Structural Crashworthiness Standards Comparison: Grade Crossing Collision Scenarios
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Structural Crashworthiness Standards Comparison: Grade Crossing Collision Scenarios

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      In support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA)

      Railroad Equipment Safety Program, American and European

      grade-crossing collision scenarios were evaluated and

      compared. Finite element analyses (FEA) were employed to

      subject an FRA-compliant passenger car to grade-crossing

      collision scenarios defined in both the proposed FRA Code of

      Federal Regulations (CFR) and European Standard (EN)

      15227. The proposed FRA collision scenario involved a single

      car impacted by a cart. The cart had a punch mounted to it to

      hit a specific post of the end frame of the car. The EN 15227

      collision scenario involved a complete train consist impacting a

      large deformable obstacle that approximates a lorry. The

      analyses show that these collision scenarios, while both gradecrossing

      scenarios, are very different not only in terms of the

      impact object and the amount of initial kinetic energy involved,

      but also in terms of how the car is loaded and deformed during

      impact. The FRA scenario is shown to be easier to analyze as

      well as easier to test than the EN 15227 scenario. Additionally,

      the FRA scenario is safer to test because of the levels of initial

      energy involved. The FRA scenario also provides clearer

      metrics of success. The FRA-compliant car utilized in the

      analyses and test conducted for this paper passed both FRA and

      EN 15227 grade-crossing collision scenarios according to the

      requirements for each respective standard. However, the

      analyses show that despite both scenarios providing for energy

      absorption in a grade-crossing collision, because the manner in

      which the car is loaded and deformed (concentrated vs.

      distributed) is different, the FRA performance standard and EN

      15227 grade-crossing collision scenarios are not equivalent and

      mutual compliance is not guaranteed.

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