Improving the survivability of a locomotive crew in the event of an accident has been a concern of the Federal Railroad Administration in the past decade. Locomotive crashes can injure the crew as well as deform the locomotive cab. Exiting from a deformed cab can be difficult, particularly for injured crewmembers. Egress becomes an even greater challenge if the locomotive is toppled. From an initial list of emergency egress concepts, the following three were chosen for further development: 1) hand/footholds to aid climbing inside a toppled locomotive, 2) roof-mounted escape hatch, and 3) externally removable windshield. As the potential users of the egress system, train crews and emergency rescue workers were interviewed to provide feedback on the design concepts. Focus groups with locomotive engineers and conductors provided information about train crew perceptions of the three concepts. Interviews with rescue personnel provided a perspective on the concerns of emergency rescue operations. Based on the user feedback, the roof-mounted escape hatch with hand/footholds was selected as the preferred concept. Construction of a system mockup facilitated evaluation of this concept. The utility of the overall concept was evaluated using untrained personnel in the full-scale mockup of a toppled road locomotive cab. A preliminary examination of the cost implications of incorporating the hatch system into new locomotives indicated that the initial engineering costs, rather than the recurring manufacturing costs, are the issue. As such, the overall cost for implementing the hatch is likely to be low.

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