train - Head on collision, some thoughts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by eblc1388, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. eblc1388

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 28, 2008
    A head on collision between two fast moving trains causes a lot of damages because of the kinetic energy involved. The recent story made me sad because we certainly cannot prevent human errors.

    This is a thought I have.

    If the front of a train is made pointed and a bit off center, then the two colliding trains would slide pass each other and both flip onto the ground but continue sliding until the energy are dissipated in the form of friction.

    It is certainly not good but could be better than crumbling up due to compression on force of impact.
  2. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    That is an interesting suggestion, but it relies on the assumption that most injuries are due to the collision. One also needs to consider a common collision type where one train is stationary and the other collides into its rear.

    In any event, I couldn't find data showing that most injuries were due to the direct impact. In fact, it appears being knocked off the track or fire are more likely to cause injury.

    This first quote was from an investigation of a recent accident in the US:
    This quote was from the report on the Purley crash in England:


    The investigation report can be found here:

    Therefore, I think designs that would keep the trains on the track would improve survivability. Perhaps adding crushable sections front and rear would help. Most important, operator error seems to be the most important contributor to cause, and it would be best to prevent the accident, rather than hope for survival afterwards.

  3. Duane P Wetick

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 23, 2009
    The cause of most (read all) train wrecks is human error. Even in developed countries (GB) with modern rail transportation, they still have guys running around with flags and signals that must be manually obeyed; operator error again. Add to this the distraction of texting or phone foollery, and you can bet the accident rate is going to go up. Its a safe bet too.

    Regards, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
  4. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Only issue I see with that is now when trains will crash the trains could be thrown off track into pedestrians, rivers, or off mountains. I would suggest a shock cart designed to suck up the impact. If each train had a 1 to 2 car's specifically for impact I think that would help.
  5. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    Don't give up on invention,look at large ships.The bottle nose
    like a dophin was a new invention for ships.Yours sound like
    earth quake plates sliding by a lot force ,could help. Taking
    the texting phones away would do even more,good idea.
    Good Luck Loosewire