Trains play a huge role in getting freight and people to where it/they need to be. In the US, trains transport approximately 40% of the total freight traveled. In terms of miles that freight travels, trains in the U.S. transport about 40% of the total. With respect to gross tonnage, trains move approximately 16% of every ton moved. Although passenger trains aren’t as prevalent in the U.S. as other parts of the world, in combination with subway trains, they still carry millions of passengers daily.
It takes a significant amount of power to move a train. Trains primarily rely on electricity in some form for locomotion. Diesel-electric trains use a powerful diesel engine to produce electricity to drive traction motors. Purely electric trains draw power from a third rail or overhead powerlines.
Large diesel engines and electric motors both present a fire risk. Fuel leaks, motor overheating, electrical shorts, and power overloads can all cause a fire on a train. Since trains often operate in remote areas where rapid response is not available, fire suppression help may be slow to arrive.
A fire on a train presents a serious risk to the crew and any passengers on board. Plus, damage to the train can be significant as can the lost revenue due to downtime. The need to provide dependable fire protection for trains is one that should not be taken lightly.
In our Fire Suppression for Rolling Stock Engine Compartments page, we highlighted the need and benefits of a Stat-X total flooding fire suppression system. This is a best practice means of providing superior fire protection for enclosed machinery spaces on trains. However, we also realize there are some instances where this is not feasible.
Perhaps a locomotive is only used in back-up or reserve service, or it is only used in the yard to move cars short distances. Maybe budget constraints do not allow for all locomotives to have an installed fire suppression system at present. There is still a way to provide Stat-X® protection.
The Stat-X First Responder® is a portable emergency condensed aerosol fire suppression tool (FST.) It is a small, light, handheld unit with a pull actuator. Designed to be tossed into an enclosure where there is an active early stage fire, it provides immediate fire suppression. In basic terms, it is a portable version of our total flooding systems.
The Stat-X First Responder can be kept in a response kit, wall-mounted, or worn by personnel. It offers the flexibility to attack fires wherever they occur and requires minimal training to use. Even if a train is protected by a fixed Stat-X system, the First Responder is an excellent adjunct supplement in case the fire occurs in an unprotected area such as a passenger cabin.
The portable unit suppresses fire in its early stages which reduces the threat to life and property. Additionally, the Stat-X agent is less damaging to equipment than water and does not require the extensive clean up from dry chemical application. In short, the Stat-X First Responder is an economical way to provide instantly accessible and high value fire suppression.