Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Impact Test of a Crash-Energy Management Passenger Rail Car

[+] Author Affiliations
Karina Jacobsen, David Tyrell

U.S. Department of Transportation, Cambridge, MA

Benjamin Perlman

Tufts University, Medford, MA

Paper No. RTD2004-66045, pp. 19-26; 8 pages
  • ASME/IEEE 2004 Joint Rail Conference
  • Joint Rail
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 6–8, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4163-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


On December 3, 2003, a single-car impact test was conducted to assess the crashworthiness performance of a modified passenger rail car. A coach car retrofitted with a Crash Energy Management (CEM) end structure impacted a fixed barrier at approximately 35 mph. This speed is just beyond the capabilities of current equipment to protect the occupants. The test vehicle was instrumented with accelerometers, string potentiometers, and strain gages to measure the gross motions of the car body in three dimensions, the deformation of specific structural components, and the force/crush characteristic of the impacted end of the vehicle. The CEM crush zone is characterized by three structural components: a pushback coupler, a sliding sill (triggering the primary energy absorbers), and roof absorbers. These structural mechanisms guide the impact load and consequent crush through the end structure in a prescribed sequence. Pre-test activities included quasi-static and dynamic component testing, development of finite element and collision dynamics models and quasi-static strength tests of the end frame. These tests helped verify the predicted structural deformation of each component, estimate a force-crush curve for the crush zone, predict the gross motions of the car body, and determine instrumentation and test conditions for the impact test. During the test, the passenger car sustained approximately three feet of crush. In contrast to the test of the conventional passenger equipment, the crush imparted on the CEM vehicle did not intrude into the passenger compartment. However, as anticipated the car experienced higher accelerations than the conventional passenger car. Overall, the test results for the gross motions of the car are in close agreement. The measurements made from both tests show that the CEM design has improved crashworthiness performance over the conventional design. A two-car test will be performed to study the coupled interaction of CEM vehicles as well as the occupant environment. The train-to-train test results are expected to show that the crush is passed sequentially down the interfaces of the cars, consequently preserving occupant volume.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Impact testing , Rails



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In