Technical Reports

FRA Two Car Impact Test

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 2000
AUTHOR: Dr. Barrie Brickle
SUBJECT: Crashworthiness - Passenger Equipment
KEYWORDS: Impact Test, Commuter Rail Passenger Car, Computational and Kinematic Models, Speed
ABSTRACT: Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads, performed a full-scale impact test at the Federal Railroad Administration's Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado. The April4, 2000 test was performed using two Budd Company Pioneer-type commuter passenger cars coupled together. The purpose of the test was to measure strains, accelerations, and displacements during the impact and validate the computational and kinematic models of the vehicle impacting a rigid barrier. The test also showed the influence of the lead car on the secondary environment of the trailing car. Other test objectives were to determine the crash-force pulse shape throughout the vehicle and to provide a greater understanding of occupant kinematics in crash situations. Simula Technologies Inc. provided the occupant kinematic experiments, including a number of instrumented Anthropomorphic Test Devices in different seat configurations. This report describes the test cars and the methodology used to carry out the impact test, together with a description of all the instrumentation used to measure the structural deformation of the car during the impact. The impact was recorded by a number of high speed film and video cameras. The report contains a description of the cameras used, their position, and the subsequent film analysis carried out to measure the displacement and velocity of the test cars during the impact. The strain, acceleration, velocity, and displacement time histories from all the transducers, during the impact, are presented in the report including the load/time history in the coupler. The speed of the test cars at impact with the rigid barrier was 26.25 mph and the amount of crush of the lead car was about 5.5 feet.