Reducing switch panel degradation by improving the track friendliness of trains

Martin Hiensch*, Pier Wiersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper the performance of primary suspension elements with Frequency Selective Stiffness (FSS) behaviour in bogies is presented with respect to the ability to reduce wear and fatigue damage at the wheel-rail interface, thus enhancing the so-called 'track friendliness' of trains. Vehicle behaviour during negotiation of a turnout is evaluated in a case study with the Dutch double stock VIRM-4 train. Assessment of vehicle running behaviour is carried out by means of track-train simulations within the VAMPIRE multibody simulation software. The impact of FSS suspension elements is quantified in relation to wear and rolling contact fatigue damage (RCF) in the wheel-rail interface and regarding ride quality. The research shows that with application of FSS elements at the primary suspension, wear loading of switch and closure rail can be reduced significantly, increasing expected maintenance intervals and rail life. Simulation results demonstrate passenger comfort levels not to be influenced negatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Frequency Selective Stiffness
  • Switch panel
  • Track friendliness
  • Turnout


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