A Model for Evaluating Long-Term Support Degradation at Railway Switches

Ilaria Grossoni, Yann Bezin, Louis Le Pen, Geoff Watson, Dimitrios Kostovasilis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


A railway switch is characterised by movable parts, discontinuities in rail geometry and non-uniformities in trackbed stiffness. This work aims to assess the performance of railway switches considering long-term degradation of trackbed support with trafficking. A vehicle-track interaction model capable of reproducing the longitudinal variation in support stiffness and changes in contact condition through the switch panel is used. Site measurements of bearer deflection at a selected S&C are used to back-calculate a trackbed stiffness and initialise dynamic simulations to determine wheel-rail and trackbed contact forces. The calculated trackbed forces are used as an input in an iterative process to estimate the evolution of long-term rail top level and irregularity growth. The model results are compared with measured rail irregularity growth and the model is shown to predict similar trends. Model results and measurements show that higher rates of track geometry degradation occur around the load transfer area. The use of Under Sleeper Pads is found to decrease differential settlement within the panel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Symposium of the International Association of Vehicle System Dynamics, IAVSD 2019, August 12-16, 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden
EditorsMatthijs Klomp, Fredrik Bruzelius, Jens Nielsen, Angela Hillemyr
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783030380779
ISBN (Print)9783030380762, 3030380769
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020
Event26th IAVSD International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 12 Aug 201916 Aug 2019
Conference number: 26

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
ISSN (Print)2195-4356
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4364


Conference26th IAVSD International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks
Abbreviated titleIAVSD 2019
Internet address


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