Interest in high-speed passenger rail has increased recently. The potential for collisions at increased speeds has renewed concerns about the crashworthiness of passenger rail vehicles. Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative strategies for providing for the crashworthiness of the vehicle structures and interiors at increased collision speeds. Conventional practice has resulted in cars of essentially uniform longitudinal strength. This approach has been found to be effective for train-to-train collision speeds of up to 31 m/sec (70 mph). This uniform strength causes the structural crushing of the train to proceed uniformly through both the unoccupied and occupied areas of the train. The crash energy management approach results in varying longitudinal strength, with high strength in the occupied areas and lower strength in the unoccupied areas. This approach attempts to distribute the structural crushing throughout the train to the unoccupied areas to preserve the occupant volumes and to limit the decelerations of the cars. The crash energy management approach has been found to offer significant benefits for higher-speed collisions. The interior crashworthiness analysis evaluated the influence of interior configuration and occupant restraint on fatalities resulting from occupant motions during a collision. For a sufficiently gentle train deceleration, compartmentalization (a strategy for providing a "friendly" interior) can provide sufficient occupant protection to keep accepted injury criteria below the threshold values applied by the automotive industry. The use of seat belts and shoulder restraints reduces the likelihood of fatalities due to deceleration to near-certain survival for even the most severe collision conditions considered.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 50-58
  • Monograph Title: Railroad Transportation Research
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00714805
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061555
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1995 12:00AM