Numerical simulation of the slipstream and aeroacoustic field around a High-Speed Train

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External organisations

  • Key Laboratory of Traffic Safety on Track, Central South University, People’s Republic of China.


The flow field and sound propagation around a three coach 1/8th scale high-speed passenger train were obtained using a detached-eddy simulation (DES) and the Ffowcs-Williams and Hawkings (FW-H) acoustic analogy. The Reynolds number of flow based on the train height and speed was 2,000,000. The numerical results of the flow and aeroacoustic fields were validated using wind tunnel experiments and full-scale data, respectively. Features of overall sound pressure level (OASPL), sound pressure level (SPL) and A-weighted SPL of typical measuring points are discussed. Sound propagated by a high-speed train is shown as a broadband spectrum concluding tonal component, where high SPLs are concentrated on the low frequency range from 10 Hz to 300 Hz. The inter-carriage gap is found to cause distinct tonal noise in contrast to the other parts of the train that cause a broadband noise. The negative log law has been used to study the influence of distance from the centre of track (COT) on the SPL, where a good fit is shown at low frequency ranges. The peak values of A-weighted SPL from both full-scale experiment and simulation results occur at approximately 1 kHz, where simulation results show almost the same range as the experiment. Each surface of the components of the train as well as the whole train are chosen as the integral surface for the FW-H computation of the far-field noise characteristics. It was found that the sound source generated by a high-speed train is mainly dipole and the largest noise was obtained from the leading bogie. The results of this paper provide, for the first time, a better understanding of the aeroacoustic field around a three-coach train model and the paper has the potential to assist engineers in better designing high-speed trains for aeroacoustic noise reduction.


Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Early online date4 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2016


  • High-speed trains, train aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, DES, FW-H acoustic analogy