Construction of three-dimensional track models for roller-coaster applications

B. Sequeira, Joao Pombo, Pedro Antunes, J. Ambrosio, Peter Keith Woodward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The definition of roller coaster tracks requires the accurate description of their spatial geometries, which is usually done with the parameterisation of the track centerline. Nevertheless, the construction of such track models is not an easy task as it requires the definition of a collection of three-dimensional segments with complex geometries and the characterization of a reference plane where the rails sit and relative to which the cant angle is defined. In this paper, a methodology, with a user friendly interface, is presented for the construction of three-dimensional track models with complex geometries. For this purpose, a library of analytical segments is provided to the user where they just have to select the sequence in which these segments are used to build the track model and define some simple parameters that characterize each segment, e.g., the radius and length of a curve. The methodology proposed here is demonstrated through the construction of a realistic roller coaster track with a complex geometry. It is shown that this tool can be used in the framework of a multibody formulation to perform dynamic analyses of roller coaster vehicles and compute, for example, the accelerations perceived by the passengers or the reaction forces imposed to the roller coaster structure by the running vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Development and Maintenance
EditorsJ. Pombo
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISBN (Print)9781905088652
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event3rd International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance 2016 - Cagliari, Italy
Duration: 5 Apr 20168 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameCivil-Comp Proceedings
PublisherCivil-Comp Press
ISSN (Print)1759-3433


Conference3rd International Conference on Railway Technology


  • Analytical segments
  • Curve geometry
  • Multibody dynamics
  • Rail guided vehicles
  • Track parameterisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Environmental Engineering


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