Simulation of track settlement in railway turnouts
Paper i proceeding, 2014

A methodology for the simulation of track settlement in railway turnouts (switches and crossings, S&C) is presented. The methodology predicts accumulated settlement for a given set of traffic loads using an iterative and cross-disciplinary procedure. The different modules of the procedure include (I) simulation of dynamic vehicle-track interaction in a turnout applying a validated software for multibody vehicle dynamics considering space-dependent track properties, (II) calculation of load distribution and sleeper-ballast contact pressure using a detailed finite element model of a turnout that includes all of the rails (stock rails, switch rails, closure rails, crossing nose, wing rails and check rails), rail pads, baseplates and sleepers on ballast, (III) prediction of track settlement for a given number of load cycles and (IV) calculation of accumulated track settlement at each sleeper and the resulting vertical track irregularity along the turnout which is used as input in the next step of the iteration. The iteration scheme is demonstrated by calculating the track settlement at the crossing when the studied turnout is exposed to freight traffic in the facing move of the through route.

switch and crossing


finite element model

track settlement

railway turnout

vehicle-track interaction



Jens Nielsen


Björn Pålsson


Vehicle System Dynamics

0042-3114 (ISSN)

Vol. 52 SUPPL. 1 421-439

The 23rd IAVSD symposium
Qingdao, China,





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