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Two-Car Impact Test of Crash-Energy Management Passenger Rail Cars: Analysis of Occupant Protection Measurements

[+] Author Affiliations
Kristine J. Severson, Daniel P. Parent, David C. Tyrell

U.S. Department of Transportation

Paper No. IMECE2004-61249, pp. 87-96; 10 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Rail Transportation
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4719-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


As a part of ongoing passenger rail equipment safety research, a full-scale impact test of two cars with energy absorbing end structures was carried out on February 26, 2004. In this test, two coupled cars impacted a rigid barrier at 29 mph. Similar to previous full-scale tests in the series [1,2,3], anthropomorphic test devices (or ATDs) were included on the rail cars to measure the occupant response during the collision. These ATDs were instrumented with accelerometers and load cells to measure the injury risk to the occupants. This paper presents preliminary tests results. Five occupant experiments were included in the two-car test. Three of the experiments were similar to those conducted on the two-car test of conventional equipment that was held on April 4, 2000: forward-facing occupants in inter-city seats, forward-facing occupants in commuter seats, and rear-facing occupants in commuter seats. Two of the experiments examine the interaction of an occupant with a workstation table in a facing-seat configuration. These two tests used experimental ATDs with an increased capacity for recording abdominal impact response. To aid the analysis of this problem, MADYMO computer models were developed for four of the five of the occupant experiments. The models were either modified from earlier simulations, in the case of the commuter seats, or newly developed, in the case of the inter-city seats and table experiment with THOR ATD. The models were validated based on previous tests and/or accident data. Predictions of the ATD response agree closely for the overall kinematics of the ATDs, and for many of the measurements made with the ATDs in the full-scale test.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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