Plymouth-based engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash has been appointed by the Hyundai-Rotem Company to assess the crashworthiness of trains being developed for use in South Korea.
As part of the agreement, Frazer-Nash will undertake a programme of structural analysis work to determine the effects of a number of collision scenarios. These will focus on understanding how the kinetic energy is absorbed on impact and the likely cab and carriage deformation.
Graeme Anderson at Frazer-Nash said that reducing the rate of deceleration of the passenger compartments while ensuring that sufficient kinetic energy can be absorbed in the impact will be a vital part of the testing programme.
‘Rail accidents are, thankfully, rare, but when they do occur they can involve collisions at significant velocities,’ he said. ‘Most structural deformation in such a collision typically occurs in the cab area, so the driver of the train is usually in a particularly vulnerable position. Our focus is on ensuring that the new train design is sufficient to reduce this deformation and therefore protect the driver as much as possible.’
The new commuter trains, which will be constructed mainly from aluminium, are destined for South Korea, but it is thought that the designs could be deployed in other areas in the world.