In support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Railroad Equipment Safety Program, a full-scale dynamic single car impact test of multi-level passenger equipment was conducted on October 2, 2007. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the crashworthiness performance of a multi-level car. The car struck the test barrier at 36.6 miles per hour (mph). Instrumentation on the car measured the deformations of critical structural elements; the vertical, lateral and longitudinal accelerations of the car body and trucks; and the suspension displacements. The structure of a multi-level car is different from that of a single level car or bi-level car. The underframe for single level cars and bi-level cars are straight. In a multi-level car, the underframe is at one level for the mezzanines, and at a lower level at the midsection. A transition structure, or gooseneck, connects the levels. Two passenger train incidents in the last few years have shown that multi-level cars deform in different modes from single level cars under dynamic loading conditions. In two separate collisions in Placentia and Glendale, CA, the gooseneck crushed. During the test, the most damage occurred in the draft sill. The gooseneck was beginning to hinge. The truck connections at both the leading and rear truck failed. Test results show that the multi-level car had a higher average force than the single level car. The secondary impact velocity is higher for the conventional multi-level car than in the conventional single level car. The multi-level car crushed approximately 2 feet during the test, 3 feet less than the single level car crushed.

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