WIT Press

A testing facility to assess railway car infrastructure damage. A conceptual design


Free (open access)


Volume 4 (2020), Issue 2



Page Range

142 - 151

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Jose A. Romero Navarrete and Frank Otremba


Wheel forces generate stresses in the rail as a function of several vehicle and infrastructure characteristics and operating conditions. The different components of the wheel forces develop strains in the rail which contain an elastic and hysteretic (irreversible) components. The irreversible deformations of the rail would be associated with locomotive energy losses. In this paper, a testing facility is proposed to indirectly characterize the level of stresses in the rail, in terms of the energy that is lost during turning manoeuvres. Different potentially influential factors are considered, including the friction at the centre plate, the wheelbase length, the distance between bogies and the radius of the curved track. the change in the potential energy during a u-turn displacement is measured. In this respect, an experimental model under this operating principles, aimed at validating such a principle of operation, reveals a significant effect of the friction at the centre plate on the energy lost during turning manoeuvres, and consequently, on the level of stresses in the rail.


energy losses in transportation, experimental methods, friction energy, rail damage, turning forces, wheel forces.