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Train passengers' ability to read and write during lateral vibration transients
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Railway Technology.
2006 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In a passenger survey aboard Swedish Intercity trains a majority of the passengers reported disturbances due to vibration and shocks. Subsequent laboratory studies revealed that the difficulty of reading and writing displayed non-linear frequency characteristics for stationary vibrations in the lateral direction. In the present study a train mock-up was used to investigate the effect of lateral vibration transients on passengers' ability to read and write. The subjects sat leaning against the backrest with the work material placed on their lap during the exposures. In order to limit the influence of anthropometric differences, 21 subjects were recruited according to predefined body measures. The study consisted of three experimental parts (A, B, C). Part A and B comprised of six discrete sinusoidal frequencies (1.25 - 5.0 Iiz) with a stationary amplitude of 0.3 m/s2. Each frequency was superimposed with transient peaks of three amplitudes (0.7, 1.0, 1.4 m/s2). The transient peaks were one oscillation period long and had a sinusoidal shape. Each peak appeared randomly three times during the 25 s long sequences. The test subjects rated their experienced difficulty to read and write due to each transient vibration, using Borg's CR-I00 scale. In part C, nine amplitude levels (0.43 - 0.7 m/s2) were used for three frequencies (1.25, 2.0, 4.0 Hz). In this part the test subjects were instructed to press a button whenever their reading was disturbed by a vibration transient. The results showed that occasional vibration transients cause lower levels of difficulty than stationary vibrations. Further did, only 35% of the shocks at 0.7 m/s2 cause a disturbance while reading.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5758ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84883311615ISBN: 978-162748150-2OAI: diva2:10235
13th International Congress on Sound and Vibration 2006, ICSV 2006, 2-6 July 2006, Vienna, Austria

QC 20141105

Available from: 2006-05-17 Created: 2006-05-17 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Difficulties to Read and Write Under Lateral Vibration Exposure: Contextual Studies Of Train Passengers Ride Comfort
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Difficulties to Read and Write Under Lateral Vibration Exposure: Contextual Studies Of Train Passengers Ride Comfort
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Many people use the train both as a daily means of transport as well as a working place to carry out activities such as reading or writing. There are, however, several important factors in this environment that will hamper good performance of such activities. Some of the main sources of disturbance, apart form other train passengers, are noise and vibrations generated from the train itself.

Although there are standards available for evaluation of ride comfort in vehicles none of them consider the effects that vibrations have on particular passengers' activities.

To address these issues, three different studies were conducted to investigate how low frequency lateral vibrations influence the passengers' ability to read and write onboard trains.

The first study was conducted on three types of Inter-Regional trains during normal service and included both a questionnaire survey and vibration measurements. Two proceeding laboratory studies were conducted in a train mock-up where the perceived difficulty of reading and writing was evaluated for different frequencies and amplitudes. To model and clarify how vibrations influence the processes of reading and writing the fundamentals of Human Activity Theory was used as a framework in this thesis.

In the field study about 80% of the passengers were found to be reading at some point during the journey, 25% were writing by hand, and 14% worked with portable computers. The passengers applied a wide range of seated postures for their different activities.

According to the standardised measurements, even the trains running on poor tracks showed acceptable levels of vibration. However, when the passengers performed a short written test, over 60 % reported to be disturbed or affected by vibrations and noise in the train.

In the laboratory studies it was found that the difficulty in reading and writing is strongly influenced by both vibration frequency and acceleration amplitude. The vibration spectra of real trains were found to correspond well to the frequency characteristics of the rated difficulty. It was also observed that moderate levels of difficulty begin at fairly low vibration levels. Contextual parameters like sitting posture and type of activity also showed strong influence on how vibrations cause difficulty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. 70 p.
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2006:24
lateral vibrations, passenger activities, reading, writing, sitting posture, frequency weighting, rated difficulty, field study, laboratory study, transient vibrations, stationary vibrations.
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3974 (URN)91-7178-374-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-06-02, D3, Lindstedsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2006-05-17 Created: 2006-05-17 Last updated: 2010-09-22Bibliographically approved

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