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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Transport > Improving rail safety standards through crash fail-safe train structures.
Graphic element Improving rail safety standards through crash fail-safe train structures.
An in-depth review of rail accidents and computer-simulated impact effects are used to determine materials specifications for the construction of safer rail cars.

Improved safety standards have become a requisite when bidding for international rail vehicle contracts, and a demonstrable safety record is thought to be an important factor in stimulating people to switch from private vehicles to more environmentally-friendly public transport.

Sorfame and partners have carried out an in-depth review based on 52 rail vehicle accidents to determine specifications for several types of materials to be used in the construction of safer rail carriages.
Current thinking holds that impact energy in end-to-end collisions should be absorbed by progressive and controlled deformation of the bodywork, a principle already widely accepted in the automotive industry. A variety of informatics tools were developed for simulating impact effects on rail car structures and passengers. Static and dynamic crush tests were also carried out.

Europe has taken a leading position in the area of rail carriage safety and groups like Sorfame (stainless steel), CAF (carbon steel) and GEC ALSTHOM (aluminium) have enjoyed the benefits of increased co-operation and co-ordination within the Brite-Euram framework. Solutions have already been applied in railway systems in Hong Kong, the UK and Portugal.

Cordis RCN: 3059
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