Trains to be 'bomb proofed' as study identifies simple design changes that could lessen impact of terrorist attack
Scientists have devised a set of key changes to train coaches that could contain an explosive blast and reduce the amount of flying debris in a carriag
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Tuesday 22 January 2013
Train carriages could soon be built to give passengers better protection against bomb explosions following a three-year study that identified simple design changes to lessen the impact of a terrorist attack.
Scientists have devised a set of key changes to train coaches that could contain an explosive blast and reduce the amount of flying debris in a carriage, which can injure passengers as well as hinder the emergency services.
After a three-year EU-funded study into the problem, which included test explosions on a decommissioned metro carriage, researchers have produced a check-list of safety improvements that could be incorporated into new passenger trains within the next decade, they said.
The research was commissioned in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings in 2005 and the 7/7 London Underground bombings a year later. The results will be passed on to train manufacturers and could be integrated into national and European safety standards, said Conor O’Neil of Newcastle University.
Changing the features of existing carriages and incorporating new technology and materials rather than a total re-design could make relatively simple and cost-effective improvements to passenger safety in the event of an explosion, Dr O’Neil said.
“Preventing flying objects is the key. Tethering ceiling panels reduced the risk of fatalities and injury from flying shrapnel and also meant the gangways were kept relatively clear of debris, allowing emergency staff quick access to the injured,” Dr O’Neil said.
“The window coating we developed was also incredibly effective. Without it the windows are blown outwards, putting anyone outside, such as those standing on a platform, at risk from flying glass,” he said.
“A bomb on a train is always going to be devastating but what we are trying to do is find a way in which the vehicle itself can help to mitigate the impact of an attack. These are all low-cost, simple solutions that can be put on existing trains which could not only save lives but also reduce the attractiveness of our railways for potential terrorist attacks,” he added.
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...