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Improving the Safety Performance of Passenger Rail Car Glazing Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeffrey Gordon

Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

David Tyrell, Patricia Llana

Volpe Center, Cambridge, MA

Matthew Radovich, Florentina M. Gantoi, Andrew Robitaille, Anand Prabhakaran

Sharma & Associates, Inc., Countryside, IL

Paper No. JRC2018-6224, pp. V001T06A013; 8 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


A review of past accident data shows that several fatalities have been attributed to passenger ejection through window openings during passenger train accidents. To study and address this issue, literature review and accident analyses were performed to investigate the safety aspects of passenger rail window glazing. A common failure mode is when the external gaskets that hold the glazing pane in place shear off and the windows are pushed inside the carbody during rollover derailments. This leads to passengers being ejected, often fatally, out of the train. Passenger containment was identified as the main improvement to be made to glazing systems. New or updated retention methods are thought to be necessary in the pursuit of safety.

Considering feasibility, implementation time, likelihood of success, and the potential for retrofit, a few concepts including various methods of zip-strip protection, a revised zip-strip location, and recessed window glazing have been ideated and the top rated concepts are being developed further.

In the next phase of work, field tests and additional analyses will help determine the efficacy of the proposed solutions and the necessity for additional engineering design requirements.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Safety , Rails



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