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Crashworthiness Analysis of the January 26, 2005 Glendale, California Rail Collision

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel Parent, David Tyrell, Karina Jacobsen, Kristine Severson

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center/U.S. DOT, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. JRC2011-56132, pp. 589-598; 10 pages
  • 2011 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2011 Joint Rail Conference
  • Pueblo, Colorado, USA, March 16–18, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5459-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3893-8


In Glendale, California on January 26, 2005, impact with an SUV on the track caused a southbound commuter train to derail, impact a standing freight train, buckle laterally outward, and rake the side of a northbound commuter train. Significant deformation resulted in the front of the southbound train and the side of the northbound train. There were a total of eleven fatalities and over one hundred injuries. This incident was investigated as a part of an ongoing field study of occupant injury in passenger train collisions and derailments currently being conducted by the United States (US) Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Rail Accident Forensic Team in support of the Equipment Safety Research Program of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The Forensic Team determined that the primary causal mechanism of injuries and fatalities in the Glendale incident was the loss of occupied volume of the passenger cars brought about by severe structural deformation.



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