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Multi Level Boarding Bi-Level Commuter Car for North American Market

[+] Author Affiliations
Radovan Sarunac

Booz Allen Hamilton, Arlington, VA

Terry B. Soesbee

RailPlan International, Inc., Baltimore, MD

Shin-Ichiro Ohta

Kawasaki HI, Ltd., Kobe, Japan

Paper No. RTD2004-66019, pp. 177-186; 10 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


A multilevel boarding version (low and high level platform boarding) of the bi-level commuter car for the North American market has been developed. The major challenge of the bi-level carbody design with the high and lower boarding access, i.e., passenger doors, is the side sill interruption at the lower level. The side sill is the main structural member (beside the center sill) that transmits the longitudinal load from the one end of the car to the other end. Since the side sill is interrupted by placing lower level passenger doors the alternative load path had to be designed. Originally, a solution similar to the one used on the California bi-level car was considered. However, due to major differences in the equipment arrangement and seating plan, an alternative design was developed. Consequently, the LIRR carbody type was chosen, with the exception that the lower body section between bolsters, “fish belly” was similar to the MARC III section. The specific goal and the first step were to study and confirm the feasibility of the concept. As a good engineering practice, prior to the initiation of any major carbody design, a preliminary structural analysis was provided. The worst-case structural scenarios regarding door and window locations were considered. Preliminary structural analysis included linear, static, finite element carbody analysis for various loads and loads requirements defined. This study summarizes the results of the analyses for each load case. The study also comprises the investigation and applicability of the relevant laws and requirements for Tier-I passenger equipment with specific emphasis to the Bi-level car. The applicability of the Code of Federal Regulations, 49 CFR, Transportation, Parts 200 to 399 and American Public Transit Association (APTA) Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices for Rail Passenger Equipment was investigated in detail. Relevant laws, standards, and requirements for Tier-I passenger equipment were identified, categorized and prioritized. Based on the relevant standards, feasibility analysis was performed for the most demanding design. Stress contour and deflection plots from the finite element analyses are provided only for the worst-case direction for a given loading scenario. Floor and seating plans accommodating the multilevel boarding options were developed.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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