On August 1, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a proposal to upgrade existing federal standards for cab cars and multiple-unit (MUI) locomotives to provide more crash protection.
Joseph H. Boardman, FRA administrator, claimed crashworthiness could be significantly enhanced by structuring passenger rail cars to absorb more energy and crush in a controlled manner. Under the proposal, forward corner posts would have to withstand 300,000 lbs. of force before failing, doubling the current federal requirement. In addition, both forward corner and collision posts would have to absorb a minimum level of energy and bend a specific distance without breaking.
The new standards would apply to cab cars and MUI locomotives ordered beginning in October 2009 and accommodate new equipment designs.
The proposed rule can be viewed at www.fra.dot.gov.