Identification of the optimal railway vehicle interior model for passive safety improvement

Marta Carvalho, João Milho, Jorge Ambrósio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The study presented, in this paper, concerns an optimisation procedure for the identification of coach interior layouts during crashes of railway vehicles, focusing on the protection of the occupants. A railway accident is described by the primary collision, in which the vehicle is subjected to a sudden deceleration causing the unrestrained occupants to continue their original motion until the secondary collision, in which the railway passengers come into contact with some part of the vehicle or with other occupants. Hence, the seating layout, which plays a major role in the process, is investigated with the objective of identifying what are the best design options. The objective of the optimal problem, defined for the improvement of the seating layout, is the minimization of the injuries as represented by all relevant injury criteria identified for railway passengers. The optimal design technique suggested here, based on the use of a surrogate response surface function instead of using directly the dynamic analysis, ensures that a wider range of the design space is searched for the optimal design. The only real costs involved in the methodology presented reside on the number of analyses with the detailed model required to identify the quadratic surface parameters, this number always being smaller than the number of iterations taken in any optimisation process. The results show that an optimal design of the interior seating layout is obtained with relevant decreases of the injury indices and it is also observed that the difference between the injury indices evaluated using the surrogate model are on average less than five percent different from those calculated with the realistic detailed model. © Civil-Comp Press, 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance
EditorsJ. Pombo
PublisherCivil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Injury biomechanics
  • Optimisation
  • Railway crashworthiness
  • Simulation


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