An overview of passenger equipment full-scale impact tests
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An overview of passenger equipment full-scale impact tests

  • Published Date:

    2003-10-07

  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-640.98 KB]


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  • Resource Type:
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  • NTL Classification:
    AGR-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; AGR-PASSENGERS-PASSENGERS ; AGR-PASSENGERS-Amtrak ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-RAIL TRANSPORTATION ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Vehicle Design ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety ;
  • Abstract:
    As part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Equipment Safety Research Program, a series of full-scale impact tests are being conducted on rail passenger vehicles. Four types of tests are intended to define the performance of current-design equipment in in-line collisions and grade crossing collisions: In-Line Tests: 1. A single-car impact with a fixed wall 2. A two-car impact with a fixed wall 3. A moving cab-car-led train impact with a standing locomotive-led train Grade-Crossing Test: 4. A single-car impact with a steel coil The in-line tests are designed to first measure the crashworthiness of a single car, then the interactions of two cars when coupled, and finally the behavior of a complete train. The grade crossing test is designed to measure the crashworthiness of a single car when a steel coil collides with the corner of the lead end of a cab-car. Conventional and improved-crashworthiness equipment are being tested in all four test conditions. While the principal objective of the in-line tests is to determine effective strategies for improved structural crashworthiness and improved occupant protection, a secondary objective is to validate and improve the computer models that have been developed as part of the rail vehicle crashworthiness research. These models are used to validate proposed redesigns of components to be used in future tests. Results from the in-line tests conducted to date show that the force upon impact reaches a high initial peak, and then decreases as the car crushes. The consequence of this decreasing force/crush characteristic is that the structural damage will be focused on the impacting cars in a collision, with very little damage to the trailing cars. Analysis predictions of the crush and decelerations of the cars in the train-to-train test compare closely with test measurements. In the grade-crossing test, the results demonstrated that the improved design standards for corner posts are effective in improving the crashworthiness of cab cars during an impact with a stationary steel coil. A corresponding series of single car, two car, and train-to-train tests are planned for crash energy management equipment.
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