Materials & products for rolling stock

Materials & products for rolling stock

RISE Fire Research in Sweden run an open database to gather classifications of materials and products that have been tested according to EN 45545-2 – Railway applications – Fire protection on railway vehicles – Part 2: Requirements for fire behaviour of materials and components, Anna Bergstrand, Fire Research at RISE, explains. 

Until 2016, most European countries had their own standards for evaluating fire properties of materials and products used in railway vehicles. Some countries, not having their own standards, used an array of different national standards from other countries as a base for the fire safety of railway vehicles. The use of national standards caused a great difference in fire safety of railway vehicles and prevented free movement within Europe. 

In the early 1990s a group of experts from the national standardisation bodies around Europe began working on a new standard with the aim to harmonise the fire safety of railway vehicles in Europe and to increase the fire safety in general. The expert group was a working group (WG01) under the technical committee CEN/TC 256, Railway applications as part of the European Committee for Standardisation, CEN. 

In 2009 the first version of the standard series 45545 was published as a technical specification (CEN/TS). The series consisted of seven parts addressing different areas of fire safety and design. The CEN/TS was used to some extent, but the national standards were still mandatory. In 2013 the EN version of the 45545 series was published after being revised and reworked and was now ready for implementation. The reason for this was a stating in the standard saying that the standard shall be given the status of a national standard in CEN and CENELEC member states and all conflicting standards should be withdrawn at the latest by March 2016. The transitional period was three years. 

EN 45545-2 address the requirements for fire behaviour of materials and components. This standard was amended in 2015 to clarify some areas and is currently being revised to become EN 45545-2:2018. It is expected to be published in 2020. This revision includes some major changes due to newly published standards for toxicity measurement and full-scale passenger
seat test. The revised version has also addressed some interpretation flaws by clarifying certain areas of the standard. 

From March 2016 the EN 45545-2 is mandatory for all railway vehicles as defined by EN 45545-1. In 2018 EN 45545-2 became mandatory for high speed trains under the TSI LOC&PAS (Technical Specification of Interoperability Locomotives & Passenger rolling stock). The standardisation work continues in working group 1 in CEN/TC 256 and all seven parts of EN 45545 are up for revision in the following five years or so.

The EN 45545 is a series of harmonised European standards. However, some parts of EN 45545, mostly EN 45545-2, is implemented in other parts of the world as well, such as Australia, South Africa and some countries in South America. It is expected to spread to even more countries in the years to come. 

The database

There is a common demand from producers of materials and products as well as from train builders to easier be able to find materials and products approved for use in rolling stock in accordance with the harmonized European standard EN 45545-2. RISE therefore created a searchable open access database to facilitate this. The database was introduced when RISE Fire Research attended the Fire Protection of Rolling Stock conference in Berlin. The topic that RISE presented was “How to address the increasing amount of testing needed in the transition to EN 45545-2”.

The database is searchable for the following parameters: 

  • Name and contact details of manufacturers/suppliers
  • Name or type of material/product
  • Product no. according to EN 45545-2 (F1, EX6A, etc.)
  • Product name according to EN 45545-2 (Hoses, PCB, etc.)
  • Requirement set (R1, R2, etc.)
  • Classification (HL1-HL3)
  • Test methods

The classifications listed in this database are based on tests performed by accredited test institutes around Europe and not only by RISE. All producers of materials and products are welcome to contact RISE to get information on how to add their classified material or product to the database : –