Locomotive Crash Energy Management Coupling Tests

Research to develop new technologies for increasing the safety of passengers and crew in rail equipment is being directed by the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. Crash energy management (CEM) components which can be integrated into the end structure of a locomotive have been developed: a push-back coupler (PBC) and a deformable anti-climber. These components are designed to inhibit override in the event of a collision. Concerns have been raised in discussions with industry that PBC may trigger prematurely, and may require replacement due to unintentional activation as a result of service loads. PBC are designed with trigger loads meant to exceed the expected maximum service loads experienced by conventional couplers. Analytical models are typically used to determine these required trigger loads. Two sets of coupling tests are planned to demonstrate this, one with a conventional locomotive equipped with conventional draft gear and coupler, and another with a conventional locomotive retrofit with a PBC. These tests will allow a performance comparison of a conventional locomotive with a CEM-equipped locomotive during coupling. The coupling tests of a conventional locomotive have been conducted, the results of which compared favorably with pre-test predictions. In the coupling tests of a CEM-equipped locomotive, the coupling speed for which the PBC triggers will be measured. A moving, CEM-equipped locomotive will be coupled to a standing cab car. The coupling speed for the first test will be low, approximately 2 mph. The test will then be repeated with the speed increasing incrementally until the PBC triggers. This paper describes the fabrication, retrofit, test requirements, and analysis predictions for the CEM coupling tests. The equipment to be tested, track conditions, test procedures, and measurements to be made are described. A model for predicting the longitudinal forces acting on the equipment and couplers has been developed, along with preliminary predictions for the CEM coupling tests.


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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 10p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01636702
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 30 2017 8:24AM