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Validation of the Space for Accommodating Wheeled Mobility Devices on Accessible Passenger Rail Cars

[+] Author Affiliations
Kate Hunter-Zaworski, Friederich Berthelsdorf

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Melissa Shurland

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Paper No. JRC2015-5627, pp. V001T08A002; 6 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 overall project objectives included the development of accessibility specifications for the single and bi-level cars that can be used by the rail manufacturing industry to produce vehicles for HSR passenger rail. The specific objective included developing “virtual” models of space to accommodate wheeled mobility devices without sacrificing revenue seating. The “virtual” models developed permit both calibration and validation of the recommendations that were submitted to the PRIIA accessibility working group. The working group requested that prior to acceptance of the recommendations that they be validated and calibrated. The use of “virtual” validation tools and models permitted the development, validation and calibration of different spatial configurations and different types of wheeled mobility devices prior to full scale testing. The design wheeled mobility device was a power base. Unoccupied larger scooters were also evaluated for stowage with the assumption that scooter users would transfer to regular train seats.

This project extends the work undertaken in the development of the draft specifications for the Accessibility Working Group. The draft specifications incorporate the increase in the size of both the wheeled mobility devices and occupants as a reflection of the changes in population demographics. The validation work has used the Acela cars to serve as base models for the 2-D and 3-D renderings. These designs are optimized, validated, and calibrated with manikins that represent the 5th and 95th percentile populations on large wheeled mobility devices including; sport manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and four wheeled scooters that meet the 30 inch wide by 54 inch long footprint. The large scooter that meets the 30 inch by 54 inch long footprint does not fit inside the accessible restrooms and also compromises seating space in the coach. The powerbase and manual wheelchairs work the current Acela trainsets.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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