Evans, G., Shahzad, F., de Vries, E., Cavalletti, M., Iwnicki, S. and Bezin, Yann (2009) An investigation of sleeper voids using a flexible track model integrated with railway multi-body dynamics. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 223 (6). pp. 597-607. ISSN 0954-4097

This article describes a flexible track system model (FTSM) that represents the track structure for a typical ballasted track, taking into account the flexibility of the rails, the sleeper mass and the resilience of the pad/fastening elements, as well as the ballast support stiffness condition. The detailed track model is integrated into a commercial railway vehicle dynamics software, thus allowing for any vehicle to be simulated onto the flexible track while at the same time taking into account the detailed calculation of the non-linear wheel—rail contact interaction. As an example, the application of the FTSM to the study of hanging sleepers, with respect to the UK Railway Group Standard limits, is presented. This example shows the impact of forces because of hanging sleepers on the vehicle and on the track, and attempts at quantifying the damage made to the track components for the specific conditions simulated.

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