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American Public Transportation Association

 Systems Assurance Trifecta NEW!

Tuesday, June 23
Electrical arcing, smoke conditions in a tunnel, and emergency response
The Systems Assurance Trifecta event is a new concept for APTA’s Rail Conference. The intent is simulate a real event that resulted in a cascading system failure event and model it from several different points of view in sequential conference sessions. The objective is to provide a greater understanding on how the base event could recur in similar situations at other rail agencies; offer the best approaches to identifying the event precursors; and discuss solutions involving systems engineering, systems safety, systems maintenance, and operational resilience that mitigate the risk of occurrence and/or the consequences of such an event.
Though each of the three conference sessions may stand alone, when connected, they provide a greater understanding of how complex systems can be overwhelmed by sequences of events affecting operational functions, physical design limits, or the organizational command and control structure. 
This Systems Assurance Trifecta is based on incidents which have occurred within our industry involving electrical arcing events impacting traction power, creating smoke conditions that must be addressed with appropriate ventilation, and carrying out emergency response functions to evacuate customers at platform and track levels.
Trifecta sponsored by HNTB Corporation    hntb.jpg
Electrical Arcing, Smoke & Fire: Managing the Risk -- Tuesday, 8:30 - 10 a.m.               
Session 1 of the three-session trifecta covers electrical systems designs on various types of traction power and high voltage systems and the types of precautions taken to ensure safe grounding, bonding, and arc prevention. Case histories of smoke and fire events from electrical sources will also be covered.
Tunnel Ventilation Systems -- Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.                                  
Session 2 looks at ventilation and fire-life safety designs in subsurface guideways. The discussion focuses on the choice of appropriate standards and the effects of tunnel design configurations on risk reduction for new construction or upgrades to legacy systems.
What Have We Learned about Emergency Preparedness? -- Tuesday, 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Session 3 reviews lessons learned from recent fire-life safety events and the adequacy of emergency preparedness plans in developing readiness to handle these complex events when they occur. Included will be the importance of emergency drills and exercises to test both the successful application of prevention systems and ways to change tactics when those systems fail.
The three-session trifecta highlights the importance of the knowledge provided from each session to (1) raise awareness of how weak signals and small cracks in control measures of complex social-technical systems have the potential to create havoc on safety or mission critical functions, (2) how they can be identified, and (3) create solutions.
see Program for session and speaker details
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