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Train-to-Train Impact Test: Analysis of Structural Measurements

[+] Author Affiliations
David Tyrell, Kristine Severson

U.S. Department of Transportation, Cambridge, MA

A. Benjamin Perlman

Tufts University, Medford, MA

Robert Rancatore

TIAX, LLC, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33247, pp. 109-115; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2002-33247
From:
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Rail Transportation
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3646-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME

abstract

This paper describes the results of the train-to-train impact test conducted at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado on January 31, 2002. In this test, a cab car-led train, initially moving at 30 mph, collided with a standing locomotive-led train. The initially moving train included a cab car, three coach cars, and a trailing locomotive, while the initially standing train included a locomotive and two open-top hopper cars. The hopper cars were ballasted with earth such that the two trains weighed the same, approximately 635 kips each. The cars were instrumented with strain gauges, accelerometers, and string potentiometers, to measure the deformation of critical structural elements, the longitudinal, vertical, and lateral car body accelerations, and the displacements of the truck suspensions. The test included test dummies in the operator’s seat of the impacted locomotive, in forward-facing conventional commuter passenger seats in the cab car and first coach car, and in intercity passenger seats modified with lap and shoulder belts in the first coach car. During the train-to-train test, the cab car overrode the locomotive; the underframe of the cab car sustained approximately 22 feet of crush and the first three coupled connections sawtooth buckled. The short hood of the locomotive remained essentially intact, while there was approximately 12 inches of crush of the windshield center post. There was nearly no damage to the other equipment used in the test. The measured response of the trains compare closely with predictions made with simulation models.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME

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