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Improving Collision Post Crashworthiness of Legacy Locomotives

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeff Gordon

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Srini Swamy, Sabri Cakdi, Matthew Radovich, Anand Prabhakaran, Som P. Singh

Sharma & Associates Inc., Countryside, IL

Paper No. JRC2018-6201, pp. V001T02A008; 11 pages
  • 2018 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2018 Joint Rail Conference
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, April 18–20, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5097-8
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Modern freight locomotives are built to crashworthiness standards that are defined in Subpart D of Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 229 and Association of American Railroads (AAR) S-580 standards [1, 2]. The first freight locomotive crashworthiness standard, AAR S-580, was released in 1989 and became effective as of August 1990 [3]. Locomotives that were manufactured before the 1990, so-called “legacy”, lack the crew protection offered by the modern “crashworthy” locomotives [4]. While legacy locomotives, such as narrow-nose designs that were manufactured before 1990s, are generally relegated to non-lead locomotive service in Class I railroads, these units are sometimes used in mainline service. Even though the number of narrow-nose locomotives has declined, there remains a risk of injuries and fatalities for the crew for the next several years.

The scope of this study is the following;

• The assessment of injuries and fatalities from collisions involving legacy locomotives,

• The crashworthiness evaluation of collision posts for a sample legacy (narrow-nose, legacy) locomotive assembled in the 1960s and rebuilt in 2001,

• Analysis of alternative collision post designs to meet and exceed the collision post requirements in the 2001 version of AAR S-580.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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