View Full Version : Locomotive Crashworthiness

09-16-2006, 08:21 PM
Since 1990 all new road locomotives manufactured for the US have been built to AAR specification S-580. (Thicker nose steel, stronger collision posts, stronger anticlimber). That is one of the reasons for the proliferation of "wide nose" units (and one of the reasons few 4-axle road units are being manufactured - due to weight restrictions.

The FRA continues research and newer standards have recently been established for new production. Here you can see several movie clips of an SP SD45T-2 (with modified cab) being sacrificed in a crash test. The locomotive is no longer operable but was pushed up to the prescribed speed and then allowed to roll into the crash testing set up.


Similar work goes on in passenger locomotives and cab cars.

John Fladung
09-16-2006, 10:39 PM
Those videos are unreal. Wow. Great information on that page.

09-17-2006, 04:59 AM
Looks like an RCO switching move! :))

09-17-2006, 02:47 PM
Looks like an RCO switching move! :))
Now behave. RCL operations are generally restricted to 20 mph. The log truck test was 50 mph. The test is noteworthy as log truck colisions frequently cause debris to enter the cab via the windshield area.

09-17-2006, 02:51 PM
Looks like an RCO switching move! :))

LMAO!! Now that's funny, right there. That's funnier'n watchin midgets run track.

09-17-2006, 07:45 PM
Now behave. RCL operations are generally restricted to 20 mph. The log truck test was 50 mph. The test is noteworthy as log truck colisions frequently cause debris to enter the cab via the windshield area.

A remote engine is goverened at 15 mph actually. But anywere a RCO is going to be used will be made in compliance to the rules for restricted speed (6.27) or movements made on other than main track (6.28 ). The maximum speed to be used at restricted speed is 20 mph.

My personal nightmare is hiting a tanker truck with gasoline. It would be like hiting a giant malatov cocktail.

09-18-2006, 10:16 PM
Interesting videos. Too bad theyre small. But really interesting.

09-19-2006, 12:16 AM
I've never seen anything like that before. Amazing!!!

09-27-2006, 11:13 PM
Wow, could you imagine that while inside one of those Bombardier Cabcars that GO transit, Sounder and Metrolink use?

09-28-2006, 12:09 AM
That happened a year or so ago. Some guy wanting to kill himself parked his SUV on the tracks. At the last minute he bailed out and a Bombardier coach-cab rammed it. I cant find an article on it,but I think a quite a few people died and the RR car was in reasonable shape.

Thats why the Amtrak Cascades has an F-59PHI on one end and a CABBAG (offically called NPCU on RP.net) on the other. The Talgo has a cab for operation on both ends (the European verson does) but the gov't made Amtrak use a CABBAG car for a crumple zone. After the incident in LA, the FRA was thinking about forcing all passenger trains to have a CABBAG on the "open" end, but the cost would have been daunting.

09-28-2006, 12:37 AM
Yeah, you're talking about the Glendale crash. A Metrolink in Push mode hit the SUV. The cabcar derailed and crashed into a parked SD70M, that jacknifed the rest of the Metrolink train onto the adjacent track where it hit and derailed another Metrolink commuter that was going the other way. I think 11 died, I don't really remember the exact numbers. The train driver with 20+ years experience was also killed. :cry:

Last I heard, the owner of the SUV who bailed at the last minute was being brought up on murder charges.

Anyway, does anybody know what is being done to improve cabcar safety? I know about Cabbag's(that is a good idea), but anything else?

How about the Metra cabcars? I know the cab is higher on those, but how safe are they?

I like cabcars and would hate to see them replaced by another loco but, I don't want the crew in harms way either.

09-28-2006, 01:57 AM
Here's news coverage on the January 26, 2005 crash.

Metrolink has placed orders for new cab cars with crash energy management features (short noses). Existing cab cars will be converted to standard coaches.

In time, these features will spread to other systems.

09-28-2006, 04:29 AM
I remember when that happened. It was terrible. I spent the next two days watching the news to see what caused the crash and things like that.

09-29-2006, 09:43 AM
Thankfully the UP crew that was on the freight train had just detrained minutes before, otherwise they would have been injured or killed as well.

10-07-2006, 05:32 AM
Here is what happens to a new ACe unit involved yesterday afternoon in a grade crossing accident with a cement truck at Sloan, NV

10-13-2006, 04:37 AM
The truck driver must not have read that big sign next to the tracks that said "Stop, Look and Listen"