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Appl Ergon. 2013 Mar;44(2):200-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.07.003. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Pressure variations on a train - Where is the threshold to railway passenger discomfort?

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

Abstract

The implementation of recent guidelines for tunnel construction in Germany leads to extended air pressure variations inside trains and reduces pressure comfort for railway passengers. A questionnaire survey with 262 passengers revealed that pressure variations are rated less important for riding comfort than climatic and spatial aspects (study 1). A laboratory experiment (study 2) in the pressure chamber at the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine with 31 subjects (mean age = 37.7, SD = 12.7; 51.6% male) investigated the effects of systematic pressure variations on discomfort. The pressure changes (pressure increases and decreases) ranged from 1 to 100 mbar and were realized within 1-100 s. We derived thresholds for healthy passengers by means of random effects linear and logistic regression analysis. Logistic dose-response curves revealed amplitude/time combinations leading to a certain percentage of passengers perceiving discomfort (e.g. 50% dissatisfied passengers regarding a pressure increase of approximately 30 mbar within 5 s). The findings may help design engineers to meet passengers' comfort requirements.

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

PMID:
22884634
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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