Simulation of a Railway Vehicle Running in a Mountainous Track at a Prescribed Speed

H. Magalhães, J. Ambrosio, Joao Pombo

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


In railway dynamics, the simulation of railway vehicles in realistic operation conditions demands detailed models of the vehicle and of the track. In general, the motion of the vehicles along the dynamic analyses is ensured by initial or constant velocities, with no other methods being used to control the speed of the train. However, real railway tracks are characterized not only by curves with different radii and cant angles, but also by slopes that accelerate or slow down the vehicle. For these reasons, it is crucial to control the speed of the vehicle in order to ensure not only the realism of the simulation, but also to enable more accurate assessment of the safety and comfort of the passengers. In this paper, a light rail vehicle, used by the Portuguese rail company, is simulated on a mountainous railway track. The vehicle speed is controlled by drivers applied on the traction wheelsets. These drivers are implemented using the kinematic constraints described in this paper. The track geometry information, namely, the radius of the curves and their cant angles, is used here to set the vehicle speed as function of the track length. In particular, it is considered that the vehicle travels: at a nominal velocity in the tangent segments; at a velocity that exhibits zero non-compensated acceleration in curve segments; and, in the transition curves, the velocity of the vehicle varies. The methodologies developed in this work are suitable for the performance of realistic simulations with several applications, for example, a vehicle homologation studies.
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


  • Multibody simulation
  • Prescribed speed
  • Railway dynamics
  • Real tracks
  • Virtual homologation


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