Short pitch corrugation mitigation by rail constraint design

Pan Zhang, Shaoguang Li, Zili Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Short pitch corrugation is a quasi-periodic rail defect that induces a high level of noise and accelerates track degradation. This paper proposes a methodology to mitigate short pitch corrugation by rail constraint design, including four steps. In Step 1, corrugation is numerically reproduced by employing a three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) vehicle-track model with degraded fastenings. In Step 2, the corrugation initiation mechanism is identified by the operating deflection shapes (ODSs) approach. In Step 3, different types of rail constraints are designed and their effects on rail vibration modes are analysed. Then FE models of these rail constraints are built up and validated. In Step 4, rail constraint models from Step 3 are applied to the 3D FE vehicle-track interaction model and their effectiveness on corrugation mitigation is evaluated. The results indicate rail longitudinal compression modes and the induced longitudinal dynamic contact force dominate the initial differential wear and corrugation initiation. Based on this mechanism, a new rail constraint is designed in this work that can completely suppress longitudinal compression modes and significantly reduce the fluctuation amplitude of the longitudinal contact force so that corrugation can hardly initiate. This paper first points out a direction for field corrugation mitigation by strengthening the rail longitudinal constraint.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108037
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • 3D Fe vehicle-track dynamic interaction model
  • Longitudinal dynamic contact force
  • Operating deflection shapes
  • Rail constraint design
  • Rail longitudinal compression modes
  • Short pitch corrugation mitigation


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