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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

Interior Occupant Protection

This aspect of the research focuses on ensuring that passengers and crew members can safely ride out a collision or derailment event. To do so, it is necessary to minimize the secondary impact forces that occupants experience as they strike interior surfaces to survivable levels. One key strategy applied is ensuring that occupants remain compartmentalized in defined volumes and that surfaces are designed to absorb energy while displacing. Attachment strength is critical to maintaining safe seating volumes. The various tasks under this program will be conducted with and prompt industry input. Results will be presented in various forums for immediate feedback and technical reports will provide the required detail to implement any proposed design changes to existing interiors or the functionality of new designs.

Current Projects:

Alternative Workstation Tables Standards Development

The objective of this effort is the development of alternative workstation table designs to minimize the likelihood of occupant injury in the event of a passenger rail collision. 

Improved Seat Standards Development

Apply knowledge gained from design of an optimized three-passenger commuter seat to develop enhanced seat standards for use in CEM-equipped cars. Additionally, the research will define injury criteria levels appropriate for passenger rail use and strength requirements for seat attachments to the floor and side-walls.

Improved Cab-car operator Protection Design Development:

A strategy has been proposed for protecting locomotive operators during accidents, using two inflatable tubular structures attached to the cab interior to form a “V” when deployed, and a deformable pad attached to the front wall. 

Development of Revised Sled Test Requirements

The objectives of this effort are to compare simulation model predictions with test measurements of the response of test dummies during the full-scale tests, to evaluate the influence of the lateral and vertical car motions, seat position inside the car, and occupant size on occupant response, and to compare current rail passenger seat sled test procedures with the occupant environment and test dummy response measured in the full-scale tests.

Completed Projects: