The influence of the lateral contact point trajectory and the rotation of the monoblock on the impact loads in railway turnouts

Eugène Nijman, Blasius Buchegger, Wolfgang Pickl*, Kamil Sazgetdinov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new wheel–rail interaction model for the prediction of turnout impact forces is presented. Although the model is based on the classical ‘‘moving irregularity’’ approach, it is novel in the sense that it accounts for the lateral shift of the wheel–rail contact position during load transfer between the crossing nose and wing rail. This lateral shift increases the mobility of the track due to the rotational response of the monoblock under off-centred excitation. It is shown that the resulting stepwise variation of the wheel and track mobilities upon impact can profoundly influence the impact force time history.

It is furthermore shown that these effects are particularly emphasized during the trailing move when the wheel impacts on the off-centred wing rail and much less during the facing move when the impact is absorbed by the crossing nose which is located in the plane of symmetry of the monoblock cross-section.'

Apart from the stepwise shift upon load transfer the lateral wheel–rail contact point position varies continuously along the longitudinal coordinate of the turnout. Simulations show that these continuous variations have a negligible influence on the impact force time histories and that a simplified model with constant shift gives satisfactory results. A comparison of the calculated crossing nose and wing rail accelerations shows encouraging agreement with field measurements. It is concluded that omission of the rotation leads to an overestimate of the track vibrations. Especially for the trailing move, this overestimate becomes substantial for frequencies above 100 Hz.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117118
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2022


  • railway turnouts
  • impact forces
  • wheel-rail interacton
  • time domain simulation
  • MBD simulation
  • Railway turnouts
  • Time domain simulation
  • Wheel–rail interaction
  • Impact forces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems
  • Information, Communication & Computing
  • Mobility & Production

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Application

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