Collision Safety Improvements for Light Rail Vehicles Operating in Shared Right of Way Street Environments

The majority of fatalities that occur from light rail vehicle (LRV) operations are occupants of automobiles that are struck by the LRVs. Recent developments of crashworthiness standards for LRVs by the American Society of mechanical Engineers (ASME) Rail Transit Vehicle Standards Committee included consideration of a wide variety of crash scenarios including collisions between LRVs and street running automobiles. The requirements included in the standard are primarily to create an enclosed front end geometry where the struck vehicle will not be entrapped or overridden. A smooth enclosed front end profile is a primary requirement for improving the compatibility of LRVs with automobiles. The focus of this study was to investigate the potential for reducing injuries to automobile occupants struck by LRVs with the addition of appropriate front-end structures. In particular, a prototype bumper system design with an improved profile and segmented energy-absorbing corner bumpers was developed. The technical approach for this project was focused on assessing detailed injuries from an unbelted Side Impact Dummy (SID) using detailed nonlinear dynamic finite element simulations. Impact conditions focused on normal (90 degrees) and oblique (45 degrees) impacts. The resulting bumpers suitable for retrofit on LRVs showed marked improvements to automobile passenger safety for a variety of automobile types.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Applied Research Associates, Incorporated

    2672 Bayshore Parkway, Suite 1035
    Mountain View, CA  United States  94043

    Siemens Transportation Systems Inc.

    7308 Hayward Drive
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95828

    Federal Transit Administration

    Office of Technology, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Bocchieri, Robert T
    • Kirkpatrick, Steven W
    • MacNeill, Robert
    • Navarro-Northrup, Claudia
    • Peterson, Brian
    • Gough, Glenn
  • Publication Date: 2009-9-30


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 66p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01148568
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FTA-CA-26-7007.2010.1
  • Contract Numbers: CA-26-7007-00 (Grant)
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 7 2010 10:16AM