The Volpe Center is supporting the Federal Railroad Administration in performing rail passenger equipment crashworthiness research. The overall objective of this research is to develop strategies for improving structural crashworthiness and occupant protection. A field study of passenger train accidents is being conducted to investigate the causal mechanisms of the injuries incurred by train occupants. The investigation of the November 30, 2007 collision in Chicago, IL has provided preliminary data on the structural damage as well as occupant injuries resulting from the impact. This data will be used in simulations to guide the development of crashworthiness strategies.

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