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Railway Vehicle Interior Crash Safety Standard – The Missing link?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emmanuel Matsika, Professor Mark RobinsonORCiD, Conor O'Neill


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Crash Energy Management (CEM) in general has been applied to the railway industry to minimise the crash energy that reaches the passenger compartment. This has been achieved by designing vehicles with energy absorbing front end components to minimise the impact of primary collision. Such interventions have resulted in reduction of peak crash pulse from as high as 15g to 5g, as stipulated by new standards such as the European Commission EN 15527. While new crash standards have successfully reduced the crash pulse, injuries created by secondary collision remain high. Fatal and severe injuries are not uncommon as observed in recent train crashes. This indicates that a reduction in the primary collision pulse alone does not guarantee an elimination of severe injuries. Unlike road vehicles where occupant restraint is usually mandatory, there exists no such requirement for railway vehicles, worldwide. Therefore, when a train crashes, occupants become unguided missiles that could collide with the vehicle interior in a phenomenon called secondary collision. The characteristics of such a collision determine the injury mechanism and severity. The most common secondary collision objects (SCO) include seats, partitions, grab handles and tables. This paper presents an analysis of injury mechanisms arising from secondary collision when a constant primary collision pulse of 5g with a velocity change of 5m/s is applied as stipulated by the EN 15527. LS DYNA 3D is applied for crash simulations, while a 50th percentile ATD represents an occupant. Secondary collision objects considered were partition, grab pole and fixed bay table. Based on the results of potential injury mechanisms and severity, recommendations are made on the design of railway vehicle interiors with the aim of reducing occupant injuries. Further, recommendations are made for an interior safety standard.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Matsika E, Robinson AM, O'Neill C, Peng Q, Zhou Z

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The 12th International Forum of Automotive Traffic Safety (INFATS)

Year of Conference: 2015

Acceptance date: 20/11/2015