Long-Term Behaviour of Railway Crossings: Wheel-Rail Interaction and Rail Fatigue Life Prediction

Lizuo Xin

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Railway turnouts are important components of railway infrastructure as they provide flexibility and guidance to the rail traffic. Because of geometrical discontinuities in the crossing area of the turnouts, high impact forces due to passing wheels acting on the crossing nose can occur. In the field, severe rail damage problems are found in crossing areas. Statistical evidence shows that turnout failures cause major operational disturbances in a railway network, which lead to higher maintenance costs as compared with other track components.
The research presented here was motivated by the short service life of the turnout crossing observed in the Dutch railway network and by the need to improve the performance of railway turnouts. Moreover, there is a lack of advanced numerical tools such as dynamic three-dimensional (3-D) models to analyse wheel–rail interactions in crossings on the stress and strain levels, particularly for models that are coupled with life estimation of the crossing.
Therefore, the goal of this study is to develop numerical tools for the analysis of the dynamic interaction between the wheel and turnout crossing, and the prediction of fatigue life of crossings, aiming to improve the crossing performance and prolong its service life.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Dollevoet, R.P.B.J., Supervisor
  • Markine, V.L., Advisor
Award date21 Jun 2017
Print ISBNs9789462956315
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • railway crossing
  • wheel-rail contact
  • finite element modeling
  • fatigue life prediction


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