New insights from multibody dynamic analyses of a turnout system under impact loads

Mehmet Hamarat, Sakdirat Kaewunruen, Mayorkinos Papaelias, Mika Silvast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)


A railway turnout is an essential infrastructure for managing railway traffic flexibility. In contrast, it imposes restrictions on train operations such as lower operational speeds through the turnout due to the complex movements of trains over the turnout. This results in the large-amplitude dynamic responses of the train-turnout interaction. Previous studies have focused on the train-turnout interactions entailing the wheel-rail contact forces and stresses. Very few of the studies considered the effects of the contact forces on the turnout structure and its components such as sleepers and bearers. Those previous studies neglected the dynamic forces and estimated the behavior of train-turnout interactions based on quasi-static calculations. In reality, turnouts are subjected to high impact forces, which can be higher than the permissible track forces. Consequently, a numerical model capable of determining impact forces was developed here, to evaluate the dynamic behaviors of a railway turnout and their effects on such turnout components as bearers, ballast, and so on. The model consists of a structured beam grillage laying on an elastic foundation with rigid wheelsets and a bogie. The model was verified by field measurements. The new insight stemmed from this study shows that neglecting the contribution of dynamic forces can result in the unsafe underestimation of train turnout behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4080
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2019


  • bearers
  • contact forces
  • crossings
  • impact forces
  • railway
  • sleepers
  • switches
  • turnout
  • wheel-rail interaction


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