Burns Performing Amtrak Arc Flash Assessments


Burns Engineering, Inc. has been recently contracted to perform a comprehensive Arc Flash assessment for Amtrak Electric Traction equipment and procedures. While the Electric Traction (ET) department must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Arc Flash requirements which are based on meeting National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E 2015 requirements, the ultimate goal is to provide practical safety measures that help ensure the electrical systems are operated and maintained at the highest level of safety while not overburdening the operation and maintenance personnel with complicated routines and procedures. The final product of this analysis will be a concise listing of required clearance distances to electrical equipment by type and location, requirements for type and class of clothing and visible labeling on the equipment.

The analysis of single-phase systems both grounded and ungrounded which have substantial load swings and frequencies ranging from dc to 100 Hz is a unique proposition. To be successful, a detailed understanding of Arc Flash studies as well as the particular knowledge of the railroad operating systems, interactions and environment is essential. Burns possesses the technical background and experience in providing system-wide Arc Flash studies as well as intimate knowledge of the railroad systems this analysis will be performed on. Arc Flash energy levels and Arc Flash protection boundary distances will be generated through the use of computer simulations with input from single lines and short circuit and coordination studies provided by Amtrak.

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