Research Papers

Rail Passenger Vehicle Crashworthiness Simulations Using Multibody Dynamics Approaches

[+] Author and Article Information
Yan Quan Sun

Centre for Railway Engineering,
CQ University, Bruce Highway,
Rockhampton, QLD 4701, Australia
e-mail: y.q.sun@cqu.edu.au

Maksym Spiryagin

Centre for Railway Engineering,
CQ University,
Bruce Highway,
Rockhampton, QLD 4701, Australia
e-mail: m.spiryagin@cqu.edu.au

Colin Cole

Centre for Railway Engineering,
CQ University,
Bruce Highway,
Rockhampton, QLD 4701, Australia
e-mail: c.cole@cqu.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. Manuscript received July 7, 2016; final manuscript received December 7, 2016; published online February 8, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Corina Sandu.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 12(4), 041015 (Feb 08, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: CND-16-1325; doi: 10.1115/1.4035470 History: Received July 07, 2016; Revised December 07, 2016

Multibody dynamics approaches have nowadays been an essential part in examining train crashworthiness. A typical passenger train structure has been investigated on its crashworthiness using three-dimensional (3D) models of a single passenger car and multiple cars formulated using multibody dynamics approaches. The simulation results indicate that the crush length or crush force or both of the crush mechanisms in the high and low energy (HE and LE) crush zones of a passenger train have to be increased for the higher crash speeds. The results on multiple cars (up to ten cars) show that the design of HE and LE crush zones is significantly influenced by the number of cars. The energy absorbed by the HE zone is reasonably consistent for train models with more than four cars at the crash speed of 35 km/h. The comparison of simulations can identify the contribution of the number of cars to the head-on crash forces. The influence of train mass on the design of both HE and LE crush zones, and the influence of design of the crush zones on the wheel-rail contacts are examined.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Pereira, M. S. , 2006, “ Structural Crashworthiness of Railway Vehicles,” 7th World Congress of Rail Research, Montreal, QC, Canada, June 4–8.
Kirkpatrick, S. W. , Schroeder, M. , and Simons, J. W. , 2001, “ Evaluation of Passenger Rail Vehicle Crashworthiness,” Int. J. Crashworthiness, 6(1), pp. 95–106. [CrossRef]
Tyrell, D. , Severson, K. , Marquis, B. , Martinez, E. , Mayville, R. , Rancatore, R. , Stringfellow, R. , Hammond, R. , and Perlman, A. B. , 1999, “ Locomotive Crashworthiness Design Modifications Study,” IEEE/ASME Joint Railroad Conference, Dallas, TX, Apr. 13–15, pp. 78–87.
Stringfellow, R. , Rancatore, R. , Llana, P. , and Mayville, R. , 2004, “ Analysis of Colliding Vehicle Interactions for the Passenger Rail Train-to-Train Impact Test,” ASME Paper No. RTD2004-66037.
Martinez, E. , Tyrell, D. , Rancatore, R. , and Stringfellow, R. , 2005, “ A Crush Zone Design for an Existing Passenger Rail Cab Car,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2005-82769.
Priante, M. , Tyrell, D. , and Perlman, B. , 2005, “ The Influence of Train Type, Car Weight, and Train Length on Passenger Train Crashworthiness,” ASME Paper No. RTD2005-70042.
Kirkpatrick, S. W. , and MacNeill, R. A. , 2002, “ Development of a Computer Model for Prediction of Collision Response of a Railroad Passenger Car,” ASME/IEEE Joint Rail Conference, Washington, DC, Apr. 23–25, pp. 9–16.
Xue, X. , and Schmid, F. , 2005, “ Modeling Study to Validate Finite Element Simulation of Railway Vehicle Behavior in Collisions,” 5th European LS-DYNA Users Conference, Birmingham, UK, May 25–26, pp. 7b–30.
Xue, X. , Schmid, F. , and Smith, R. A. , 2007, “ Analysis of the Structural Characteristics of an Intermediate Rail Vehicle and Their Effect on Vehicle Crash Performance,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part F, 221(3), pp. 339–352. [CrossRef]
Anghileri, M. , Castelletti, L. M. L. , Pirola, M. , Pistochini, F. , and Raiti, S. , 2008, “ CIV Class Tram Crashworthiness Assessment,” Int. J. Crashworthiness, 13(4), pp. 425–435. [CrossRef]
Gao, G. J. , and Tian, H. Q. , 2007, “ Train's Crashworthiness Design and Collision Analysis,” Int. J. Crashworthiness, 12(1), pp. 21–28. [CrossRef]
Ujita, Y. , Funatsu, K. , and Suzuki, Y. , 2003, “ Crashworthiness Investigation of Railway Carriages,” Quarterly Report of RTRI, 44(1), pp. 28–33. [CrossRef]
Milho, J. F. , Ambrósio, J. A. C. , and Pereira, M. F. O. S. , 2003, “ Validated Multibody Model for Train Crash Analysis,” Int. J. Crashworthiness, 8(4), pp. 339–352. [CrossRef]
Dias, J. P. , and Pereira, M. S. , 2004, “ Optimization Methods for Crashworthiness Design Using Multibody Models,” Comput. Struct., 82(17–19), pp. 1371–1380. [CrossRef]
Priante, M. , Tyrell, D. , and Perlman, B. , 2006, “ A Collision Dynamics Model of a Multi-Level Train,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2006-13537.
Parent, D. , Tyrell, D. , and Perlman, A. B. , 2004, “ Crashworthiness Analysis of the Placentia, CA Rail Collision,” I. J. Crashworthiness, 9(5), pp. 527–534. [CrossRef]
Mallon, P. , Perlman, B. , and Tyrell, D. , 2008, “ The Influence of Manufacturing Variations on a Crash Energy Management System,” ASME Paper No. RTDF2008-74021.
Priante, M. , and Martinez, E. , 2007, “ Crash Energy Management Crush Zone Designs: Features, Functions, and Forms,” ASME Paper No. JRC/ICE2007-40051.
Sun, Y. Q. , Cole, C. , Dhanasekar, M. , and Thambiratnam, D. P. , 2012, “ Modeling and Analysis of the Crush Zone of a Typical Australian Passenger Train,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 50(7), pp. 1137–1155. [CrossRef]
Han, H. S. , and Koo, J. S. , 2003, “ Simulation of Train Crashes in Three Dimensions,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 40(6), pp. 435–450. [CrossRef]
Zhou, H. , Wang, W. , and Hecht, M. , 2013, “ Three-Dimensional Derailment Analysis of a Crashed City Tram,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 51(8), pp. 1200–1215. [CrossRef]
Zhou, H. , Zhang, J. , and Hecht, M. , 2014, “ Three-Dimensional Derailment Analysis of Crashed Freight Trains,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 52(3), pp. 341–361. [CrossRef]
Xie, S. , and Tian, H. , 2013, “ Dynamic Simulation of Railway Vehicle Occupants Under Secondary Impact,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 51(12), pp. 1803–1817. [CrossRef]
Ambrosio, J. , 2005, “ Crash Analysis and Dynamical Behavior of Light Road and Rail Vehicles,” Veh. Syst. Dyn., 43(6–7), pp. 385–411. [CrossRef]
Pereira, M. S. , Ambrosio, J. A. C. , and Dias, J. P. , 1997, “ Crashworthiness Analysis and Design Using Rigid-Flexible Multibody Dynamics With Application to Train Vehicles,” Int. J. Numer. Methods Eng., 40(4), pp. 655–687. [CrossRef]
Jacobsen, K. , Tyrell, D. , and Perlman, B. , 2004, “ Impact Tests of Crash Energy Management Passenger Rail Cars: Analysis and Structural Measurements,” ASME Paper No. IMECE2004-61252.
Hault-Dubrulle, A. , Robache, F. , Drazetic, P. , Morvan, H. , Landsheere, C. , and Duhem, F. , 2013, “ Analysis of Train Driver Protection in Rail Collisions—Part I: Evaluation of Injury Outcome for Train Driver in Desk Impact,” Int. J. Crashworthiness, 18(2), pp. 183–193. [CrossRef]
Spiryagin, M. , Cole, C. , Sun, Y. Q. , McClanachan, M. , Spiryagin, V. , and McSweeney, T. , 2014, Design and Simulation of Rail Vehicles, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Erskine, A. , 2003, “ Literature Review of Rail Vehicle Structural Crashworthiness,” Rail Safety and Standards Board, London, UK, Report No. ITLR-T12004-001.
Tyrell, D. C. , Severson, K. J. , and Marquis, B. P. , 1995, “ Analysis of Occupant Protection Strategies in Train Collisions,” Crashworthiness and Occupant Protection in Transportation Systems, ASME, New York.
Sun, Y. Q. , Cole, C. , Spiryagin, M. , and Dhanasekar, M. , 2014, “ Parametric Studies on Crashworthiness of Australian Rolling Stocks Using Multibody Dynamics Modelling,” Conference of Railway Engineering, Adelaide, Australia, May 6–8, pp. 161–171.
Sun, Y. Q. , Zong, N. , Dhanasekar, M. , and Cole, C. , 2013, “ Dynamic Analysis of Vehicle-Track Interface Under Train Collision Using Multibody Dynamics,” 23rd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicle on Roads and Tracks, Qingdao, China, Aug. 19–23, pp. 1–9.
Spiryagin, M. , George, A. , Sun, Y. Q. , Cole, C. , McSweeney, T. , and Simson, S. , 2013, “ Investigation on the Locomotive Multibody Modeling Issues and Results Assessment Based on the Locomotive Model Acceptance Procedure,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part F, 227(5), pp. 453–468. [CrossRef]
Spiryagin, M. , George, A. , Nafis Ahmad, S. S. , Rathakrishnan, K. , Sun, Y. Q. , and Cole, C. , 2012, “ Wagon Model Acceptance Procedure Using Australian Standards,” Conference of Railway Engineering, Brisbane, Australia, Sept. 12–14, pp. 343–350.
DEsolver, A. B. , 2013, “ The CALC Func Manual,” The GENSYS, Östersund, Sweden, http://www.gensys.se/doc_html/calc_func.html


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Passenger car model in gensys (a) passenger car and (b) passenger car bogie

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Combined wheel-rail contact model and track model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Train model with six cars

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Crush zone modeling

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Characteristics of idealized crush zones

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Crush zone modeling (a) HE crush zone and (b) LE crush zone

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Single car collision responses (a) impact forces and (b) longitudinal decelerations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Single and multiple car simulation results (a) head-on crash forces, (b) first coupler forces, and (c) longitudinal accelerations of first car

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Simulation results for modified design of crush force (a) frontal crash forces, (b) first coupler forces, and (c) longitudinal accelerations of first car

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Simulation results for modified design of crush length (a) frontal impact forces, (b) first coupler forces, (c) longitudinal displacements and velocities of first car, and (d) longitudinal accelerations of first car

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Relationships with number of passenger cars (a) crush force and length and (b) absorbed energy

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Simulation results (a) frontal impact forces, (b) coupler forces, and (c) longitudinal accelerations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Simulation results for various passenger loads (a) and (b) frontal crash forces and longitudinal accelerations of the first car with initial crush zone design, (c) and (d) frontal crash forces and longitudinal accelerations of the first car with modified design of crush force, (e) and (f) frontal crash forces and longitudinal accelerations of the first car with modified design of crush length

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Wheel-rail contact forces on the first car (a) initial design of crush zones, (b) modified design of crush force, (c) modified design of crush length, and (d) better design of crush force



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In