USA to update safety standards as high-speed rail approaches

Photo: Alstom SA, 2016/ Meconopsis by Trimaran.

New safety standards for high-speed trains are being developed by the USA’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

The FRA, which regulates the USA’s passenger rail network, has proposed a set of updates to its passenger train standards to incorporate the risks associated with trains travelling above 350 km/h.

The FRA will create a separate category for high-speed vehicles, Tier III. In particular it will provide a new framework for assessing crashworthiness and compatibility with Tier I and Tier II vehicles.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “As several regions of the United States build faster passenger rail service, the trains on those tracks must keep passengers safe.”

He added: “To do that, we want to allow manufacturers to innovate and achieve all-new levels of safety. These proposed changes put us on track to do just that.”