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Influence of Switches and Crossings on Wheel Wear of a Freight Vehicle
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Turnouts (Switches & Crossings) are important components in railway networks,

as they provide the necessary flexibility for train operations by allowing trains to

change among the tracks. But the turnout’s geometry with discontinuity in rail

profiles and lack of transition curve causes additional wear both on track and on


The main goal of this MSc thesis is to investigate the influence of turnouts on wheel

wear of a freight vehicle. This will be obtained by simulations in the commercial

MBS software GENSYS. The wheel-rail contact is modelled according to Hertz’s

theory and Kalker’s simplified theory, with the FASTSIM algorithm, and the wear

calculations are performed according to Archard’s law.

Wheel wear is estimated by considering variations in parameters which have effect

on wheel-rail contact. All these variations are common in daily rail operation, and

they are caused by it,

i.e. worn wheel profiles, worn crossing nose and different

stiffness of the stock and the switch rails at the beginning of the turnout. Moreover,

the wheel wear is calculated for both possible directions which a vehicle can run,

the diverging and the straight direction of the turnout. Especially for the straight

direction, various running speeds have been tested as the speed limit when the

vehicle follows the straight direction is higher than for the diverging part.

Running with worn wheel profiles has the greatest impact in terms of increasing the

wheel wear, especially on the outer part of wheel tread. In addition, the worn crossing

nose results in increased wheel wear in this area. The results of the simulations

concerning the different stiffness showed that the wheel wear caused by the contact

of wheel and stock rail increases whereas the wear caused by the contact with the

switch rail is kept at about the same level or decreases. It is concluded that turnouts

have a significant impact on wheel wear, mainly because of the discontinuity in rail

geometry and all the investigated parameters increase this impact. Moreover, great

differences in wear values for areas close to each other are observed, mainly because

of the wear coefficient values chosen in Archard’s wear map.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 64 p.
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2013:54
Keyword [en]
dynamic vehicle-track interaction, turnout, switch & crossing, wheel wear, wheel-rail contact geometry
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134704ISRN: KTH/AVE/RTM-13/54OAI: diva2:667752
Subject / course
Railway Technology
Educational program
Master of Science - Vehicle Engineering
2013-09-03, Vehicle Engineering Laboratory (VEL), Teknikringen 8, ground floor., Stockholm, 15:18 (English)
Available from: 2013-12-06 Created: 2013-11-27 Last updated: 2013-12-06Bibliographically approved

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