Track and Catenary Reconstruction from Aerial Images for the Realistic Analysis of Rail Electrification Systems

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Currently, the modelling of the railway catenaries for straight tracks is well understood and demonstrated via an accepted number of applications and an international benchmark. However, in the presence of a general track geometry, including curved tracks, challenges still remain. The fundamental difficulty is how to address the catenary layout in the presence of curves for a long railway track in which a large number of catenary sections are defined. To support the catenary design, e.g. in new electrification projects, it is fundamental to identify the track geometry, which is not always accessible to the overhead line engineers. This work purposes a novel approach for track geometry reconstruction using aerial views. The reconstruction methodology is based on the general geometry rules for track design. The track geometry obtained is then used as the reference to define the layout of the catenary. The Network Rail Series 1 overhead equipment is used here and the 3D finite element model of the catenary is built on the curved track geometry. The results of this work demonstrate, not only the advances proposed to study more realistically the pantograph-catenary interaction, but also the need to consider general curved tracks in acceptance and interoperability studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

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