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Operation Upshot-Knothole. Project 3.6. Tests on the Loading and Response of Railroad Equipment.

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Rept. for Mar-Jun 53,

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This report deals with pre- and post-test work on the U. S. Army- U. S. Air Force jointly sponsored Project 3.6, Tests on the Loading and Response of Railroad Equipment. The general objectives of this test were to determine the effects of an atomic blast on railroad equipment from both a defensive and an offensive standpoint. The specific objectives were concerned with general damage to railroad cars, both loaded and empty the bracketing of the shock overpressure causing damage and the gathering of data relating to blast loading, response, dispersion criteria, correlation of response with damage, and thermal effects. Sixteen items of standard Transportation Corps equipment, consisting of several types of boxcars, tank cars, and one diesel locomotive, were included in Shot 10 of Operation UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE. Instrumentation consisted of motion picture cameras, pressure gages, and accelerometer gages. The test indicated that railroad cars of the type tested will be damaged severely at pressures in excess of about 7.5 psi for Shot 10 conditions i.e., within the precursor region, which extended about 2500 ft from ground zero. A marked decrease in damage uas noted between about 7.5 and 6 psi. Only minor damage was sustained by a wooden boxcar at 2 psi and by the diesel locomotive at 6 psi. Of the boxcars tested, the plywood overseas cars proved to be the most susceptible to blast damage, while cars of normal wooden construction and steel construction i.e., steel roof and side panels ranked in order of decreasing vulnerability. The trucks and underframe of the cars proved to be salvable in many instances, even though the car body uas totally demolished. Thermal damage associated with blasts capable of demolishing wooden cars is negligible.

Subject Categories:

  • Surface Transportation and Equipment
  • Nuclear Explosions and Devices (Non-Military)

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