Sensitivity analysis of railpad parameters on vertical railway track dynamics

Maider Oregui Echeverria-Berreyarza, Alfredo Nunez, Rolf Dollevoet, Zili Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a sensitivity analysis of railpad parameters on vertical railway track dynamics, incorporating the nonlinear behavior of the fastening (i.e., downward forces compress the railpad whereas upward forces are resisted by the clamps). For this purpose, solid railpads, rail-railpad contact and preloaded springs are defined in a three-dimensional (3D) finite-element track model. In addition, railpads are modeled as Prony series so that measured frequency-dependent railpad properties for different clamp toe load, temperature, aging, and railpad type are considered. Through sensitivity analysis using time-domain and frequency-domain responses, the influence of the railpad parameters on the global track response is investigated. Railpad type, toe load and aging are identified as the most relevant parameters in the frequency range of 300-3,000 Hz. Furthermore, the information obtained over track response changes due to fastening loosening and railpad wear could be used for monitoring the condition of fastenings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Vertical railway track dynamics
  • frequency dependent railpad properties
  • Fastening, sensitivity analysis
  • finite element model

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