In support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Railroad Equipment Safety Program, tests have been conducted on prototype commuter rail passenger seats which have been designed for improved occupant protection during commuter train accidents. Quasi-static tests were conducted to evaluate the moment versus rotation behavior of the seat back and to improve the fidelity of the finite element seat model. Dynamic sled tests were conducted with instrumented Hybrid III anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) to evaluate occupant protection under collision conditions and to improve the fidelity of seat/occupant computer models. The three-passenger prototype seats were designed to meet the following dynamic test requirements: 1. Seats must remain attached to the test fixture. 2. Occupants must be compartmentalized between seat rows. 3. Injury criteria for the head, chest, neck and femur must be within tolerance thresholds specified by the automotive industry. 4. All seat components, including seat cushions, must remain attached. Test conditions were specified for two dynamic sled tests as follows: three forward-facing 50th percentile male Hybrid III ATDs subjected to an 8G, 250 millisecond triangular crash pulse; and three rear-facing 50th percentile male Hybrid III ATDs subjected to a 12G, 250 millisecond triangular crash pulse. The 8G crash pulse is specified in the existing American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Standard for Row-to-Row Seating in Commuter Rail Cars [1] and in the Federal Code of Regulations 49 CFR 238.233 [2], and represents nominal collision conditions. The 12G crash pulse represents the collision environment measured in the cab car during a previous full-scale train-to-train impact test of passenger rail cars incorporating crash energy management [3, 4]. The final test results indicate that all test requirements were met: the seats remained attached to the test sled; the ATDs were compartmentalized; all the injury criteria were within accepted tolerance thresholds; and all the seat cushions remained attached.

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