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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Crash Energy Management Projects

Crash Energy Management The purpose of this project is to develop design data to improve the crashworthiness of passenger vehicles. A series of analyses and tests, involving different collision scenarios, are used to verify computer models and evaluate the possible changes of cab and car structures to improve the safety of crew and passengers. Several design concepts of crash energy management (CEM) have been evaluated. The chosen design causes the collision energy to be absorbed by a series of components with known structural characteristics. The application of CEM to passenger rail equipment has been demonstrated in the full-scale train-to-train impact test between a CEM equipped cab car led passenger consist with a locomotive led consist of equal weight. The objectives of the test were to demonstrate the effectiveness of the CEM equipment in preserving a safe volume, while keeping the equipment in-line and on the track.

Passenger Locomotive Crush Zone Design

The objective of this effort is an engineering model design of a passenger locomotive end structure that will crush in a controlled manner during an impact. The end structure shall include a coupling system that allows the ends of coupled equipment to meet before lateral buckling or override occurs, and shall also incorporate structural elements that absorb collision energy.

Collision Dynamics of CEM Equipment in Oblique Collision

The objective of this task is to determine the limits of impacting CEM equipment traversing a switch. Several train-to-train collisions have occurred at track switch locations.

Development of In-train Forces in Passenger Operations

There is a significant need for the development of typical in-line train forces during regular train operations to provide fatigue loading spectra for different train make-ups, especially those that incorporate CEM technology.

Glazing System Performance Study

FRA, in conjunction with key industry stakeholders, has conducted significant testing of glazing systems to refine standards for three impact conditions of interest: ballistic impacts, large object impacts, and small object impacts. There is a pressing need to revisit and revise the current glazing federal requirements to a set of simple standards that provide repeatable results that can be easily analyzed . 

Completed Projects: