This paper presents the development of a multi-body system (MBS) vehicle-crossing model and its application in the structural health monitoring (SHM) of railway crossings. The vehicle and track configurations in the model were adjusted to best match the real-life situation. By using the measurement results obtained from an instrumented crossing and the simulation results from a finite element (FE) model, the MBS model was validated and verified. The results showed that the main outputs of the MBS model correlated reasonably well with those from both the measurements and the FE model. The MBS and FE models formed the basis of an integrated analysis tool, which can be applied to thoroughly study the performance of railway crossings. As part of the SHM system for railway crossings developed at Delft University of Technology, the MBS model was applied to identify the condition stage of a monitored railway crossing. The numerical results confirmed the highly degraded crossing condition. By using the measured degradation as the input in the MBS model, the primary damage sources were further verified. Through identifying the crossing condition stage and verifying the damage source, necessary and timely maintenance can be planned. These actions will help to avoid crossing failure and unexpected traffic interruptions, which will ultimately lead to sustainable railway infrastructure.
- condition-stage identification
- model validation and verification
- multi-body system modelling
- railway crossings
- structural health monitoring
- vehicle–crossing interaction