Fast estimation of the derailment risk of a braking train in curves and turnouts

Nico Burgelman, Zili Li, Rolf Dollevoet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


When a train runs through a turnout or a sharp curve, high lateral forces occur between the wheels and rails. These lateral forces increase when the couplers between the wagons are loaded in compression, i.e., a rear locomotive pushing a train or a front locomotive braking a train. This study quantifies these effects for a train that begins braking when steadily curving and for a train that brakes upon entering a turnout. Our approach allows distinguishing between the effects of braking and the transient effects of entering the turnout. The dynamic derailment quotient is mapped as a function of the vehicle speed and the braking effort. Then the dynamic derailment coefficient obtained from the dynamic simulations is compared to results from quasi statics. This allows determining a dynamic multiplication coefficient that can be used on the quasi static derailment coefficient to obtain a first estimate of the dynamic derailment coefficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Braking
  • Derailment quotient
  • Longitudinal train dynamics
  • Turnout
  • Vehicle simulation


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