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Tilting trains: Technology, benefits and motion sickness
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Carbody tilting is today a mature and inexpensive technology allowing higher speeds in curves and thus reduced travel time. The technology is accepted by most train operators, but a limited set of issues still holding back the full potential of tilting trains. The present study identifies and report on these issues in the first of two parts in this thesis. The second part is dedicated to analysis of some of the identified issues. The first part contains Chapters 2 to 5 and the second Chapters 6 to 12 where also the conclusions of the present study are given.

Chapters 2 and 3 are related to the tilting train and the interaction between track and vehicle. Cross-wind stability is identified as critical for high-speed tilting trains. Limitation of the permissible speed in curves at high speed may be needed, reducing the benefit of tilting trains at very high speed. Track shift forces can also be safety critical for tilting vehicles at high speed. An improved track standard must be considered for high speed curving.

Chapters 4 and 5 cover motion sickness knowledge, which may be important for the competitiveness of tilting trains. However, reduced risk of motion sickness may be contradictory to comfort in a traditional sense, one aspect can not be considered without also considering the other. One pure motion is not the likely cause to the motion sickness experienced in motion trains. A combination of motions is much more provocative and much more likely the cause. It is also likely that head rotations contribute as these may be performed at much higher motion amplitudes than performed by the train.

Chapter 6 deals with services suitable for tilting trains. An analysis shows relations between cant deficiency, top speed, tractive performance and running times for a tilting train. About 9% running time may be gained on the Swedish line Stockholm – Gothenburg (457 km) if cant deficiency, top speed and tractive performance are improved compared with existing tilting trains. One interesting conclusion is that a non-tilting very high-speed train (280 km/h) will have longer running times than a tilting train with today’s maximum speed and tractive power. This statement is independent of top speed and tractive power of the non-tilting vehicle.

Chapters 7 to 9 describe motion sickness tests made on-track within the EU-funded research project Fast And Comfortable Trains (FACT). An analysis is made showing correlation between vertical acceleration and motion sickness. However, vertical acceleration could not be pointed out as the cause to motion sickness as the correlation between vertical acceleration and several other motions are strong.

Chapter 10 reports on design of track geometry. Guidelines for design of track cant are given optimising the counteracting requirements on comfort in non-tilting trains and risk of motion sickness in tilting trains. The guidelines are finally compared with the applied track cant on the Swedish line Stockholm – Gothenburg. Also transition curves and vertical track geometry are shortly discussed.

Chapters 11 and 12 discusses the analysis, draws conclusions on the findings and gives proposals of further research within the present area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , ix, 86 p.
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2008:27
Keyword [en]
tilting trains, motion sickness, ride comfort, running time, track geometry
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4771ISBN: 978-91-7178-972-3OAI: diva2:13865
2008-06-10, S40, Teknikringen 8, bv, STOCKHOLM, 10:15
QC 20101119Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-11-19Bibliographically approved

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