A Pantograph-Catenary Dynamic Analysis Tool to Support Railway Electrification Projects

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The race for lower carbon emissions pressures railway transportation to meet demanding electrification goals. Infrastructure managers seek ways to electrify their network at an accelerated pace, challenging the industry for a faster, cheaper and less disruptive electrification. This includes the electrification of their current networks, as well as upgrading parts of older infrastructure to cope with increased traffic and operating speeds, while still planning network expansion. Conversely, rolling stock manufacturers carry the heft on providing an interoperable train-pantograph configuration able to perform through different parts of the network with different catenary designs. In this fast paced and complex environment, set to meet strict electrification goals, the industry seeks the employment of pantograph-catenary interaction dynamic analysis tools to validate and verify their design solutions at an accelerated pace, as well as provide a degree of assurance to the network. The employment of numerical analysis tools to analyse the pantograph-catenary interaction dynamics has a crucial role to better understand and improve its performance. Additionally, these tools aid the development of new technologies and de-risk their introduction into service, while substantially reducing the need of expensive line tests. However, the capability of these numerical tools has been limited to pantograph-catenary dynamic analysis set in single straight railway tracks. The industry seeks these tools to aid, accelerate and validate in locus electrification projects which require the consideration of the track geometry and other aspects such as catenary systems set in multiple tracks. In this work, a new modelling and dynamic analysis framework is developed to respond to the industry demands in being able to employ these tools in a project design environment. The use of the framework enables catenary systems to be automatically modelled following the track geometry and catenary layout provided as input. It also enables the consideration of catenary systems set in in any general track geometry, such as curves, as well as being composed of more than one track.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4.2
Number of pages7
JournalCivil-Comp Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022
Event5th International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance - Montpellier, France
Duration: 22 Aug 202225 Aug 2022
Conference number: 5


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