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Train Locomotive Bumpers And Pedestrian Safety

Train Locomotive Bumpers and Pedestrian Safety

Did you know it takes a freight train, travelling at full speed, over 1 kilometer to come to a complete stop?  We at Smithers Oasis Engineered Products did not know this little factoid.  A few engineers, physicists, and professors took this statistic as a challenging opportunity to put, of all things, bumpers – on freight trains.  The bumpers were designed to help save the lives of people.

We at Smithers Oasis Engineered Products partnered with some mechanical engineering students at the University of California in Santa Barbara, to help them with experiments and prototypes.

The team at UC developedfour train bumper prototypes.  One of the concepts the team came up with was a bumper that used our foam to fully envelope a pedestrian that might jump in front of a moving train.


Although still in the design concept phase, we at Smithers are very happy to hear that our foam can potentially be used to help saves lives.

Below is the link to read the whole story of the great work the team at UC is doing.

Some of the testing was also recorded. You can view the analysis & simulation testing at the YouTube channel links below.

One is an FEA simulation of a hemispherical object the mass of a human head going through our floral foam at a low velocity, similar to our HIC tests.  Another, is that of the same object going through foam at a high velocity, namely 30 m/s (about 60mph), which is the operating speed of a locomotive. Both were done through Abaqus FEA by one of our team members.