no test. 

Larry Smith stated that ASME created the requirements to become a Qualified Elevator Inspector, and that ASCE has the capability to define a Diplomat role in selected areas of expertise, and that type of certification may be useful in the APM industry.  After some discussion on this topic a motion was proposed:

MOTION:   Doug Baird moved, seconded by Rod Falvey, that the Committee should study the idea of creating a qualification requirement for APM installation, inspection, operation and maintenance personnel.  The motion passed.  Mike Shumack, Gary Houts, Doug Baird and Michael Deiparine agreed to work on this issue, starting by reviving the work previously done.

IEC WORKING GROUP 45:  Larry Smith summarized Sam Lott’s report, which is appended as Attachment 2, stating that the committee had successfully participated in this international effort and that the result is not in contradiction to the APM Standard.  The IEC Working Group continues its efforts; it is presently preparing a technical report that will be a complementary document to the safety standard.  The most recent meeting of the Working Group was September 9-11, 2009 in Tokyo.

PRT COMMAND & CONTROL Taskforce:  Yves Clarissou presented proposed wording for an addition to Section 5, Part 1 (Attachment 3).  Some discussion followed, during which the opinion was expressed that the Standard should not allow collisions at any level of speed or jerk with passengers on board.  Larry Smith asked the Working Group to modify the wording of the proposed addition and to send out an advance copy by the end of the year so that a line-by-line review can be performed at the Houston meeting and thus the wording may be ready in time for the re-affirmation of Part 1.

WEB SITE REPORT (APMSTANDARDS.ORG):  Mike Shumack reported that the new version of the website is up and running as discussed and approved in Atlanta.  If anyone has any comments or suggestions, they can send them to Mike or to “Administrator” on the website (such messages also go to Mike Shumack).

INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY DATABASE:  The material prepared by Rudiger vom Hovel was presented.  There was discussion regarding whether the material should be placed on the website (with a suitable disclaimer, and with a “last updated” date shown), and whether additional data fields should be added showing items such as system supplier and system length.  The conclusion was that Mike Shumack will send the file to Committee members (or send them a message including a pointer to the file) requesting corrections and updates.


Chairman reported that membership is presently balanced, with:
                     (a)  Producer                  28 members                36.8%
                     (b)  Consumer                29 members                38.2%
                     (c)  General Interest      19 members                25.0%
Within the General Interest category, the sub-category of Regulatory members is required to be within the range of 5 to 15%.  We are presently at 5.3%.  Therefore we need more Regulatory members if we wish to add to any other category of membership.  Membership is limited to two members per company or organization.

New members Kevin Jensen of Conductix, and Santiago Ruan and Thomas Narbeshuber of Doppelmayr were welcomed to membership on the Committee.

PRESENTATION BY DARIN FRIEDMANN:  Darin made a presentation on the Dulles AeroTrain system in preparation for the tour.  Mitubishi supplied the system under a design, build, operate, maintain (DBOM) contract.  The ATC system was by Thales, and some other subsystems were supplied by Rail Works.  The system will operate 3-car trains initially, 4-car trains in the ultimate version.  The initial alignment is in the shape of a “J”, while the ultimate alignment will be a complete loop of 16 km with 10 stations and a fleet of 58 cars.

TOUR:  A tour of the AeroTrain APM system was provided by Darin Friedman, Michael Ang and Victor Howe.  The tour took place between 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm.

Friday, September 25th

FUTURE MEETING PLANS:   The winter meeting will be held February 25th and 26th, 2010 at Houston International Airport, hosted by Diego Parra.

 The site of the Spring -  Summer 2010 meeting is still not finalized.  Possibilities include: Seattle (Tedd Snyder could discuss with Bob Griebenow); Vancouver (Canada Line) – Richard Prell has had some discussions with  SNC-Lavalin; or Mexico City – hosted by Doppelmayr.

The consensus of the meeting, by show of hands, was that Seattle or Vancouver would be the preferred venue.  Note: According to Kevin Dow, an APTA Rail Conference will be held in Vancouver June 6th to 9th, 2010.

Siemens offered to host the Spring 2011 meeting in Paris in conjunction with the APM Conference to be held there.

Re-Affirmation STATUS of ASCE 21: PARTS 1, 2, 3 and 4:  Tedd Snyder showed a schedule of the required activities and dates for re-affirmation of the Standard.  Part 1 was last published in 2005, so the new version needs to be dated 2010 or 2011.  .

Tedd stated that the Working Groups should plan to complete their work by the end of the calendar year 2009.  Line-by-line review of proposed changes can be performed at the Houston meeting, then public comment can be solicited in the summer of 2010 and reviewed in September 2010.  This allows one year for publication.

APM INJURY/ACCIDENT REPORT:  Mike Riseborough presented a report (Attachment 4) showing three accidents involving fatalities.  These were:
1.  Miami Metromover – midnight June 20th, 2009
2.  Washington Metro - June 22, 2009
3.  The Disney monorail in Orlando

The main source of information has been the press.  Not included, but mentioned in the meeting, was the Thanksgiving 2008 incident at Miami Airport. 

Report from APTA on the WMATA Accident:   Kevin Dow (Program Manager, Technical Services, APTA) presented a report on the Washington Metro accident of June 22, 2009.  The report is an attachment to the minutes distribution.  Information can also be found on the front page of www.wmata.com.  Kevin stated that APTA has completed a Peer Review session, held a meeting with NTSB, and that APTA will be formulating a letter on the incident.

The discussion that followed revolved around the new safety advisory that NTSB issued on September 22nd.  The discussion focused on the need for more rigorous testing of safety-related systems to ensure that “sneak circuits”, unintended circuit paths and similar issues are discovered and corrected before they cause problems.

ASME RAIL STANDARDS COMMITTEE RT-2:  Tedd Snyder presented a report from Tom McGean regarding the efforts of the ASME Rail Standards Committee to look into issues regarding structural strength of vehicles.  The report is appended as Attachment 5.

Recommended Practice Document:   Mike Riseborough (representing the taskforce including Gary Houts and David Taliaferro) presented a draft of a document titled “Recommended Practice for Working Safe near an APM”.  A line-by-line was performed.  It was suggested to add an incident reporting section, perhaps titled “Incident Reporting and Review”.  It was also suggested to explicitly include equipment rooms, substation rooms, and other potentially hazardous areas (in addition to the guideway itself).  The document should probably reference the System Safety Program Plan (Section 3.1.1 of Part 1).  Mike Shumack will investigate the mechanics of how the Recommended Practice should be incorporated into the Standard.

INTERPRETATION OF THE APM STANDARD / NFPA 130:   Al Hartkorn had requested an interpretation of the APM Standard regarding the location of Blue Light stations at the end of station platforms (i.e. should they be accessible from the platform or only from the guideway).  Al had already received a response from NFPA on this topic, and since the APM Standard references NFPA in relation to this requirement it was felt that the Committee could not offer any further interpretation or clarification beyond that provided by NFPA.  It was noted that NFPA stated that they will clarify this issue in the 2013 edition of their standard.

T&DI REPORT:  Tedd Snyder distributed Jonathan Esslinger’s T&DI report in Jon’s absence.  ASCE membership application forms were also distributed. The T&DI report will be distributed along with the meeting minutes.

NEW BUSINESS: Chuck Elms stated that it is essential for Committee members who are involved in the review and revision of the Standard for reaffirmation to have electronic copies of the Standard in order to perform the reaffirmation work.  If necessary, such members can sign a document stating that they will not distribute the document to others. 

Larry Smith agreed to approach that ASCE Codes and Standards Committee on this topic.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Chairman explained the procedure used in locating meeting sites and stressed that our meetings are not funded by ASCE and rely on the generous support of members and their organizations. The Dulles meeting was made possible with the commitment of a meeting room with AV support and APM tour from MWAA, lunch provided be Lee + Elliott, continental breakfast on Thursday provided by Thales, continental breakfast on Friday provided by MHIA and the excellent dinner at Il Fornaio in Reston hosted by MHIA & Sumitomo Corp of America. Darin Friedmann and Michael Ang, MHIA were overall host coordinators and also arranged the hotel room block and transportation to and from the meeting room.   

ADJOURNMENT:  Mike Shumack made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Charlie Martin. The motion passed, and the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Paul Didrikson, P. Eng.
Secretary, ASCE APM Standards Committee


1.                  Noise in Tunnel Commentary for balloting - Chuck Elms

2.                  IEC Working Group 45 report – Sam Lott

3.                  PRT Command & Control Taskforce

– proposed wording for addition to Section 5, Part 1

4.                  APM Injury / Accident Report – Mike Riseborough

5.                  ASME Rail Standards Committee RT-2 report – Tom McGean

6.                  NFPA 130 report & update – Rod Falvey




T&DI Directors report – Jon Esslinger

APTA report on WMATA Incident – Kevin Dow




Attachment 1:  Noise in Tunnel Commentary for balloting - Chuck Elms

Interior and Exterior Noise Limits in Tunnels


Committee Approved Commentary




The following commentary is provided as an explanation of why the Standard does not specify noise limits inside buildings and tunnels.


The conditions for measuring vehicle exterior airborne noise are specified in Section 2.2.1, ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21 as: “(3) Under all normal operating conditions in a free field, 15m (50 feet) from guideway centerline and from 1.5m (5 feet) above ground level to 1.5m (5 feet) above guideway running surface.”


The conditions for measuring vehicle interior noise are specified in Section 7.7.4, ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21 as: “…with all auxiliary equipment operating.  All noise measurements are to be taken in a free field environment, with no passengers (up to three test personnel permitted) in the vehicle.  Interior noise levels shall be measured 1.5 m (5 feet) above the floor, above the suspension / running gear, and at the geometric center of the vehicle floor,…”


A free field is defined in Section 1.5, ANSI/ASCE/T&DI 21 as: “An isotropic, homogeneous sound field that is free from all bounding surfaces.”


In both cases the vehicle is specified to be operating in a free field environment to determine purely the noise energy that is emitted from the train without any content of reflected noise or other noise generators that otherwise can compromise the measurements.


When a vehicle/train is operated inside a tunnel or building, noise emitted from the APM system can be reflected and can increase the amplitude of the measured noise.  Because the geometries, designs and surface materials of such structures can vary significantly it is not possible to know the extent that reflected noise may be experienced.  Hence, neither consistent conditions nor standard tests exist for specifying noise limits in tunnels and buildings.


The current standard sets a limit on the noise level that can be emitted by an APM system.  Designers of buildings and tunnels are provided with the limit of emitted noise level that they need as an input upon which they can base designs.  Since they are in control of the architectural structure (size, shape, materials and reflective and absorptive surfaces) they are in control of what the resultant noise will be in a tunnel or building.  Buyers of APM systems can specify noise limits taking into account the architectural designs they specify.



Attachment 2:  IEC Working Group 45 report – Sam Lott



DATE:             September 6, 2009


TO:                  Larry Smith, Chairman  ASCE APM Standards Committee

                        Tom McGean, IEC TC9 TAG Member

FROM:            J. Sam Lott, U.S. TAG Representative, IEC TC9 Working Group 45


cc:                   Lou Sanders, IEC TC9 TAG Leader


Subject:          Report to ASCE APM Std. Committee on IEC Working Group 45: Automated Urban Guided Transport Safety Standards and Hazard Analysis Technical Report


Please provide the following report to the September 2009 meeting of the ASCE APM Standards Committee at Dulles Airport.  Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend.


June Meeting of IEC TC9 WG45 – Following the joint session held between the ASCE APM Standards Committee and representatives of the IEC Working Group 45 in Atlanta on June 3,, 2009, the IEC Working Group 45 held a working session on June 4-5 in the Atlanta Midtown office of Kimley-Horn and Associates.  The meeting saw progress on the current project activity to compile a Technical Report comprising the results of the generic Hazard Analysis that was developed to assist with the preparation of the IEC Safety Standard covering Automated Urban Guided Transport.


Release of IEC 62267 AUGT Safety Standard – During the past few months, IEC 62267 (excerpt attached for your reference) was officially released by IEC.  This document will be used by many countries as a reference for their development of standards and specifications for fully automated systems in their own parts of the world.  I believe that we have successfully participated in this international effort and the end product is not in contradiction to our ASCE APM Standards.


Hazard Analysis Technical Report – The current work program that is preparing a Technical Report that will be a complimentary document to the safety standard continues in a Working Group session held in Tokyo, September 9-11, 2009.  The document is coming together in draft form, with the body of the report formed primarily by a tabular organization of generic hazards and listing of the factors that create the hazardous condition as well as potential “safeguards” that would mitigate the hazardous condition.  The potential safety hazards addressed in the document are organized in accord with the following functional aspects of fully automated systems:

1.       Supervising guideway / Prevent collision with obstacles

2.       Supervising guideway / Prevent collision with persons

3.       Supervising passenger transfer / control passenger doors

4.       Supervising passenger transfer / Prevent person injuries between cars or between platform and train

5.       Supervising passenger transfer / Ensure safe starting conditions

6.       Operating a train / set in / set off operation

7.       Operating a train / supervise status of train

8.       Ensuring detection and management of potential emergency situations

It should be remembered that the IEC safety standards have been developed only with respect to automated functions that compensate for the removal of the operator and other staff onboard the train.  Therefore, other safety functions such as general ATP functions are not specifically addressed in this IEC standard or the associated Hazard Analysis Technical Report.


Under each of the functional categories listed above, the general hazards are addressed for each of the following aspects:

         Hazard, Cause, Trigger, Effect (Accident)

         Safeguard

         Does Safeguard compensate for no driver in DTO (Driverless Train Operation)?

         Does Safeguard compensate for no staff in UTO (Unattended Train Operation)

         Remarks

         IEC 62267 Section Reference Number


The current draft table of contents for the technical report is as follows:






1     Reasons for the hazard analysis...............................................................

2     Formation of the risk analysis team...........................................................

3     Definition of the system and main functions to be analysed..........................

3.1    System..........................................................................................

3.2    Main functions................................................................................

4     Identification of primary hazards...............................................................

4.1    Collisions with obstacle...................................................................

4.2    Collisions with person......................................................................

4.3    Injuries to persons associated to opening and closing passenger transfer doors.................................................................................

4.4    Injuries to persons between cars or between platform and train.............

4.5    Passenger injury during train starting................................................

4.6    Harm to passengers in relation to taking the train out of operation or putting the train in operation.............................................................

4.7    Injury to persons related to emergency situations...............................

5     Hazard Analysis......................................................................................

6     Risk Assessment....................................................................................

7     Risk Analysis for a specific application......................................................

8     Bibliography...........................................................................................




Attachment 3:  PRT Command & Control Taskforce  – proposed wording for
                                     addition to Section 5, Part 1


Section 5 – ASCE 21-05 (Part 1)


Proposed additional Section for off-line station operation


5.1.15 Off-line station operation – special conditions

Off-line station operation may consider three different zones: transition line for deceleration and acceleration, station line for vehicle positioning and docking zone.

Transition line: When a vehicle leave the station to enter the main line area, this vehicle shall be detected by the vehicle on the main line and speed shall be adjusted accordingly (speed and position monitored by ATP). Interlocking between off-line vehicle and main line vehicle movement shall be in accordance with Section 5.1.14.  

Station line: Contact between vehicles may be acceptable at low speed if the contact speed is low enough to minimise damage to vehicles and passenger accidents (falling down). A low speed threshold monitored by ATP shall be assessed accordingly and a vehicle stopping function and traction inhibition activated when over speed is detected.

Docking zone: No contact between vehicles shall occur when passenger are embarking/disembarking. The vehicle shall be stopped in accordance with Section 5.1.3. The brakes shall be strong enough to prevent vehicle movement. Rollback may be allowed if ATP Presence Detection function for the station line is in accordance with Section 5.1.1. For passenger embarking/disembarking, a dedicated zone shall be specified. If two zones are possible (vehicle line up configuration), the embarking zone shall be different from the disembarking zone.

Passenger on platform and passenger embarking/disembarking safety shall be in accordance with Section 10.2 - Platform Edge Protection.


In order to understand and determine what are the risks in station area, let's give the follow two examples of PRT station layout:



  Figure 1: Vehicle in separate dock at station


Figure 2:  Vehicle in queue at station

The members of this Working Group are:

Charlie Martin,         Lea Elliott

Jim Hoelscher,        Safetran

Jorge Nahke,          Logplan

Ray Warner,           Disney

Sam Lott,                Kimley Horn

Jonathan Luedeke, Battelle

Redjean Clerc,        Siemens,(Chair)

Attachment 4:  APM Injury / Accident Report – Mike Riseborough

Tables of Recent Incidents



Reported Details



Miami Metromover (Midnight
June 20, 2009)


•   A Metromover killed a long-time maintenance supervisor as he inspected the tracks around midnight Saturday, according to police.

•   The computerized vehicle, which is not driven by a conductor, was stopped but moved forward for an unknown reason, said police spokeswoman Rebeca Perez.

•   Police found the body of Joseph Bryant of Hollywood about 100 feet from the platform at College North Station on Northeast First Avenue and Third Street.

•   This is the first time a Metromover employee has been killed on the tracks, said Harpal Kapoor, director of Miami-Dade Transit.

•   The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the worker's death. The Board must review the case because Metromover receives federal money, Kapoor said.

•   The Metromover system is open and operating.

•   The train was being held at either the College North Station or the Bayside Station and for some reason the hold was released.

•   The train struck a shift supervisor who then fell approximately 50 feet to the street below.

•   It was reported that there was a second person on the track assisting with the switch inspection who managed to step clear of the train.


The draft of the Recommended Practice for Working Safe near an APM System states:

System Lockout

•   Develop a system lockout process that ensures continued shutdown of the system during work operations. The lockout procedures should include method of system lockout, verification of work completion and system readiness prior to returning the system to service.

Procedure for Working near an APM

•   Clearly state that failure to follow the appropriate procedures identified in the protocol document may result in severe injury or death, and that anyone found in non-compliance with these procedures shall immediately cease work.

The NTSB is investigating the worker’s death and it is not currently known if the accident is related to operator error, procedural breakdown, or any other factor(s).


Washington (June 22, 2009)

    Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). A collision between two six-car Red Line trains at 5 p.m. Monday, June 22, 2009 killing nine people and injuring others.

•   The accident suggested that the system may be susceptible to a single-point failure because it did not stop a train when detection of a preceding train was lost.

•   The Safety Board initially issued two urgent safety recommendations to address the issue:

1.       One safety recommendation asks WMATA to evaluate track occupancy data on a real-time basis in order to detect losses in track occupancy and automatically generate alerts to prompt actions to avoid collisions, such as stopping train movements or implementing speed restrictions.

2.       The other safety recommendation asks the Federal Transit Administration to advise all rail transit operators with similar train control systems to determine whether their system has adequate safety redundancy in the event of a loss of train detection, and if not, to take corrective action. But the presence of safety redundancies for those times when an automatic train control system loses detection of a train is a critical issue, not just for Metrorail, but perhaps for transit systems across the country.


•   It was reported that an impedance bond (#15) for the track circuit where the accident occurred was replaced on June 17th, 2009, five days before the accident. Continued review of the maintenance logs has identified that the impedance bond (#14), located on the other end of the same circuit, was replaced in December 2007. WMATA records reveal that this track circuit's train-occupancy signal has been intermittently fluctuating since the replacement was installed in December 2007. 

•   The NTSB has requested trouble tickets for the last 18 months to see if these problems had been reported, and seeking records to see if any operators reported problems on this circuit.

•   The investigation is identifying possible sources of interference affecting the automatic train control (ATC) operation. These potential sources include Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), traction power harmonics and signal crosstalk, communication lines, and system upgrades and changes.

•   Following the accident, WMATA began to review operations data and identified some problems at other circuits. These anomalies are being examined by NTSB and WMATA to determine if they are the same kinds of problems as were found in the location of the accident site.

•   On Saturday, July 18, the NTSB conducted a sight distance test at the accident location. Information collected from the test will be correlated with rail markings documented after the accident, the braking characteristics of the striking train, and the speed information gleaned from the WMATA Operations Control Center records.

         Four years ago a similar near-miss incident occurred in a tunnel below the Potomac River. The operator was at the controls of the Metrotrain headed to Rosslyn, when he saw a glimmer of red reflecting off of the walls. The train’s crash-avoidance system indicated that the track was clear, but the operator decided to override the system and brake manually. The train rolled up to a stop 35’ short of a train ahead.

         The operator in the train behind it caught site of the stopped train and hit the emergency brake and ground to a halt 20’ short of the other train. This incident is the 1st of 3 known breakdowns of a crash-avoidance system.

•   NTSB is investigating the 2005 incident in conjunction with the June 22, 2009 incident.

•   The investigation is identifying possible sources of interference affecting the automatic train control (ATC) operation. These potential sources include Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), traction power harmonics and signal crosstalk, communication lines, and system upgrades and changes.

•   The National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed that the 2005 incident has become a focus of its probe and that its investigators recently examined records from both near-collisions. They also tested hardware taken from the 2005 incident site to compare with similar equipment recovered from the crash.

•   In a tunnel below the Potomac River four years ago, Larry Mitchell was at the controls of a crowded rush-hour Metro train headed to Rosslyn when he saw a glimmer of red reflecting walls. The train’s crash-avoidance system indicated that the track ahead was clear, but Mitchell sensed danger overrode the system, manually applied the brakes, and then watched as he train rolled to a stop just 35 feet short of a train ahead.

•   Mitchell radioed Metro supervisors, but was interrupted by the operator of the train behind him who announced that he had just caught sight of Mitchell’s train and hit his emergency brake. That train ground to a halt 20 feet short of Mitchell’s.

•   The outlines of the 2005 near miss― the first of three known breakdowns of a crash avoidance system designed to be failsafe― were made public shortly after it occurred. But newly obtained records and interviews detail just how close the trains came to colliding.

•   The crash-avoidance system suspected of failing in this  accident on Metro's Red Line malfunctioned three months earlier, when a rush-hour train on Capitol Hill came "dangerously close" to another train and halted only after the operator hit the emergency brake. At the time of the March 2nd incident, records indicated the train operator and control-center supervisors did not know that anything serious was wrong.

•   while reviewing computer logs, officials determined that there was a problem with the Automatic Train Protection system and that the train had stopped just 500 feet behind another.

•   The NTSB, which is investigating this summer’s deadly crash, confirmed that the 2005 incident has become a focus of its probe and that its investigators recently examined records from both near collisions. They also tested hardware taken from the 2005 incident site to compare with similar equipment recovered from the crash.



Disney (Orlando) Monorail Incident (July 4, 2009)

         Two Walt Disney World monorails crashed into each other at about 2 a.m. Sunday, July 5th/2009.

         Monorail pink and monorail purple collided near the Magic Kingdom's Magic Kingdom's Transportation and Ticket Center, where guests board the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, its resort hotels, or Epcot.

         One driver was killed, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and six guests were on board but were not injured seriously. The two monorail trains were reported to be transporting guests to and from the Epcot theme park.

•   These are Bombardier cars with Alstom signalling. However, they are not under automatic operation but are manually operator controlled at all times. There is a "trip stop" type protection to stop the car automatically if the operator encroaches too close; although he can override it.

•   Disney's monorails operate on two separate tracks on two loop systems. One loop travels past the Magic Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom resorts. The express monorail track takes guests to the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom, and the resort monorail track makes these stops and additional stops at Disney's Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Resort.

•   At the Transportation and Ticket Center, guests can also board a separate monorail that travels along a different loop track to Epcot and back. Monorail trains normally travel along their respective tracks, with each monorail traveling in the same direction on the track. This way, it is impossible for monorails to crash into each other head-on.

•   Disney uses a sophisticated safety system designed to prevent monorails from crashing into the rear of another monorail train.

•   Some have speculated that the monorail safety system that automatically locks a monorail's brakes when it comes too close to another monorail train was not working at the time of the accident. Monorail pink's operator might have thought it was safe to back into the station and get into position to switch tracks, which is standard procedure. It has been reported that the monorail safety system does not work when monorail trains switch tracks (for example, when heading to the monorail barn at the end of the night).


•   Each monorail train is equipped with front and rear headlights and a horn, in addition to a communications system.

•   The ASME Rail Transit Standards committee has created Task Force to study possible revisions to the standard and possible further studies/research that should be done. The matter will be taken up further at their Fall meeting in DC October 13-14th. The committee is the ASME Rail Transit Standards Committee. They have just published a "Safety Standard for Structural Requirements for Heavy Rail Transit Vehicles" available at http://catalog.asme.org (ASME RT-2-2008).




Attachment 5:  ASME Rail Standards Committee RT-2 report – Tom McGean


Immediately after the WMATA fatal accident, ASME’s Rail Transit Standards Committee convened a telephone meeting. 12 members participated. It was established that the cars involved predate the current RT-2 structural standard. A working group was formed to follow up the NTSB investigations and determine whether any changes are needed to the RT-2 standard based on their findings. The committee also decided to explore further computer modeling of collision scenarios to cover override and telescoping, fatigue, and other situations. A face to face committee meeting is scheduled for October 13-14, 2009 at APTA offices at 1666 K St. NW starting at 9AM and lasting two full days. The WMATA incident will be covered. Any non-member who wishes to attend should contact Martin Schroeder (committee chair) at APTA.



• NFPA 130: Standard for Fixed Guideway

Transit and Passenger Rail Systems

– Three Year Revision Cycle

– Current 2010 Edition

• Preprint can be viewed on WWW.NFPA.ORG

• Hardcopy available for purchase


2010 Version Highlights

• Allow elevators to be counted as contributing to the means of egress in stations.

• Wire & Cable standards for all simplified FT4/IEEE 1202 exposure requirements and

smoke release rate of ANSI/UL 1685.


Flame spread and smoke in accordance with NFPA 262,

• For Control & Low voltage ICEA Wire & Cable standards updated to replace

“withdrawn” standards.

• Revisions relating to stopping and reversing of escalators.

• Clarification of handrails for raised walkways.

• Vehicle floor assemblies tested to 15 minute criteria for AGT and 30 minutes for all


• Requirement expanded to consider vehicle ends as well as vehicle sides for Fire


• Clarified requirement that vehicle lockers require arc shielding if they contain

equipment operating at greater than 300V.

• The units in the standard have been updated in accordance with the Manual of Style

for NFPA Technical Committee Documents.

• Several fire scenarios have been added to Annex A to provide guidance on the types

of fires that can occur in vehicles, stations, and the operating environment as well.

• New Chapter 11 added for Control and Communication System Functionality,

Reliability, and Availability.


• Next revision cycle:

–     Proposals closing date 11/23/2009

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