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Dynamic and Quasi-Static Grade Crossing Collision Tests

[+] Author Affiliations
Michelle Mühlanger, Patricia Llana, David Tyrell

U.S. Department of Transportation, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. JRC2009-63035, pp. 115-125; 11 pages
  • 2009 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2009 Joint Rail Conference
  • Pueblo, Colorado, USA, March 4–5, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4338-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3842-6


To support the development of a proposed rule [1], a full-scale dynamic test and two full-scale quasi-static tests have been performed on the posts of a state-of-the-art (SOA) end frame. These tests were designed to evaluate the dynamic and quasi-static methods for demonstrating energy absorption of the collision and corner posts. The tests focused on the collision and corner posts individually because of their critical positions in protecting the operator and passengers in a collision where only the superstructure, not the underframe, is loaded. There are many examples of collisions where only the superstructure is loaded. For the dynamic test, a 14,000-lb cart impacted a standing cab car at a speed of 18.7 mph. The cart had a rigid striking surface in the shape of a coil mounted on the leading end that concentrated the impact load on the collision post. During the dynamic test the collision post deformed approximately 7.5 inches, and absorbed approximately 137,000 ft-lbs of energy. The SOA collision post was successful in preserving space for the operators and the passengers. For the quasi-static test of the collision post, the collision post was loaded in the same location and with the same fixture as the dynamic test. The post absorbed approximately 110,000 ft-lb of energy in 10 inches of permanent, longitudinal deformation. For the quasi-static test of the corner post, the post was loaded at the same height as the collision post, with the same fixture. The corner post absorbed 136,000 ft-lb of energy in 10 inches of permanent, longitudinal deformation. The series of tests was designed to compare the dynamic and quasi-static methods for measuring collision energy absorption during structural deformation as a measure of crashworthiness. When properly implemented, either a dynamic or quasi-static test can demonstrate the crashworthiness of an end frame.



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