Simulation of dynamic vehicle-track interaction on small radius curves
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011

A time-domain method for the simulation of general three-dimensional dynamic interaction between a vehicle and a curved railway track, accounting for a prescribed relative wheel-rail displacement excitation in a wide frequency range (up to several hundred Hz), is presented. The simulation model is able to capture the low-frequency vehicle dynamics simultaneously due to curving and the high-frequency track dynamics due to the excitation by, for example, the short-pitch corrugation on the low rail. The adopted multibody dynamics formulation considers inertia forces, such as centrifugal and Coriolis forces, as well as the structural flexibility of vehicle and track components. To represent a wheel/rail surface irregularity, isoparametric two-dimensional elements able to describe generally curved surface shapes are used. The computational effort is reduced by including only one bogie in the vehicle model. The influence of the low-frequency vehicle dynamics of the remaining parts of the vehicle is considered by pre-calculated look-up tables of forces and moments acting in the secondary suspension. For a track model taken as rigid, good agreement is observed between the results calculated with the presented model and a commercial software. The features of the model are demonstrated by a number of numerical examples. The influence of the structural flexibility of the wheelset and track on wheel-rail contact forces is investigated. For a discrete rail irregularity excitation, it is shown that the longitudinal creep force is significantly influenced by the wheelset eigenmodes. The introduction of a velocity-dependent friction law is found to induce an oscillation in the tangential contact force on the low rail with a frequency corresponding to the first anti-symmetric torsional mode of the wheelset. Further, under the application of driving moments on the two wheelsets and excitation by a discrete irregularity on the high rail, the frequency content of the tangential contact forces on the low rail is significantly influenced by the P2 resonance as well as by several wheelset eigenmodes.


small radius curve

structural flexibility

rail corrugation

rail corrugation

dynamic vehicle-track interaction



track and wheelset

frequency range


Peter Torstensson


Jens Nielsen


Vehicle System Dynamics

0042-3114 (ISSN)

Vol. 49 11 1711-1732





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