An assessment method of rail corrugation based on wheel–rail vertical force and its application for rail grinding

Liubin Niu, Fei Yang, Xiangyun Deng*, Pan Zhang, Guoqing Jing, Weile Qiang, Yunlong Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In practice, the assessment and treatment of rail corrugation are quantitatively based on the corrugation depth. Wheel–rail vertical forces (WRVF), as a direct reflection of wheel–rail interaction, can give expression to the corrugation depth and thus serve as a key parameter for assessing the corrugation. In this paper, we propose an evaluation method for rail corrugation based on the WRVF. First, a 3D wheel–rail dynamic finite element (FE) model was developed with typical parameters of CRTS II slab track and CRH3 vehicle for high-speed railways in China. The accuracy of the model was then validated with the measured WRVF data in the field. Second, using the validated model, the time–frequency domain distribution of WRVF (vehicle speed: 300 km/h) was obtained with consideration of the corrugation wavelength in the range of 40–180 mm. The non-linear least squares method and rational equation were used to fit the function between the large value of WRVF and the corrugation depth value under the conditions of different corrugation wavelengths. Next, effects of the Pinned–Pinned resonance frequency and vibration mode on the fitted parameters were analysed, by which an indicator for corrugation treatment (grinding) was proposed. Finally, the indicator was applied in the monitoring of rail corrugation for high-speed railway lines in the field. The results show that the misjudgement rate of rail grinding decisions (using the proposed indicator) is low with the accuracy at 92.5%. The proposed method can provide a basis for the rail corrugation evaluation and grinding decisions-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1150
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Corrugation assessment
  • FE modelling
  • Grinding decision
  • High speed rail
  • Wheel–rail vertical forces


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