The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was created by the Department ofTransportation Act of 1966. It is one of ten agencies within the U.S. Department ofTransportation concerned with intermodal transportation. FRA promotes safe,environmentally sound, successful railroad transportation to meet the needs of all customers today and tomorrow.
FRA's Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the Nation's railroad industry. The office executes its regulatory and inspection responsibilities through a diverse staff of railroad safety experts.
The Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for working with stakeholders to develop cohesive goals and policies for maintaining and improving the U.S. freight and passenger rail networks. This section covers various efforts across America and the world in helping to deliver safe, reliable, and efficient rail transportation.
FRA Research & Development (R&D) projects contribute to the FRA's safety regulatory processes, to railroad suppliers, to railroads involved in the transportation of freight, intercity passengers, commuters, and to railroad employees and their labor organizations.
In this section, we provide descriptions and comprehensive, official sources for FRA's regulations (also called rules), selected legislation, as well as policy and guidance documents. Additionally, you will find current topics of high interest or significant impact to Congress, railroads, employees, labor, public interest groups and other stakeholders.
FRA supports passenger and freight railroading through a variety of competitive grant, dedicated grant, and loan programs to develop safety improvements, relieve congestion, and encourage the expansion and upgrade of passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services. FRA also provides training and technical assistance to grantees and stakeholders.
Crashworthiness Testing of Amtrak’s traditional Coach Set Safety of High-Speed Ground Transportation Systems
AUTHOR: D. Tyrell, K. Severson OFFICE: RPD REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-96/08 KEYWORDS: Transportation, safety, crashworthiness, human injury criteria, traditional seat, 3rd generation seats, highspeed ABSTRACT: Tests have been conducted on Amtrak’s traditional passenger seat to evaluate its performance under static and dynamic loading conditions. Quasi-static tests have been conducted to establish the load-deflection characteristics of the seat. Dynamic tests of selected collision conditions have been also conducted with instrumented Hybrid III dummies to evaluated the collision performance of the seat and to verify the analytic simulation tools. This report describes the results of the crashworthiness testing of Amtrak’s traditional seats.
The quasi-static testing indicates that the seats are sufficiently strong to withstand the occupant loads predicted from the computer simulation. However, in dynamic tests with a triangular crash pulse peak higher than 5 g’s, the seat attachments are prone to failure, particularly at the wall mount. The dynamic test failures were possibly due to the inertial effects of the seat, which were not present during the static tests.
Injury criteria measured and calculated from the dummies included Head Injury Criteria (HIC), chest deceleration, axial compressive neck load, and femur load. The injury criteria for all seven dynamic tests were within the acceptable human tolerance levels as specified in standards by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The dummy’s head and chest deceleration time histories and injury criteria from the dynamic tests have been compared with the results of simulations corresponding to each of the seven dynamic tests. These comparisons demonstrate a reasonable agreement between the analytic predictions and the dynamic test results, given the variability in the effective stiffness of the seats under different loading conditions