Locomotives produce vibrations and mechanical shocks from irregularities in the track, structural dynamics, the engines, the trucks, and train slack movement (Mansfield, 2005). The different directions of the irregularities give rise to car-body vibrations in multiple axes including the following: • Longitudinal, or along the length of the train (x); • Lateral, or the side-to-side direction of the train (y); • Vertical (z). Some reports suggest that acceleration at the seat pan is greater than that at the floor, indicating that the seat may amplify the vibration (Johanning, et al., 2006; Mansfield, 2005; Oborne & Clarke, 1974; Transport, 1980). The magnitude of vertical vibration in rail vehicles is reportedly well below many other types of vehicles (Dupuis & Zerlett, 1986; Griffin, 1990; Johanning, 1998). However, some research reports that rail vehicles experience far more lateral vibratory motion than cars and trucks (Lundstrom & Lindberg, 1983). Many factors influence the impact of shock felt by the engineer including train speed, consist, engineer control skills, anticipation of the shock, motion amplitude, shock duration, and body posture. Shock events and vibration affect ride quality; however, shocks are less controllable by locomotive design. Common sources of mechanical shock are coupling and slack run-ins and run-outs (Multer, et al., 1998). While there are investigations of whole-body vibration (WBV) in locomotive cabs reported in the literature, there have been no studies to date that have examined long-haul continuous vibrations (> 16 hr). The authors describe a long-haul WBV study collected on a 2007 GE ES44DC locomotive. It is the first in a series of studies sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to examine WBV and shock in locomotive cabs. The researchers recorded vibration data using 2 triaxial accelerometers on the engineers’ seat: a seat pad accelerometer placed on the seat cushion and a frame accelerometer attached to the seat frame at the base. Data collection occurred over 550 track miles for 16hr 44min. ISO 2631-1 defines methods for the measurement of periodic, random and transient WBV. The focus of ISO 2631-5 is to evaluate the exposure of a seated person to multiple mechanical shocks from seat pad measurements. The research team collected and analyzed vibrations in accordance with ISO 2631-1 and ISO 2631-5. The results from the study as well as future planned long-haul studies will provide a benchmark set of WBV metrics that define the vibration environment of present-day locomotive operations.

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