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Rail passenger equipment collision tests : analysis of occupant protection measurements
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  • Abstract:
    The Federal Railroad Administration has been conducting research

    on occupant protection in train collisions. As part of this research,

    computer simulations have been performed, passenger seats have been sled tested, and two full-scale collision tests of rail passenger

    cars have been conducted. The passenger equipment collisions tests

    that have been performed to date are: 1) Single car impact into a fixed barrier at 35 mph; and 2) Two coupled car impact into a fixed barrier at 26 mph. As part of these tests, the cars were instrumented to measure the deformations of critical structural elements; the vertical, lateral, and longitudinal deceleration of the carbody and trucks; and the suspension displacements. The cars were also equipped with instrumented anthropomorphic test devices (test dummies) in three

    interior arrangements: 1) Forward-facing unrestrained occupants seated in rows, compartmentalized by the forward seat in order to limit the

    motions of the occupants; 2) Forward-facing restrained occupants with lap and shoulder belts; and 3) Rear-facing unrestrained occupants.

    This paper describes the vertical and lateral motions of the cars

    during the two-car impact test, and discusses their influence on the

    responses of the instrumented dummies. The lateral motions of the

    cars appear to have had little influence on the response of the test

    dummies. The vertical motions of the cars may have had an influence on the forward facing unrestrained test dummies seated in rows. Such experiments were conducted in both the leading and trailing cars, and in both these experiments, the heads of the test dummies rose above the seatback ahead, allowing high neck loads.

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