Bid to make bomb-proof trains

Engineers at Newcastle University studied terror attacks in London and Madrid to develop a range of train designs that reduce the impact of explosions.

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Full Report: Bid to make bomb-proof trains

The devastation caused by terror attacks on trains could be lessened in future because of research carried out by experts at Newcastle University.

After studying the affects of a bomb blast on a normal train carriage researchers have come up with some simple and cheap changes to improve safety.

It could dramatically improve the chances of surviving an attack like the 7/7 London Bombings.

You can watch the full report from Julia Barthram below.


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Bomb-proof train carriages could save lives

British engineers are researching bomb-proof train carriages to prevent a repeat of the carnage left by the London Underground terrorist attacks.

Blast-resilient rolling stock has been developed by the EU-funded SecureMetro project, which was launched three years ago.

A controlled explosion on a decommissioned Tube carriage Credit: Newcastle University/PA Wire
High speed cameras were used to slow down the blast, so the impact could be analysed in detail Credit: Newcastle University/PA Wire
A similar test was later carried out on a prototype carriage Credit: Newcastle University/PA Wire

The project was created to test designs for Tube and overground carriages that minimise injury and death, if a bomb attack was to take place.

Focusing on containing the blast impact, and reducing levels of debris, the research involved a controlled explosion on a decommissioned Tube carriage.

Tests were carried out by the team at Newcastle University's School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering.

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Blast-resilient trains: Preventing flying objects is 'key'

Engineers from Newcastle have been developing blast-resilient train carriages to minimise the impact that a terror attack might have to the public and emergency services.

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.

– Conor O'Neill, who leads the team from Newcastle University's School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering
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Engineers in position to advice rail industry chiefs

A team of engineers from Newcastle University could be advising rail industry chiefs on the best design approach for bomb-proof trains.

Conor O'Neill, who led the research has admitted that replacing the current trains 'isn't an option'.

Engineers from Newcastle University are in position to advise rail industry chiefs Credit: Newcastle University/PA Wire

He said: "What we've shown is that companies could make some relatively cost-effective and simple modifications that would significantly improve the outcome of an attack."


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Controlled explosions carried out for bomb-proof trains

A team of engineers have been experimenting with controlled explosions to understand the impact a bomb has on a train carriage.

New technology has been developed, along with materials which could be fitted into existing carriages, to limit the fallout of a terror attack on train and tube carriages.

  • Controlled explosions were carried out on a decommissioned Tube carriage
  • High speed cameras slowed down the blast, allowing the impact to be analysed in detail
  • A similar test was carried out on a carriage specially built to reduce the damage caused by a bomb detonating inside it
  • Blast-protection measures included tethering down ceiling panels, plastic coatings on windows, and the use of lighter energy-absorbing materials
  • Engineers investigated dividing carriages with materials that soak up energy and reduce the impact of a blast wave

Newcastle University develops anti-terror train protection

A team of rail engineers at Newcastle University has devised cheap and simple ways of reducing the deadly impact of terror attacks on trains and metros.

The engineers studied the devastation caused by similar bombings like the Madrid and London 7/7 bombings.

They have developed a range of blast-resistant designs, looking particularly at reducing debris and containing explosive shock waves.

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