Analysis of collision safety associated with CEM and conventional cars mixed within a consist

Analysis of collision safety associated with CEM and conventional cars mixed within a consist

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    Proceedings of the ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition
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  • Abstract:
    collision dynamics model of a passenger train-to-passenger train collision has been developed to simulate the potential safety hazards and benefits associated with mixing conventional and crash energy management (CEM) cars within a consist. This paper presents a comparison of estimated injuries and fatalities for seven collision scenarios based upon the variable mix of conventional and CEM cars. Based on the analysis results, recommended car placement when mixing cars within a consist is identified. The model includes a 6 car cab car-led consist colliding with a 6 car locomotive-led stationary consist. The stationary consist is made up of all conventional cars. The moving consist has a variable mix of conventional and CEM cars. For comparison, the bounding scenarios are: - a moving consist with all conventional cars, and - a moving consist with all CEM cars. The collision speed ranges from 15 to 35 mph. Since the two car designs behave differently under impact conditions, there is a concern that there may be hazards associated with mixing the two designs in the same consist. In none of the cases evaluated is the mixed consist less crashworthy than the conventional consist. The modeling results indicate that the least crashworthy consists are ones in which a conventional cab car is leading any combination of vehicles. The conventional cab car incurs nearly all the damage and prevents trailing cars from participating in energy absorption, whether they are conventional or CEM. The most crashworthy consists are ones in which a CEM cab is leading. The CEM cab can absorb a significant amount of energy without intruding into the occupied volume. The CEM cab also allows trailing cars to participate in energy absorption, which provides further occupant protection. The recommended strategy for car placement is to put the CEM car(s) at the leading end(s) and the conventional car(s) at the trailing end or in the middle of the consist in push-pull operation. There is also significant benefit to placing the seats in the leading CEM car or two so they are rear-facing. Rear-facing seats can reduce the severity of secondary impact injuries because the occupant is already in contact with the seat in the direction of travel and does not develop a significant velocity relative to the seat.
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