This article describes British Rail's (BR's) recently completed three-year crashworthiness programme into methods of preventing vehicle override and minimising structural collapse in colliding trains. Near the end of the programme, four instrumented collision tests were conducted on a straight section of BR's test track at Widmerpool. In the first two tests, a 35t vehicle at 60kph hit a stationary 35t vehicle; the aim was to test the effectiveness of various remedies to prevent overriding, including anti-climbers and collapsible vehicle ends. Two further tests, using two rakes each comprising five 35t vehicles, were conducted to show the practicality of designing each vehicle to absorb its own collision energy, so that it could distribute collapse along the train. The vehicle end design was analysed and optimised, using non-linear finite element techniques. The tests fully validated BR's approach to vehicle design, in terms of preventing override and extensive collapse of colliding rail vehicles. Further research is needed, to investigate the effect of energy absorption in trains with vehicles of variable mass.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation

    345 Hudson Street
    New York, NY  United States  10014
  • Authors:
    • Lewis, J
  • Publication Date: 1995-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 30-1
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00713446
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 22 1995 12:00AM