Detached-eddy simulation of the slipstream of an operational freight train

Dominic Flynn*, Hassan Hemida, David Soper, Christopher Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


With increasing train speeds the subsequent increase in slipstream velocities can have a detrimental effect on the safety of persons in close proximity to the vehicle. Due to their uneven loading and bluff geometries, freight trains can produce higher slipstream velocities than passenger trains at given measurement locations. The highly turbulent non-stationary slipstream of a model-scale Class 66 locomotive and wagons was investigated using delayed detached-eddy simulation (DDES). The Reynolds number of the flow was 300,000 and results were compared for meshes of 25 and 34 million hexahedral cells. Good agreement was observed between the DDES and model-scale physical experiments. Slipstream velocities along the train side and roof were investigated and the bogie region was seen to produce the highest slipstream velocities. A comparison between time-averaged and ensemble-averaged data from the simulations gave comparable results. The technical standards for interoperability (TSI) analysis showed that the slipstream velocities generated were below half of the maximum permissible value of the standard whereas the pressure was 43% greater than the limiting value. Furthermore the presence of a periodic phenomenon is detected above the roof of the locomotive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Early online date5 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • DDES
  • Freight train
  • Numerical simulation
  • Slipstream
  • TSI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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