Train-to-Train Impact Test of Crash-Energy Management Passenger Rail Equipment: Structural Results
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Train-to-Train Impact Test of Crash-Energy Management Passenger Rail Equipment: Structural Results

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      On March 23, 2006, a full-scale test was conducted on a

      passenger rail train retrofitted with newly developed cab end

      and non-cab end crush zone designs. This test was conducted

      as part of a larger testing program to establish the degree of

      enhanced performance of alternative design strategies for

      passenger rail crashworthiness. The alternative design strategy

      is referred to as crash energy management (CEM), where the

      collision energy is absorbed in defined unoccupied locations

      throughout the train in a controlled progressive manner. By

      controlling the deformations at critical locations the CEM train

      is able to protect against two dangerous modes of deformation:

      override and large-scale lateral buckling.

      The CEM train impacted a standing locomotive-led train of

      equal mass at 31 mph on tangent track. The interactions at the

      colliding interface and between coupled interfaces performed

      as expected. Crush was pushed back to subsequent crush zones

      and the moving passenger train remained in-line and upright on

      the tracks with minimal vertical and lateral motions.

      The added complexity associated with this test over

      previous full-scale tests of the CEM design was the need to

      control the interactions at the colliding interface between the

      two very different engaging geometries. The cab end crush

      zone performed as intended because the locomotive coupler

      pushed underneath the cab car buffer beam, and the deformable

      anti-climber engaged the uneven geometry of the locomotive

      anti-climber and short hood. Space was preserved for the

      operator as the cab end crush zone collapsed.

      The coupled interfaces performed as predicted by the

      analysis and previous testing. The conventional interlocking

      anti-climbers engaged after the pushback couplers triggered

      and absorbed the prescribed amount of energy. Load was

      transferred through the integrated end frame, and progressive

      controlled collapsed was contained to the energy absorbers at

      the roof and floor level. The results of this full-scale test have

      clearly demonstrated the significant enhancement in safety for

      passengers and crew members involved in a push mode

      collision with a standing locomotive train.

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