The accessible lavatory specifications are part of the recommendations for specifications of the Next Generation of Passenger Rail Vehicles. These are being validated using virtual tools to model wheeled mobility aids with occupants using “concept” lavatories to determine optimal spatial configurations for accessible lavatories on board passenger rail vehicles. The overall project objectives included the development of accessibility specifications for the single and bi-level cars that can be used by the rail manufacturing industry to produce vehicles for high speed (HSR) and intercity passenger rail. The specific objective includes developing “virtual” models of accessible lavatories that incorporate the recommended accessibility specifications reported in paper No. JRC 2013-2554 in the proceedings of the 2013 Joint Rail Conference. The “virtual” models will permit both calibration and validation of the recommendations that were submitted to the PRII A Accessibility Working Group (the Working Group). The Working Group requested that prior to acceptance of the recommendations that they be validated and calibrated. The use of “virtual” validation tools and models permits the development, validation and calibration of different lavatory concepts and configurations prior to any future full scale testing. The construction and testing of full scale models is expensive, and some of the costs can be defrayed through the use of virtual modeling.
This project extends the work undertaken in the development of the draft specifications for the accessibility of next generation of passenger rail cars. The draft specifications increase the size of both the wheeled mobility devices and occupants as a reflection of the changes in population demographics, this has prompted the need to develop new accessible lavatories that are more inclusive for the user, and still meet the design constraints of the vehicle builders. The project uses the new recommended design parameters for wheeled mobility devices and the draft guidelines for new accessibility features. Current accessible lavatories that are used on VIA Rail cars in Canada, and the TALGO and the Acela in the US serve as base models for the 2-D and 3-D renderings. These designs are optimized, validated, and calibrated with mannequins that represent the 5th and 95th percentile populations on large wheeled mobility devices including; sport manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and 4 wheel scooters that meet the 30 inch wide by 54 inch long footprint. It is known that some accessible lavatories that on are on existing rolling stock do not meet the needs of all customers. This project will provide quantitative measures to evaluate current designs and recommend future designs that are more inclusive.