TIAX Receives $1.4 Million Task Order to Improve Safety of Train Occupants

TIAX improves crashworthiness of rail equipment in a five-year contract to design and test components used in the crush zone of a train’s cab car.

TIAX has been awarded a $1.4 million task order by the Volpe National Systems Transportation Center, a federal, fee-for-service organization within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), to investigate ways to improve the crashworthiness of rail equipment.

The project, part of a five-year task order contract, involves the design and test of components used in a crush zone of a train’s cab car. A crush zone is a structure incorporated into the ends of cars to provide greater occupant protection by absorbing energy during an impact. In a cab car, the crush zone must also protect the operator of the train. Initial analysis and tests have demonstrated that crush zones could reduce the number of crash-related deaths.

“It is our hope that this project will lead to the implementation of specific measures to further ensure the safety of both train passengers and crew members,” said Bob Rancatore, project manager at TIAX.

TIAX staff members have worked with Volpe on a variety of projects concerning rail crashworthiness since 1993. These tasks included:

  • The evaluation of the crashworthiness of alternative equipment such as articulated trainsets, the design and component test of a passenger car crush zone
  • The investigation of anti-climbing designs for colliding rail equipment
  • The analysis support of the single car, two-car, train-to-train, and end frame passenger equipment full-scale tests conducted by Volpe
  • The development and improvement of tools and techniques to assist with analyzing the crashworthiness of rail equipment

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our work with the Volpe Center,” said Kenan Sahin, TIAX President. “Over the past several years we have worked closely with Volpe to investigate ways to improve the crashworthiness of locomotives and passenger rail equipment and we look forward to taking the next steps in this important initiative.”