Switchyard mishaps have occurred that have caused tank car head punctures and resulting loss of hazardous material. In some cases, flammable compressed gas is released and floods the yard. Moments later, it reaches a point of ignition with resulting catastrophic burning. These punctures are generally caused by empty freight cars with short truck centers and high centers of gravity. This Phase 15 test program was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of head shields, shelf couplers and a combination of head shields and shelf couplers toward reducing the vulnerability of tank car heads to puncture in this situation. This report details the full-scale destructive tests of 23 tank cars and 15 hopper cars under several possible conditions that can develop in a switchyard environment. Discussed also are: a description of car behavior under severe impacts; the influence on puncture vulnerability of head-to-sill attachment details and the failure of cars to couple, that can lead to loose car situations.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183715
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Railroads Technical Center
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RA-15-1-40 Res Rpt., AAR R-304
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1978 12:00AM