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Appl Ergon. 2013 Jan;44(1):11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 29.

Continuous assessments of pressure comfort on a train -- a field-laboratory comparison.

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  • 1German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Department of Flight Physiology, Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany.


Pressure variations on a train predominantly occur while trains are passing through tunnels. These aerodynamic effects may give rise to aural discomfort in railway passengers. We conducted a field study on the high speed railway track Cologne-Frankfurt/Main as well as a simulation study in our pressure chamber TITAN (DLR-Institute of Aerospace Medicine) with 31 subjects (mean age = 37.7, SD = 12.7; 51.6% male) to investigate pressure comfort for passengers. Continuous assessments of pressure events using sliders and retrospective assessments were acquired. Pressure variations were mostly tolerated. A comparison of field and laboratory setting revealed high congruency of continuous as well as retrospective assessments. A generalized estimating equation model identified pressure change attributes contributing to passengers' discomfort. Beside attributes of instantaneous pressure changes (e.g. high amplitudes, short durations), pressure events of the recent past significantly influenced current discomfort. Design engineers may use these findings to improve train and tunnel design.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

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