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.
Commuter Rail Seat Testing and Analysis of Facing Seats
AUTHOR: Caroline VanIngen-Dunn OFFICE: RPD REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-03/06 SUBJECT: Passenger Rail ABSTRACT: Tests have been conducted on the Bombardier back-to-back commuter rail seat in a facing-seat configuration to evaluate its
performance under static and dynamic loading conditions. Quasi-static tests have been conducted to establish the load-deflection
characteristics and failure mechanisms of the seat. Dynamic tests have also been conducted with 50th and 95th percentile male, and
5th percentile female instrumented Hybrid III anthropometric test devices (ATDs) to evaluate the collision performance of the seat
and a table, and to verify analytical simulation models of the seat/occupant. Reasonable agreement between analytical predictions
and dynamic test results was found, given the variability in the stiffness of the seats under different loading conditions.
The quasi-static test results show that the seats are sufficiently strong to withstand the loads predicted from computer simulations,
but the dynamic tests resulted in partial or complete failure of the seat back across the base of the headrest. The injury criteria
measured from the dynamic tests for the head, chest, and femur were within the acceptable human tolerance levels as specified in
standards by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), however, the measured neck loads exceeded NHTSA
neck injury criteria in all but the test with a table between seat pairs.