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An overview of some high-speed train derailments: means of minimizing consequences based on empirical observations
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, ISSN 0954-4097, Vol. 222, no 4, 441-463 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies published on rail vehicles' post-derailment behaviour as ameans of minimizing consequences are surprisingly scarce. This paper sets a first step to reduce this lack of knowledge by analysing a collection of incident/accident case studies, with the main focus on the course of events immediately after derailments. This is mainly with respect to whether the train stays upright and close to the track centre-line and is 'safe' or deviates laterally with a probable serious consequence. Accordingly, an empirical database is established containing as much relevant information as possible of past incidents and accidents occurring at speeds over 70 km/h due to mechanical failure close to the running gear/track interface, as well as other causes that ultimately brought the train into a derailed situation. Although two derailments are never the same, certain patterns appeared to emerge based on the descriptions available in each incident or accident report. Mechanical restrictions between axles and bogie frames appear to minimize the risk of derailments after an axle failure on the outside of the wheel. Once derailed, evidence suggests that certain low-reaching parts on the wheelset or the bogie frame may act as substitute guidance mechanisms, thereby minimizing large lateral train deviations. However, for a large number of events, the available information does not allow conclusions based on observations only. This paper is the first in a forthcoming series dealing with the possibilities of minimizing devastating consequences of high-speed derailments by appropriate measures and features in the train design including the running gear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 222, no 4, 441-463 p.
Keyword [en]
Consequence; Empirical analysis; Lateral deviation; Rolling stock; Safety; Train derailment
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7691DOI: 10.1243/09544097JRRT149ISI: 000261435000012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-55149100272OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7691DiVA: diva2:12793
Note
QC 20100701Available from: 2007-11-22 Created: 2007-11-22 Last updated: 2010-12-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On Derailment-Worthiness in Rail Vehicle Design: Analysis of vehicle features influencing derailment processes and consequences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Derailment-Worthiness in Rail Vehicle Design: Analysis of vehicle features influencing derailment processes and consequences
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims at systematically studying the possibilities of minimizing devastating consequences of high-speed rail vehicle derailments by appropriate measures and features in the train design including the running gear.

Firstly, an empirical database is established containing as much relevant information as possible of past incidents and accidents that have occurred at substantial running speeds due to mechanical failure close to the interface between the running gear and the track. Other causes that ultimately brought the train in a derailed condition are also covered. Although various accidental circumstances make each derailment a unique event, certain patterns appear to emerge which lead to several critical vehicle parameters capable of influencing the outcome of a derailment or preventing a derailment to occur.

Secondly, the possibility of preventing wheel climbing derailments after an axle journal failure is studied by implementing mechanical restrictions between wheelsets and bogie frame. In this respect, a multi body system (MBS) computer model is developed to account for such an axle failure condition, which is successfully validated on the basis of two authentic passenger car events.

In order to study the overall post-derailment vehicle behaviour, in particular the wheelsets’ vertical motion and lateral deviation on sleepers, a comprehensive MBS post-derailment module is developed and implemented in the commercially available software GENSYS. The model detects wheel-sleeper impact conditions and applies valid force resultants calculated through linear interpolation based on a pre-defined look-up table. The table was constructed through exhaustive finite element (FE) wheel to concrete sleeper impact simulations utilising the commercially available software LS-DYNA. The MBS post-derailment module has been validated successfully in several stages, including a correct prediction of the derailing wheelset’s trajectory over ten consecutive sleepers in comparison with an authentic passenger vehicle derailment event.

An extensive simulation analysis on the feasibility of utilizing alternative substitute guidance mechanisms attached to the running gear on rail vehicles is presented, as means of minimizing the lateral deviation. Three low-reaching guidance mechanisms attached onto the running gear (bogie frame, brake disc and axle journal box) are analysed in terms of geometrical parameters for a successful engagement with the rail in order to prevent large lateral deviations after twelve different derailment scenarios.

Three conventional coupled passenger trailing cars are investigated in terms of lateral deviation and vehicle overturning tendency after derailments on tangent and curved track. This is performed as a function of various vehicle design features and parameters such as: maximum centre coupler yaw angle, carbody height of centre of gravity, coupler height and additional running gear features. In a similar manner, the articulated train concept is investigated in terms of the post-derailment vehicle behaviour as a function of different inter-carbody damper characteristics and running gear features.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Farkost och flyg, 2007. xii, 50 p.
Series
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2007:78
Keyword
derailment, bogie design, wheel-sleeper impact, simulation, deviation, vehicle inter-connection, guidance mechanism, substitute guidance, articulated train, railway safety
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4548 (URN)978-91-7178-828-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-12-18, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100701Available from: 2007-11-22 Created: 2007-11-22 Last updated: 2010-07-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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