The new NOVA documentary Why Trains Crash features Volpe’s David Tyrell, a principal technical advisor for train crashworthiness and safety. The documentary, which aired February 22 on PBS, explores recent rail tragedies and technological advances that can help prevent train crashes.
From eliminating broken rails and combating punctured tank cars, to making stronger interfaces between rail ties and ballast, Volpe engineers support the Federal Railroad Administration in making passenger and freight rail travel safer.
Experts like Dr. David Jeong are studying the existing risks and opportunities associated with transporting crude oil and ethanol by rail.
Track and infrastructure failure is the second leading cause of train derailments in the United States. Vehicle-track interaction research investigates wheel-rail contact forces and their consequences to reduce railroad derailments and improve safety.
When the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was asked to lead the development of a special TR News publication on railroads and research, nine Volpe rail experts contributed to the articles that highlighted how FRA-sponsored research is improving safety on the rails.
Cited as an expert on crashworthiness, safety standards, and regulations by Trains Magazine, Tyrell offers insights into how Volpe's simulation and crash modeling work informs design, which helps the Federal Railroad Administration set standards and ultimately save lives.