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Development of a Prototype Retrofit Bumper for Improved Light Rail Vehicle Safety

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert A. MacNeill, Steven W. Kirkpatrick, Robert T. Bocchieri

Applied Research Associates, Inc., Los Altos, CA

Glenn Gough

Siemens Industry, Inc., Sacramento, CA

Paper No. JRC2015-5810, pp. V001T06A020; 8 pages
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • San Jose, California, USA, March 23–26, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5645-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


The design development and analysis of a novel Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) end-mounted bumper concept is described. The purpose of the bumper is to improve crash compatibility of LRVs with shared right of way road vehicle traffic. Under a grant from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Transit IDEA program, the present project builds on previous Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sponsored work by adapting a generic conceptual retrofit bumper design onto the CAF LRV currently in service with Sacramento Regional Transit (RT). The bumper system is designed to reduce the severity of collisions and to reduce injuries for passengers in the struck vehicles. The reusable bumper is also designed to survive common collision scenarios, thereby minimizing service interruptions and downtime. The adapted design takes into account the geometry, necessary clearances, and other requirements of the RT CAF LRV while also incorporating the lessons learned from the original bumper concept optimization. Detailed nonlinear finite element crash analysis was used to evaluate the adapted design for a suite of common collision scenarios. The efficacy of the bumper system was evaluated through struck vehicle occupant injury assessments. The analysis has shown significantly improved crash performance for the adapted bumper system compared to the current LRV configuration without a bumper. Ongoing effort and future plans in pursuit of fielding the system are discussed.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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