Voith announced it has won the contract to provide 260 push back couplers to Caltrans, the transit authority for the California Department of Transportation. The push back couplers are part of Voith’s unique crash energy management (CEM) technology, designed to enhance passenger safety and reduce damage to train cars when crashes occur.
“Voith’s crash energy management technology improves safety and reduces equipment damage for transit systems across the U.S.,” said Voith Turbo Rail Division Vice President Kevin Simms. “As the Caltrans order demonstrates, in just a few years, Voith’s innovative and effective coupler design has become the industry benchmark. Expanding the use of crash energy management technology will not only save transit authorities money by limiting damage during crashes; more importantly, it will also enhance the safety of their passengers.”
Voith’s crash energy management technology is designed to limit the damage to passenger rail cars by the use of sacrificial energy absorbers, preventing derailment and car override. The systems employed by Voith feature energy absorbers to reduce the force of the crash felt on the rail cars by the passengers. The technology is good for the passengers, as tests have shown Voith’s CEM system limits the g-force of the initial impact in the case of a collision.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) was the first commuter rail system to require CEM technology. Voith was awarded the contract for the CEM system for SCRRA, whose specifications for couplers have since been adopted by the technical committee formed by Amtrak, known as PRIIA (Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act) 305. Voith is an active member of this committee and these PRIIA 305 standards are being used in specifications for many new rail procurements across the United States.