Investigating the Effect of Some Train and Track Parameters on Contact-impact Forces in the Vicinity of a Rail Breakage
Broken rails or welds are the main causes of derailment in railway networks. Therefore, a wheel-rail interaction model, which precisely estimates contact-impact forces in the presence of broken rails, can have a significant effect on derailment risk reduction. This paper attempts to present contact-impact forces in the vicinity of broken rails by employing a detailed 3D finite element model. The model is verified using a field test carried out on a ballasted railway track. Effects of train speed, gap length, axle load and railpad and ballast characteristics are studied on rail-wheel contact forces as well as on railpad and ballast forces. Results suggest that increasing the train speed from 60 km/h to 110 km/h would increase dynamic impact force from 2.46 to 4.11. It is also observed that increasing axle load results in an increase in the wheel-rail impact forces and in railpad and ballast forces, while leading to a reduced dynamic impact factor. Furthermore, investigating the effect of the track parameters demonstrates that ballast stiffness is the most important characteristic of the track, which has a reverse effect on dynamic impact forces. Moreover, unloading length increase and consequently derailment risk increase is highly sensitive to increasing train speed.