A whole system model framework to predict damage in turnouts

Klaus Six, Kamil Sazgetdinov*, Nishant Kumar, Gabor Müller, Werner Daves

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper presents a whole system model framework that enables a holistic prediction of accumulated track damage in railway turnouts. A modular approach allows for insight into the interaction of different damage mechanisms such as rail profile change due to the plastic deformation and wear as well as track settlement. The methodology focuses on the two most critical areas of the turnout in terms of damage: switch and crossing panels. It is shown that at the beginning of the service life of the turnout the running surface of the rails in these areas change significantly due to plastic deformation, which in turn increases the dynamic impact forces from passing vehicles. These impact forces cause vertical track settlement that is most pronounced in the crossing area. Track settlement introduces additional dynamics into the system leading to self-reinforcing behaviour. It is shown that the proposed methodology can predict accumulated track damage accounting for the coupling between different damage modes such as track settlement, rail profiles plastic deformation and wear. It can therefore be used for holistic assessment of turnouts e.g. in design optimisation studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages21
    JournalVehicle System Dynamics
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2021


    • Turnouts
    • switches and crossings
    • track damage
    • rail surface damage
    • track settlement
    • plastic deformation
    • rail wear
    • whole system modelling
    • multi-body dynamics
    • multi-body dynamics (MBD)
    • vehicle-track interaction (VTI)
    • Turnout

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Automotive Engineering

    Fields of Expertise

    • Advanced Materials Science


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