Large-scale fir tests of seats from China’s CRH1 High Speed Train showed that they are “relatively easy to ignite” and burn reaching 600°C in <2 minutes. The seats’ synthetic fibre covering was “easy to ignite with radiant heat” and then the polyurethane filler showed flames which “spread rapidly”. Smoke released reduced light transparency to <25%. The authors conclude that fire behaviour of seats is important for minimising risks to train passengers and crew. Unlike China, Europe has strict fire safety and smoke emission requirements for railway fittings and seats (EN 45545, 2013).
“Combustion performance of flame-ignited high-speed train seats via full-scale tests’, J. Zhu et al., Case Studies in Fire Safety, accepted manuscript 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csfs.2015.05.002