Numerical prediction of rail corrugation growth on curves
Other conference contribution, 2016

Rail corrugation (periodic surface irregularities at distinct wavelengths) is a problem experienced by many railway networks worldwide. Corrugation induces a pronounced dynamic wheel‒rail contact loading that leads to increased generation of noise and in severe cases even damage to vehicle and track components. The large magnitude creep forces and sliding between wheel and rail make corrugation especially prone to develop on curved track. The current work summarizes the results from a Master Thesis project performed in collaboration between Chalmers, ÅF Industry, Bombardier Transportation and Stockholm Public Transport. A time-domain model for the prediction of long-term growth of rail roughness has been developed, see Figure 1. Dynamic vehicle‒track interaction in a broad frequency range (at least up to 300 Hz) is simulated using the commercial software SIMPACK. Wheelset structural flexibility is accounted for by using modal parameters calculated for a finite element model. Non-Hertzian and non-steady wheel‒rail contact and associated generation of wear are calculated in a post-processing step in the software Matlab. Archard’s law is applied to model the sliding wear. A large number of train passages is accounted for by recurrent updating of the rail surface irregularity based on the calculated wear depth. The proposed prediction model is applied to investigate a curve on the Stockholm metro network exposed to severe corrugation growth.

Rail corrugation

roughness growth

dynamic vehicle-track interaction


Andreas Carlberger

Peter T Torstensson


Anders Frid

Björn Pålsson


Jens Nielsen


Proceedings of the 19h Nordic Seminar on Railway Technology, September 14 - 15, Luleå, Sweden (2016)

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering


Civil Engineering

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