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Animations for Board meeting on 12/11/01
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Animations for Board meeting on 12/11/01

Board Meeting Animations - Collision of CSX Freight Train and Murray County School District School Bus at Railroad/Highway Grade Crossing

December 11, 2001

Conasauga, Tennessee
March 28, 2000


Videos were presented at the Board meeting on 12/11/01 in Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: Simulations presented below were developed based upon scene and vehicle surveys, passenger statements, vehicle operating characteristics, pictures from the scene, and on-board recording devices. The depictions represent actual lighting and weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Vehicle Dynamics: The school bus's approach to the grade crossing was examined. The collision between the school bus and the train and also the subsequent collisions with the railroad crossing bucks and the adjacent tree line were investigated and simulated. The speed of the bus at impact was approximately 15 mph while the train impact speed was 51 mph. Several views of the vehicle dynamics are shown. The first view is from a dynamic camera view tracking the motion of the school bus. The second view shows the impact and motion to final rest from a fixed camera position. The potential school bus driver's view and the potential train engineer's view were investigated and those views are also presented.

This view shows the approach of the school bus followed by the impact and the path to final rest. The final picture is an image taken on-scene after the accident. (Real Time)


This view shows the impact between the school bus and the train from a fixed camera position. The motion to final rest is also shown. (Real Time)


Bus Driver View
This view represents the school bus driver's potential view to the front and the right during the approach to the grade crossing. (Real Time)


Engineer View
This view represents the train engineer's potential view out the front, left window during the train's approach to the crossing. (Real Time)


The simulations were produced on an HVE™ system using EDSMAC4,TM EDVSM,™ and EDGEN™ programs. All of the programs are trademarks of the Engineering Dynamics Corporation. The software, ReadDataFile, developed by Collision Engineering Associates was also implemented for the simulations

Occupant Kinematics: The occupant kinematics were investigated for all seven occupants representing the bus passengers. Simulations were run to look at the differences between occupant location inside the bus, and restraint conditions. The occupant motion was only presented for the occupants in the front and rear of the bus. Occupants in the center of the bus were directly in the impact area. Since deformation was not modeled, the kinematics of the center-seated occupants is misleading. The following videos show a variety of occupants in various restraint conditions.

This view displays the occupant kinematics of the simulated occupants in the front of the bus. The occupants are shown in the actual restraint condition as in the actual accident. (The occupant in the second row is restrained by a lap belt while the two occupants in the front row are unrestrained.)(1/20th Speed)

This view shows the simulated occupants in the front of the bus in the actual restraint condition, all lap belt restrained, and all lap/shoulder belt restrained. (1/20th Speed)


This view shows the simulated occupant in the rear of the unrestrained, lap belt restrained, and lap/shoulder belt restrained. (1/20th Speed)


The final view shows the rear-seated occupant from an angled view highlighting the impact at the window frame screw housing. (1/20th Speed)


The simulations were developed using MADYMO™ in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and were produced in Adobe Premier™. The programs are trademarks of the TNO MADYMO and Adobe Systems Incorporated, respectively.



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