Yard Impact Test of a Tank Car

Fractures in the stub sills of tank cars pose a significant problem for the rail industry due to the potential for damage to the tank structure that can lead to a release of the contents. Previous research studies revealed that high magnitude coupling forces that occur in yard operations have the potential to exceed yield limits of mild steel and initiate stub sill damage. In 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA's) Office of Research, Development and Technology conducted a series of impact tests for different car configurations at various coupling speeds to better understand the load environment of tank cars during yard operations, and to identify hazardous operating scenarios. More than 700 impact tests were conducted. For each impact test, 40 data channels comprised of acceleration, force, speed, and strain data were recorded. This report presents the analysis of impact test data. The analysis considered longitudinal coupler forces as well as transferred energy between cars during yard operations for different draft gear types. The statistical analysis revealed that the peak longitudinal coupler force is mostly influenced by coupling speed and draft gear type, not configurations of loaded and empty cars. However, the impulse at the impact that is used as a measure of transferred energy between cars is largely dependent on configurations of loaded and empty cars as opposed to draft gear type.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
    • Research Results
    • Issue Number: RR 19-17
    • Publisher: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01714870
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Aug 20 2019 8:06AM