A Bit about Railway Safety Regulations

A Bit about Railway Safety Regulations

The ease with which Europeans can move around their continent prompts millions of people from dozens of countries to pass through both domestic and international ground transportation centers every day. As you can imagine, the logistical details of directing all this traffic are endless. Passenger safety in the fast-paced spaces of ground transport centers like train stations is paramount and these travelers are safer when they have access to advanced digital display technology. These complicated digital technologies help streamline passenger movement but they do come with a degree of risk that European regulators have deemed worthy of their attention.

Recent decades have exhibited a rise in cross-border rail travel and with it a need for international bodies to standardize testing and classification systems for the materials and products used in both vehicles and in-station technologies. Most travelers will never think twice about fire safety standards and that’s the way things should be. When you’ve got to think about your safety it is hard to think about anything else, like being on time for your meeting, or getting off at the right stop, or keeping track of your companions. In other words, regulators (and the companies that must adhere to the rules regulatory bodies create) think about fire safety so that travelers don’t have to.

If you’re interested however, here’s a bit more detail on how these standards work.

In a confined railway station or railway car, any sort of potential fire hazard needs to be extremely well regulated. Large-format digital displays, devices that obviously use electricity, certainly fall into this category. While in certain ways a digital display is actually safer in a fire-related emergency than traditional paper signage, regulators need to ensure that any technology they introduce is not going to make any emergency worse in other less obvious ways.

The European railway fire safety regulation that bears most relevance to our business is called EN 45545-2, though we can and do design and test to any applicable standard our clients request. The three particular metrics that LED display manufacturers like us most often need to target are smoke toxicity, smoke density, and flame spread. While toxicity is mostly independent, smoke density and flame spread work in an inverse relationship, so manufacturers need to work with each regulatory body to arrive at acceptable compromise solutions that minimize risk. NanoLumens manufactures a fire-retardant version of our Nixel subcomponent LED board that meets this compromise given the overall ratio of display material to volumetric open-air space in the subterranean transit facilities our displays occupy. Our performance was issued acceptance by regulatory bodies in the UK, mainland Europe, South America, and Asia.

Long a driving force in other subsets of the transportation space, NanoLumens has developed LED display technology that meets railway safety standards. Our displays have always been brighter, lighter, and more energy-efficient than rival technologies, but now they are safer too. If you work in the transportation industry, understanding the regulations that govern your spaces is important. What’s even more important is making sure manufacturers you work with understand and adhere to these regulations. To inquire further about NanoLumens design and testing policies for our fire-retardant Nixel display technology, reach out to us today!