Effect of train speed and track geometry on the ride comfort in high-speed railways based on ISO 2631-1

Chi Liu, David Thompson, Michael J Griffin, Mani Entezami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
673 Downloads (Pure)


The operational speeds of passenger trains have been increasing and now often exceed 300 km/h. Higher speeds can lead to increased vibration and reduced ride comfort for railway passengers. This study investigates the combined effect of speed and track geometry on vibration discomfort in high-speed trains. Railway vehicle dynamic models with various levels of complexity are used, with the measured geometry of a section of a high-speed track as an input. The models have been calibrated with vibration measurements carried out in a train running over this section of the track and then applied to predict the vibration discomfort at increased speeds. To evaluate the vibration discomfort at speeds up to 400 km/h, information on track geometry should include wavelengths up to at least 150 m. Vertical irregularities have the greatest effect at all speeds but lateral irregularities are also important. Both the vertical and lateral irregularities of a high-speed track should be controlled at wavelengths of 50–100m that excite rigid modes of the car body, corresponding to frequencies of typically 1–2 Hz. Additionally, vertical irregularities with wavelengths of 5–12m that excite the fundamental flexible mode of the car body, typically around 10–15 Hz, should also be controlled. The effects of cant, the rates of change of cant, and the radius of vertical curves are also evaluated although they only have a small effect on vibration discomfort.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Early online date15 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Aug 2019


  • Whole-body vibration
  • high-speed railways
  • ride comfort
  • track geometry
  • vehicle dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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