Technical Reports

Single Passenger Rail Car Impact Test Volume II: Summary of Occupant Protection Program

  • 01
  • Mar
  • 2000
AUTHOR: Caroline VanIngen-Dunn
ABSTRACT: A test in which a single rail passenger car was crashed into a fixed wall at 35 mph was conducted at the Transportation Technology Center on November 16, 1999. The car was instrumented to measure (1) the deformations of critical structural elements, (2) the vertical, lateral, and longitudinal deceleration of the carbody and trucks, and (3) displacements of suspension systems. The objective of the interior tests was to determine the corresponding level of occupant safety for that impact scenario. Several interior configurations were tested with the appropriate data acquisition technology and quantified occupant injury parameters and seat strength characteristics. The car was equipped with anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) in the following three arrangements: (1) Forward-facing unrestrained occupants seated in rows, compartmentalized by the forward seat in order to limit the motions of the occupants; (2) Forward-facing restrained occupants with lap and shoulder belts; (3) Rear-facing unrestrained occupants. The principal goal of this full-scale rail car impact test and the overall test program was to obtain scientific data that define a realistic rail car crash pulse, structural response, and corresponding level of occupant safety.