Abstract
Despite considerable importance of train ride comfort (TRC) in railway slab tracks, there is no TRC prediction model for the slab tracks in the available literature. In this regard, a practical TRC prediction model was developed in this research, taking into account all the track and rolling stock influencing parameters. For this purpose, a vehicle/slabtrack interaction model was developed. The model was validated using the results obtained from a comprehensive field test. The effects of rail pad, resilient layer, subgrade, properties of rolling stock suspension systems and vehicle speed on the TRC were studied through a parametric study of the model in which random rail irregularities with various severities were considered. The results obtained were used to develop the TRC prediction model. The accuracy of the model predictions was evaluated by comparing them with those obtained from a railway field. It was shown that the TRC prediction model developed here is a reliable tool for estimation of the TRC from slab track properties, rolling stock parameters and track irregularities. Applicability of the model in the real world of practice is illustrated.
Keywords:
Concrete slab track; Ride comfort; Prediction model; Rail irregularity; Vehicle/slab track interaction
Graphical Abstract
Keywords:
Concrete slab track; Ride comfort; Prediction model; Rail irregularity; Vehicle/slab track interaction
1 Introduction
Slab tracks have been widely used in the railway industry because of their less geometry deficiencies compared to other types of railway tracks. However, slab tracks have less capacity in absorption/damping of railwayinduced vibration and noise. Train ride comfort (TRC) is one of the most important vibration indicator of railway vehicle performance. It is influenced by properties of train’s suspension systems, vehicle speed and railway track conditions including rail irregularities and track condition (Connolly et al. 2015Connolly, D. P., Kouroussis, G., Laghrouche, O., Ho, C. L., Forde, M. C. (2015). Benchmarking railway vibrationsTrack, vehicle, ground and building effects. Construction and Building Materials 92: 6481., Kim et al. 2003Kim, Y. G., Kwon, H. B., Kim, S. W., Kim, C. K., Kim, T. W. (2003). Correlation of ride comfort evaluation methods for railway vehicles. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 217(2): 7388., Kouroussis et al. 2014Kouroussis, G., Connolly, D. P., Verlinden, O. (2014). Railwayinduced ground vibrationsa review of vehicle effects. International Journal of Rail Transportation 2(2): 69110., Zakeri et al. 2016Zakeri, J. A., Esmaeili, M., HeydariNoghabi, H. (2016). A field investigation into the effect of under sleeper pads on the reduction of railwayinduced groundborne vibrations. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 230(3): 9991005.).
The TRC is computed based on the standards (see, e.g., BS 6841, 1987BS 6841. (1987). British Standard: Measurement and evaluation of human exposure to wholebody mechanical vibration and repeated shock.; EN 12299, 2009EN 12299. (2009). European Committee for Standardization: Railway applicationsRide comfort for passengersMeasurement and evaluation.; ISO 26311, 1997ISO 26311. (1997). International Organization for Standardization: Mechanical vibration and shock  Evaluation of human exposure to wholebody vibration  Part 1: General requirements.; UIC 513R, 1994UIC 513R. (1994). International Union of Railways: Guidelines for evaluating passenger comfort in relation to vibration in railway vehicle.) and Sperling method (Van Eldik Thieme, 1961Van Eldik Thieme, I. H. (1961). Passenger riding comfort criteria and methods of analysing ride and vibration data (No. 610173). SAE Technical Paper.), presented as a function of carbody accelerations. Carbody accelerations are either measured from the field (Kim et al. 2008Kim, Y. S., Lim, T. K., Park, S. H., Jeong, R. G. (2008). Dynamic model for ride comfort evaluations of the rubbertired light rail vehicle. Vehicle System Dynamics 46(11): 10611082., Zhai et al. 2015Zhai, W., Liu, P., Lin, J., Wang, K. (2015). Experimental investigation on vibration behaviour of a CRH train at speed of 350 km/h. International Journal of Rail Transportation 3(1): 116.) or computed from analyses of the results obtained from numerical models of traintrack interaction (Choi et al. 2013Choi, I. I. Y., Um, J. H., Lee, J. S., Choi, H. H. (2013). The influence of track irregularities on the running behavior of highspeed trains. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of rail and rapid transit 227(1): 94102., Graa et al. 2014Graa, M., Nejlaoui, M., Houidi, A., Affi, Z., Romdhane, L. (2014). Modeling and simulation for vertical rail vehicle dynamic vibration with comfort evaluation. In Conference on Multiphysics Modelling and Simulation for Systems Design (pp. 4757)., Kargarnovin et al. 2005Kargarnovin, M. H., Younesian, D., Thompson, D., Jones, C. (2005). Ride comfort of highspeed trains travelling over railway bridges. Vehicle System Dynamics 43(3): 173197., Wu and Yang, 2003Wu, Y. S., Yang, Y. B. (2003). Steadystate response and riding comfort of trains moving over a series of simply supported bridges. Engineering Structures 25(2): 251265., Yau et al. 1999Yau, J. D., Yang, Y. B., Kuo, S. R. (1999). Impact response of high speed rail bridges and riding comfort of rail cars. Engineering Structures 21(9): 836844.). The field measurements require instrumentation of devices and complicated data recoding process which are considerably costly (Kim et al., 2008Kim, Y. S., Lim, T. K., Park, S. H., Jeong, R. G. (2008). Dynamic model for ride comfort evaluations of the rubbertired light rail vehicle. Vehicle System Dynamics 46(11): 10611082.; Zhai et al., 2015Zhai, W., Liu, P., Lin, J., Wang, K. (2015). Experimental investigation on vibration behaviour of a CRH train at speed of 350 km/h. International Journal of Rail Transportation 3(1): 116.). On the other hand, derivation of accelerations from theoretical models is time consuming interaction (Choi et al. 2013Choi, I. I. Y., Um, J. H., Lee, J. S., Choi, H. H. (2013). The influence of track irregularities on the running behavior of highspeed trains. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of rail and rapid transit 227(1): 94102., Graa et al. 2014Graa, M., Nejlaoui, M., Houidi, A., Affi, Z., Romdhane, L. (2014). Modeling and simulation for vertical rail vehicle dynamic vibration with comfort evaluation. In Conference on Multiphysics Modelling and Simulation for Systems Design (pp. 4757)., Kargarnovin et al. 2005Kargarnovin, M. H., Younesian, D., Thompson, D., Jones, C. (2005). Ride comfort of highspeed trains travelling over railway bridges. Vehicle System Dynamics 43(3): 173197., Wu and Yang, 2003Wu, Y. S., Yang, Y. B. (2003). Steadystate response and riding comfort of trains moving over a series of simply supported bridges. Engineering Structures 25(2): 251265., Yau et al. 1999Yau, J. D., Yang, Y. B., Kuo, S. R. (1999). Impact response of high speed rail bridges and riding comfort of rail cars. Engineering Structures 21(9): 836844.). The TRC (obtained from measurements or prediction models) is required for making decisions in operation and maintenance of railways. Although, some TRC prediction models have been developed for the ballasted tracks (Sadeghi et al. 2020Sadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Heydari, H., Askarinejad, H. (2020). Development of Railway Ride Comfort Prediction Model: Incorporating Track Geometry and Rolling Stock Conditions. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems 146(3): 04020006.), no model is available for the slab tracks. Since properties of ballasted tracks are very different from those of slab tracks, there is a need to develop a new TRC prediction model for slab track systems. This need is responded in this research.
The first step in the development of a prediction model is identification of the influencing parameters. Effects of various parameters (such as track condition, properties of vehicle suspension systems, rail irregularities and vehicle speed) on the TRC were investigated in the literature, particularly for the ballasted tracks. For instance, Choi et al. (2013Choi, I. I. Y., Um, J. H., Lee, J. S., Choi, H. H. (2013). The influence of track irregularities on the running behavior of highspeed trains. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of rail and rapid transit 227(1): 94102.), Kargarnovin et al. (2005Kargarnovin, M. H., Younesian, D., Thompson, D., Jones, C. (2005). Ride comfort of highspeed trains travelling over railway bridges. Vehicle System Dynamics 43(3): 173197.), Wu and Yang (2003Wu, Y. S., Yang, Y. B. (2003). Steadystate response and riding comfort of trains moving over a series of simply supported bridges. Engineering Structures 25(2): 251265.) and Yau et al. (1999Yau, J. D., Yang, Y. B., Kuo, S. R. (1999). Impact response of high speed rail bridges and riding comfort of rail cars. Engineering Structures 21(9): 836844.) investigated the effects of rail irregularities and train speeds on response of a train moving over a ballasted railway track. Also, effects of rail irregularities on the TRC were studied by Cheng and Hsu (2014Cheng, Y. C., Hsu, C. T. (2014). Running safety and comfort analysis of railway vehicles moving on curved tracks. International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 14(04): 1450004., ^{2016}Cheng, Y. C., Hsu, C. T. (2016). Parametric analysis of ride comfort for tilting railway vehicles running on irregular curved tracks. International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 16(09): 1550056.) and Youcef et al. (2013Youcef, K., Sabiha, T., El Mostafa, D., Ali, D., Bachir, M. (2013). Dynamic analysis of trainbridge system and riding comfort of trains with rail irregularities. Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology 27(4): 951962.). Effects of ballasted track flexibility on the acceleration of carboy variation have been investigated in several studies including Cheli and Corradi (2011Cheli, F., Corradi, R. (2011). On rail vehicle vibrations induced by track unevenness: Analysis of the excitation mechanism. Journal of Sound and Vibration 330(15): 37443765.), Xu et al. (2016Xu, J., Wang, B., Wang, L., Wang, P. (2016). Distribution characteristics and influencing factors of the frequencydomain response of a vehicletrack vertical coupled system. Journal of Modern Transportation 24(3): 166176.) and Kouroussis et al. (2012Kouroussis, G., Verlinden, O., Conti, C. J. V. S. D. (2012). Influence of some vehicle and track parameters on the environmental vibrations induced by railway traffic. Vehicle system dynamics 50(4): 619639.). In addition to the properties of the track, the Influence of rolling stock (such as vehicle suspension systems parameters) on the TRC have been studied in the literature (Dumitriu 2012Dumitriu, M. (2012). Influence of the suspension damping on ride comfort of passenger railway vehicles. UPB Scientific Bulletin, Series D: Mechanical Engineering 74(4): 7590., ^{2013}Dumitriu, M. (2013). Evaluation of the comfort index in railway vehicles depending on the vertical suspension features. Annals of the Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara 11(4): 23., Dumitriu and Gheţi, 2018Dumitriu, M., Gheţi, M. A. (2018, November). Numerical study on the influence of primary suspension damping upon the dynamic behaviour of railway vehicles. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, IOP Publishing Vol. 444, No. 4, 042001., Dumitriu and Stănică 2019Dumitriu, M., Stănică, D. I. (2019). Influence of the Primary Suspension Damping on the Ride Comfort in the Railway Vehicles. In Materials Science Forum, Trans Tech Publications Ltd Vol. 957, 5362.).
Investigation of the TRC in railway slab track systems is limited to few works. For instance, Zhai et al. (2009Zhai, W., Wang, K., Cai, C. (2009). Fundamentals of vehicletrack coupled dynamics. Vehicle System Dynamics 47(11): 13491376.) studied the influence of train speed on the TRC using a twolayered interaction model in which two parallel rails and a concrete slab were considered. Wei et al. (2016Wei, K., Zhang, P., Wang, P., Xiao, J., Luo, Z. (2016). The influence of amplitudeand frequencydependent stiffness of rail pads on the random vibration of a vehicletrack coupled system. Shock and Vibration.) investigated the effect rail pad on the vibration response of car body in a certain speed. The influences of stiffness and damping of rail pad, cement asphalt mortar (CAM) and subgrade on dynamic performance of a vehicle were investigated by Lei (2017Lei, X. (2017). High speed railway track dynamics. Models, Algorithms and Applications. Science Press, Beijing/Springer Nature Singapore Pte. Ltd.) and Zhang et al. (2013Zhang, J., Zhao, Y., Zhang, Y. H., Jin, X. S., Zhong, W. X., Williams, F. W., Kennedy, D. (2013). Nonstationary random vibration of a coupled vehicleslab track system using a parallel algorithm based on the pseudo excitation method. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 227(3): 203216.). The main limitation of their research is a lack of consideration of rail irregularity, which is mostly observed in the tracks. The importance of the effects of rail irregularities on the TRC has been shown by Sadeghi et al. (2019Sadeghi, J., Rabiee, S., Khajehdezfuly, A. (2019). Effect of rail irregularities on ride comfort of train moving over ballastless tracks. International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 19(06): 1950060.)
Evaluation of the results obtained in the literature indicates that the main track and rolling stock parameters, which have noticeable influences on the TRC, are vehicle suspension system properties, rail irregularities, vehicle speed and track stiffness. In this research, the previous researches were further developed (extended) by including rail irregularity effects on the TRC. Furthermore, the influencing levels of each parameter on the TRC were quantified. The results were used to develop a comprehensive and practical TRC prediction model for railway slab tracks.
2 Development of vehicletrack model
In order to investigate the effects of track and rolling stock parameters on the TRC, a 2D numerical model of vehicleslab track dynamic interaction was developed in this study. This model is an upgraded/improved version of the one developed by these authors in (Sadeghi et al. 2016aSadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Esmaeili, M., Poorveis, D. (2016a). An efficient algorithm for nonlinear analysis of vehicle/track interaction problems. International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 16(08): 1550040., ^{2019}Sadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Heydari, H., Askarinejad, H. (2020). Development of Railway Ride Comfort Prediction Model: Incorporating Track Geometry and Rolling Stock Conditions. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems 146(3): 04020006.). In the new model, the concrete slab is simulated as a continuous layer, which has less computational cost compared to the original one. The model includes the slabtrack and the vehicle system. A schematic view of the model is presented in Figure 1.
The slab track submodel consists of the rail, concrete slab and concrete base, which are simulated as a continuous layer using the EulerBernouli beam element. The beam element has four Degrees Of Freedom (DOF), with cubic Hermitian shape functions. The mass and stiffness matrices (
where m, EI and l represent the mass per unit length, the flexural rigidity and the length of the beam element, respectively. As shown in Figure 1, fastening system connects the rail layer to the concrete slab layer. The concrete slab layer was attached to the concrete base layer using a resilient layer. The concrete base layer was laid on a subgrade. The fastening system (rail pad), resilient layer and subgrade are simulated as linear springdashpot elements. By assembling the elements, the slab track matrices of mass (
Finally, the governing differential equation of motion for the vehicle was derived as described in Costa et al. (2012Costa, P. A., Calçada, R., Cardoso, A. S. (2012). Influence of train dynamic modelling strategy on the prediction of trackground vibrations induced by railway traffic. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 226(4): 434450., ^{2015}Costa, P. A., Colaço, A., Calçada, R., Cardoso, A. S. (2015). Critical speed of railway tracks. Detailed and simplified approaches. Transportation Geotechnics 2: 3046.) and Fernández Ruiz et al. (2017Fernández Ruiz, J., Costa, P. A., Calçada, R., Medina Rodríguez, L. E., Colaço, A. (2017). Study of ground vibrations induced by railway traffic in a 3D FEM model formulated in the time domain: experimental validation. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 13(5): 652664.). The vehicle acceleration vector was obtained by the second derivative of the vehicle displacement as under:
where
where
The Sperling index (W_{Z}) was used to represent the level of the TRC. The Sperling index has been suggested as an appropriate criterion for the TRC because of its simplicity and accuracy (Esveld 1989Esveld, C. (1989). Modern railway track. MRTproductions., Iwnicki 2006Iwnicki, S. (2006). Handbook of railway vehicle dynamics. CRC Press., Kargarnovin et al. 2005Kargarnovin, M. H., Younesian, D., Thompson, D., Jones, C. (2005). Ride comfort of highspeed trains travelling over railway bridges. Vehicle System Dynamics 43(3): 173197., Ketchum and Wilson 2012Ketchum, C. D., Wilson, N. (2012). PerformanceBased Track Geometry, Phase 1 (No. TCRP Project D7, Task 18)., Kumar et al. 2017Kumar, V., Rastogi, V., Pathak, P. M. (2017). Simulation for wholebody vibration to assess ride comfort of a lowmedium speed railway vehicle. Simulation 93(3): 225236., Ling et al. 2018Ling, L., Zhang, Q., Xiao, X., Wen, Z., Jin, X. (2018). Integration of carbody flexibility into traintrack coupling system dynamics analysis. Vehicle System Dynamics 56(4): 485505., Yang et al. 2004Yang, Y. B., Yau, J. D., Yao, Z., Wu, Y. S. (2004). Vehiclebridge interaction dynamics: with applications to highspeed railways. World Scientific.). For the computation of the Sperling index, there is not any limitation for the time duration of data sampling. Therefore, it has low computational cost. Other ride comfort indexes such as EN or UIC need at least five minutes of accelerations time history, which cause substantially higher computational cost. Moreover, the Sperling index requires the least instrumentations for the field measurements (i.e., it needs only biaxial accelerometers). These reasons indicate the suitability of the Sperling index for the prediction of the TRC (Sadeghi et al. 2019Sadeghi, J., Rabiee, S., Khajehdezfuly, A. (2019). Effect of rail irregularities on ride comfort of train moving over ballastless tracks. International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 19(06): 1950060.). The vertical acceleration of carbody (
where
3 Validation of vehicletrack model
Validity of the model was examined through comparison between the results obtained from the model and those of a comprehensive field measurement carried out in this research. The test procedure and comparisons of the results are discussed in the following sections.
3.1 Field test
The field test was carried out in Line 1 of Isfahan’s metro (the second largest subway network in Iran). The location of the test was between Takhti and Imam Hossein stations (Figure 3). A polyurethane resilient layer exists between concrete slab and the tunnel lining which forms a Floating Slab Track (FST) (Figure 4). The properties of the slab track are presented in Table 1. The tested track had a length of 0.4 km (Km 12+329 to 12+729). It was divided into 10 segments. The rail irregularities at the test locations were measured by a trolley system. The rail irregularity profiles measured for the track are presented in Figure 5. The Chinese train type of Pouzhen was used in the field test. Characteristics of the train used in the field test are presented in Table 2. A view of the train used is shown in Figure 6. One accelerometer with the capacity of 1 g was installed on the floor at the center of the wagon to measure the vertical accelerations of the car body in all the tests (Figure 7). The tests were performed with the train speeds of 30 and 50 km/h. The ECON data logger was used to record the data (Figure 7) and a sampling frequency was 640 Hz. A sample of recorded accelerations is presented in Figure 8.
Views of the superstructure of slab track in the field test: (a) View of slab track; (b) schematic view Floating Slab Track (FST).
Views of the vehicle in the field test: (a) View from outside of Isfahan metro vehicle; (b) View from inside of Isfahan metro vehicle
Slabtrack properties (adapted from IMER Co 2005 IMER Co. (2005). Superstructure of Isfahan’s metro, Report No.2.and Sadeghi et al., 2016bSadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Esmaeili, M., Poorveis, D. (2016b). Investigation of rail irregularity effects on wheel/rail dynamic force in slab track: comparison of two and three dimensional models. Journal of Sound and Vibration 374: 228244.).
Characteristics of vehicle in Isfahan field test (adapted from CNR CR, 2014CNR CR. General description of train system, Isfahan metro project Line 1. Changchun Railway vehicles Co, China. (2014) Report No 2.).
3.2 Comparison of results
Comparisons of the results obtained from the model and the field test for the vehicle speeds of 30 and 50 km/h are presented in Figure 9. According to Figure 9, the differences between the field test results and those of the model are in the range of (210%). As presented in Figures 9(a) and 9(b), the maximum difference between W_{Z} obtained from the model and the experiments is about 10% in the 7^{th} segment when the train speed is 50 km/h. As shown in Figure 5, the severity and amplitude of the rail irregularity in Segment 7 is greater than those of the other segments. The minimum difference (about 2%) between the results is in the 2^{th} segment. Comparisons of the results presented in Figures 9 indicate that the model has a good level of accuracy in prediction of the TRC.
Comparisons of the results obtained from the model and those of the Isfahan field with FST superstructure for two train speeds: (a) 30 km/h; (b) 50 km/h.
4 Effects of track and rolling stock parameters on TRC
According to the literature (discussed above), vehicle suspension system properties, vehicle speed, rail irregularities and track flexibility (stiffness of rail pad, resilient layer and subgrade) are known as the parameters having noticeable effects on the TRC. The model developed and validated above was used to investigate and quantify the effects of these parameters on the TRC.
4.1 Effects of track parameters on the TRC
As presented in Table 3, three types of rail pad, four different resilient layers and three types of subgrade were considered in the investigation. Altogether, 12 types (cases) of slab tracks with various combinations of rail pads and resilient layers were considered (Table 4). They cover the possible conditions of track properties (Khajehdezfuly 2019Khajehdezfuly, A. (2019). Effect of rail pad stiffness on the wheel/rail force intensity in a railway slab track with shortwave irregularity. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 233(10): 10381049., Lei and Wang, 2014Lei, X., Wang, J. (2014). Dynamic analysis of the train and slab track coupling system with finite elements in a moving frame of reference. Journal of Vibration and Control 20(9): 13011317., Lei and Zhang 2010Lei, X., Zhang, B. (2010). Analysis of dynamic behavior for slab track of highspeed railway based on vehicle and track elements. Journal of Transportation Engineering 137(4): 227240., Sadeghi and Esmaeili, 2018Sadeghi, J., Esmaeili, M. H. (2018) Effectiveness of track stiffness reduction in attenuation of metro induced vibrations received by historical buildings, Latin American Journal of Solids and Structures 15(11): 111.). The vehicle characteristics were adopted from Chinese railway vehicle called CHR3 (Lei and Wang 2014Lei, X., Wang, J. (2014). Dynamic analysis of the train and slab track coupling system with finite elements in a moving frame of reference. Journal of Vibration and Control 20(9): 13011317., Lei and Zhang 2010Lei, X., Zhang, B. (2010). Analysis of dynamic behavior for slab track of highspeed railway based on vehicle and track elements. Journal of Transportation Engineering 137(4): 227240., Sadeghi et al. 2016bSadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Esmaeili, M., Poorveis, D. (2016b). Investigation of rail irregularity effects on wheel/rail dynamic force in slab track: comparison of two and three dimensional models. Journal of Sound and Vibration 374: 228244.). The vehicle speed was changed from 10 to 100 km/h. The effects of track flexibility and vehicle speed on the TRC were evaluated in presence of random irregularities with low, medium and high severities. The characteristics of rail irregularities were adapted from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) classifications (Garg and Dukkipati 1984Garg, V. K., Dukkipati, R. V. (1984), Dynamics of Railway Vehicle Systems, Academic Press., Lei 2017Lei, X. (2017). High speed railway track dynamics. Models, Algorithms and Applications. Science Press, Beijing/Springer Nature Singapore Pte. Ltd., Zakeri et al. 2017Zakeri, J. A., Feizi, M. M., Shadfar, M., Naeimi, M. (2017). Sensitivity analysis on dynamic response of railway vehicle and ride index over curved bridges. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part K: Journal of MultiBody Dynamics 231(1): 266277.)
The random track vertical irregularities are generated by the power spectral density function (PSD).
where ω (rad/m) is the spatial frequency or wave number,
where
in which
Random irregularity with high severity
The results obtained from the analyses of the model in presence of the random irregularity with high severity are presented in Figures 11 and 12. The variations of TRC against the train speed for various stiffness of rail pad, resilient layer (between slab and concrete base) and subgrade are illustrated in these figures. The results indicate that the slab track components flexibility changes the level of TRC (up to 70 percent). Comparison of the results indicates that variation of the TRC against train speed has dissimilar trends for different track flexibilities. In other words, the train speed changes the pattern of track flexibility effect on the TRC. Although subgrade stiffness has no significant influence on the TRC (less than 2 percent), rail pad stiffness and resilient layer stiffness have noticeable influence.
Based on the results presented in Figure 11, rail pad type is an important factor in the trend of TRC variation against train speed. It is observed from Figure 11(a) that when the rail pad is soft, neither resilient layer softness nor subgrade stiffness changes the level of TRC. However, as the rail pad stiffness increases to medium and hard, the influence of resilient layer stiffness on the TRC is increased. For instance, when the rail pad is medium and hard (for the train speed of 100 km/h) there is 28% and 42% changes in the TRC, respectively.
Variations of TRC versus train speed for random irregularities with high severity in various rail pads: (a) Soft rail pad; (b) Medium rail pad; (c) Hard rail pad.
Figures 12(a) to 12(d) illustrate the variation of the TRC against the train speed in various stiffness of resilient layer. It is observed from Figures 12(a) and 12(b) that TRC is significantly influenced by resilient layer stiffness. Based on these figures, the TRC variation is dependent on train speed when there is a PU layer between slab and concrete base (resilient layer with low stiffness). The TRC is considerably influenced by the rail pad stiffness when the train speed is less than 100 km/h (Figures 12(a) and 12(b)). As indicated in Figures 12(c) and 12(d), in the presence of CAM resilient layer, the TRC is increased considerably as the rail pad stiffness is increased (up to 70%) for all ranges of train speed.
Variations of TRC versus train speed for random irregularities with high severity in various resilient layers: (a) PUSoft; (b) PUHard; (c) CAMSoft; (d) CAM Hard.
Random irregularity with medium and low severity
Changes of the TRC against train speeds for random irregularities with medium and low severities in various types of rail pads and resilient layers are presented in Figures 13 and 14, respectively. The results indicate that as the severity of rail irregularity increases from low to medium, the level of TRC increases about 70 to 100 percent in different ranges of track flexibility. Moreover, the effect of track flexibility on the level of TRC increases when severity of rail irregularity increases. For instance, the maximum difference between the TRC obtained from the model when using CAMHard (case 5) and PUSoft (case 8) is about 22%. This comparison was made when a soft rail pad was used, train speed was 100 km/h, and rail had irregularity with medium severity. The severity of the rail irregularities has substantial influence on the results such that if rail irregularity changes from medium to low, the difference decreases to 14%. However, when the rail pad stiffness changes from low (soft pad) to high (hard pad), the difference reaches to 36% in presence of irregularity with medium severity.
Variations of TRC versus train speed for random irregularities with medium and low severity in various rail pads: (a) Soft rail pad; (b) Medium rail pad; (c) Hard rail pad.
4.2 Effects of rolling stock parameters on the TRC
Damping and stiffness of vehicle suspension systems are the main parameters which have notable influences on the level of the TRC. They are presented by a factor called damping ratios of vehicle suspension systems. Damping ratios of primary and secondary suspension systems of a vehicle are defined as follows: (Dumitriu 2012Dumitriu, M. (2012). Influence of the suspension damping on ride comfort of passenger railway vehicles. UPB Scientific Bulletin, Series D: Mechanical Engineering 74(4): 7590., Dumitriu 2013Dumitriu, M. (2013). Evaluation of the comfort index in railway vehicles depending on the vertical suspension features. Annals of the Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara 11(4): 23., Dumitriu and Gheţi 2018Dumitriu, M., Gheţi, M. A. (2018, November). Numerical study on the influence of primary suspension damping upon the dynamic behaviour of railway vehicles. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, IOP Publishing Vol. 444, No. 4, 042001., Dumitriu and Stănică 2019Dumitriu, M., Stănică, D. I. (2019). Influence of the Primary Suspension Damping on the Ride Comfort in the Railway Vehicles. In Materials Science Forum, Trans Tech Publications Ltd Vol. 957, 5362., Sadeghi et al. 2020Sadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Heydari, H., Askarinejad, H. (2020). Development of Railway Ride Comfort Prediction Model: Incorporating Track Geometry and Rolling Stock Conditions. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems 146(3): 04020006.)
Variations of TRC versus train speed for random irregularities with medium and low severity in various resilient layers: (a) PUSoft; (b) PUHard; (c) CAMSoft; (d) CAM Hard.
The effects of damping ratios on the TRC were investigated through a parametric study. For this purpose, the vehicle and slabtrack properties were adopted from the CHR3 train and the CRTSII slab track, respectively. The effect of vehicle suspension systems on the TRC was studied for the train speeds of 50, 75 and 100 km/h, taking into consideration various amounts of track stiffness (Table 5).
The effects of various damping ratios of suspension systems on the TRC in different track stiffness and vehicle speeds are shown in Figures 15 to 17. Damping ratios of primary and secondary suspension systems of CHR3 railway vehicle are 1.23 and 0.67, respectively (Lei and Wang 2014Lei, X., Wang, J. (2014). Dynamic analysis of the train and slab track coupling system with finite elements in a moving frame of reference. Journal of Vibration and Control 20(9): 13011317.).
Variations of TRC versus damping ratio of various suspension systems in soft slab track: (a) primary suspension system; (b) secondary suspension system.
Variations of TRC versus damping ratio of various suspension systems in medium slab track: (a) primary suspension system; (b) secondary suspension system.
Variations of TRC versus damping ratio of various suspension systems in hard slab track: (a) primary suspension system; (b) secondary suspension system.
Comparison of the results shows that damping ratio of secondary suspension system has a greater impact on the TRC. This is due to the fact that the bogie mass is between the primary suspension system and the carbody which reduces damping efficiency of primary suspension system (Dumitriu 2012Dumitriu, M. (2012). Influence of the suspension damping on ride comfort of passenger railway vehicles. UPB Scientific Bulletin, Series D: Mechanical Engineering 74(4): 7590., Dumitriu 2013Dumitriu, M. (2013). Evaluation of the comfort index in railway vehicles depending on the vertical suspension features. Annals of the Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara 11(4): 23., Dumitriu and Gheţi 2018Dumitriu, M., Gheţi, M. A. (2018, November). Numerical study on the influence of primary suspension damping upon the dynamic behaviour of railway vehicles. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, IOP Publishing Vol. 444, No. 4, 042001., Dumitriu and Stănică 2019Dumitriu, M., Stănică, D. I. (2019). Influence of the Primary Suspension Damping on the Ride Comfort in the Railway Vehicles. In Materials Science Forum, Trans Tech Publications Ltd Vol. 957, 5362., Sadeghi et al. 2020Sadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Heydari, H., Askarinejad, H. (2020). Development of Railway Ride Comfort Prediction Model: Incorporating Track Geometry and Rolling Stock Conditions. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems 146(3): 04020006.). The changes in damping ratio of primary suspension can cause a maximum of 16% difference in the TRC. Variations in the damping ratio of secondary suspension system cause up to 45% change in the TRC. As the vehicle speed increases, the level of TRC increases. According to Figures 15 to 17, the pattern of the variation of the TRC against damping ratios is not changed by the changes in the vehicle speed. It means that this pattern is constant for all vehicle speeds.
5 TRC prediction model
As illustrated above, the TRC is dependent on properties of rolling stock properties and track parameters conditions. It is presented in a mathematical form in equation 14:
where TRC is the level of train ride comfort (based on Sperling index);
5.1 Derivation of TC function
The data obtained from the parametric study were imported into the STATGRAPHICS (STATGRAPHICS Centurion 18 2020STATGRAPHICS Centurion 18 (2020). Statistical analysis software (version 18), http://www.statgraphics.com
http://www.statgraphics.com...
) in order to develop a mathematical expression for the TC (i.e., TRC as a function of track parameters properties). It was made in two steps. In the first step, the best possible mathematical relationship between the TRC and each variable (i.e., vehicle speed, rail pad stiffness, resilient layer stiffness and rail irregularity) was derived. It is indicated in equation (15) where P _{j} is the j^{th} variable, f _{i}(P _{j}) is the i^{th} mathematical expression for the j^{th} variable (P _{j}) and TRC_{ij} is the level of TRC for the i^{th} mathematical expression of the j^{th} variable. j was considered 1, 2, 3 and 4 for vehicle speed, rail pad stiffness, resilient layer stiffness and rail irregularity, respectively.
27 linear and nonlinear mathematical expressions (in forms of squared, exponential, polynomial with different order, multiplicative, logarithmic, and power) were considered. In other word, i changes from 1 to 27 in equation (15). The mathematical expression (
where
5.2 Derivation of VC function
The effects of rolling stock properties on the TRC (obtained from the parametric study) were used to derive a relationship between vehicle properties and the TRC. As shown in Figures 15 to 17, the pattern of the variation of TRC against damping ratios of vehicle suspension systems is the same for all train speeds. Therefore, vehicle speed is considered constant in the derivation of the vehicle function (
The level of TRC is 2.17 for the speed of 100 km/h (refer to Figure 11), therefore the values in the vertical axes were obtained from
Percentage variations of W_{Z} versus the percentage of increase/decrease in damping ratio of various suspension systems in vehicle speed of 100 km/h: (a) primary suspension system; (b) secondary suspension system.
where,
In which
6 Application of prediction model
An algorithm for computation of ride comfort index based on propperties of track and rolling stock parameters is presented in Figure 19. In order to investigate reliability of the prediction model, application of the model in practice (i.e., in a railway field) was illustrated.
To this end, two types of slab track with various ranges of track flexibility and different severities of rail irregularity were selected in railway fields. The TRC were obtained from field measuremts. The results obtained from the measusremets were compared with those predicted by the model. The first location of the test was between Beheshti and Mosalla stations in Tehran's subway network (the oldest subway network in Iran) (Figure 20(a)). The second test was carried out in Isfahan Metro (Figure 20(b)). The superstructure of the slab track in Tehran field test consists of three layers: rail, concrete slab and the tunnel lining (concrete base). There is a cement asphalt mortar layer (CAM) between the concrete slab and the tunnel lining which forms a direct fixation fastening (DFF) (Figure 21(a)). The location of the test prefomed in Isfahan metro is adjacent to several monumental buildings. It has a supersoft superstructure constructed under the rails called Floating slab Track with High Resilient Fastener (FSTHRF) (Figure 21(c)). Schematic views of the two types of field tests are shown in Figure 21. The properties of slab track of Isfahan metro is presented in Table 1. The properties of slab track in Tehran metro are available in Sadeghi et al. (2016bSadeghi, J., Khajehdezfuly, A., Esmaeili, M., Poorveis, D. (2016b). Investigation of rail irregularity effects on wheel/rail dynamic force in slab track: comparison of two and three dimensional models. Journal of Sound and Vibration 374: 228244.). Physical and geometry properties of the train used in the Isfahan field test are presented in Table 2. Specifications of the train used in the Tehran field test are available in CNR CR (2002CNR CR. Car manuals for Tehran subway Line 1. Changchun Railway vehicles Co, China. (2002) Report No 2.). The entire route of the test line in Tehran’s metro with the length of 1 km was divided into 25 segments, each having a length of 40 meters. The slabtrack in Isfahan’s metro consists of FSTHRF, having a length of 0.4 km (Km 12+352 to 12+752). They were divided into 10 segments. Rail irregularities were measured by an EM50 recording machine and a trolley system. The rail irregularity profiles measured for each track segment in Tehran and Isfahan’s metro are presented in Figure 22. The tests were performed with train speeds of 30 and 50 km/h.
Field test locations: (a) in Tehran metro line 1 between Shahid Beheshti and Mosalla stations; (b) in Isfahan metro line 1 between Takhti and Imam Hossein stations.
Based on Figure 22(b), the maximum amplitude of rail irregularity of Isfahan field is 0.6 mm, so it is categorized as an irregularity with low severity. The maximum irregularity amplitude of Tehran field test is 3 mm (see Figure 22(a)) which is an irregularity with medium severity. The maximum irregularity amplitudes in the Tehran and Isfahan filed tests were obtained in the 11^{th} and 9^{th} segments (See Figure 22), respectively. The input parameters of TRC prediction model are listed in Table 6. The results obtained from the TRC prediction model and those of the field tests for various train speeds are presented in Table 7.
As indicated in Table 7, the differences for the TRC obtained in the measurements and those of the prediction model are in the range of 7.5% to 16%. According to Table 7, the level of TRC estimated by the model is approximately higher than those measured in the field test. Comparison of the results indicates that the results of TRC prediction model are in relatively good agreement. The model predictions are more accurate for the tracks (segments) with more irregularity amplitudes.
Views of the various superstructures of slabtrack in the field tests: (a) Direct fixation fastening (DFF) (Tehran’s metro); (b) A schematic views of DFF; (c) Floating slab Track with High Resilient Fastener (FSTHRF) (Isfahan’s metro); (d) A schematic views of FSTHRF.
The results show that the model developed in this study is a lowcost tool to estimate the level of TRC. It is very helpful to estimate the level of TRC (from track and rolling stock conditions) for making decisions on railway operation restrictions and track maintenance required actions.
Comparison between results of TRC prediction model and field measurements in segment with the maximum amplitude.
7 Conclusions
Although Train Ride Comfort (TRC) is one of the most important vibration indicator of railway vehicle performance, there is no trace of TRC prediction model for the slab tracks in the literature. In response to this need, a TRC prediction model was developed in this research, taking into account all the track and rolling stock influencing parameters. To this end, a vehicle/track interaction model was developed. The validity of the model was shown through a comparison between results obtained from the model and those of a field test carried out in this research. The influences of track parameters and vehicle properties on the level of TRC were investigated through a twophased parametric study.
The effects of railpad stiffness, resilient layer stiffness, subgrade stiffness and rail irregularity on the level of TRC in presence of various vehicle speeds were investigated in the first phase of the parametric study. The results indicate that although subgrade stiffness has not significant influence on the TRC, rail pad stiffness and resilient layer stiffness are effective parameters on the TRC. The level of TRC is not influenced by the resilient layer stiffness when the rail pad is soft. As the rail pad stiffness is increased, the influence of resilient layer stiffness on the TRC is increased. As the severity of rail irregularity increases, the effect of track flexibility increases.
The effects of vehicle suspension properties on the level of TRC were investigated in the second phase of the parametric study. The results obtained from the parametric study show that damping ratio of secondary suspension system has a greater impact on the TRC when compared with that of primary suspension system. The possible changes in damping ratio of primary and secondary suspension systems can cause a maximum of 16% and 45% changes in the level of TRC, respectively. As the vehicle speed increases, the rate of the changes increases. The patterns of the variation of TRC against the damping ratio of various suspension systems for all vehicle speed are the same.
A TRC prediction model for railway slab track systems was developed based on the results obtained from the parametric study. The TRC prediction model was presented as a function of track parameters and vehicle characteristics. Reliability of the TRC prediction model was investigated through comparison between the results obtained from the prediction model and those of a comprehensive field test carried out in this study. This was made in presence of various track flexibilities and rail irregularity severities. It was shown that the TRC prediction model developed here is a reliable tool for estimation of the TRC from slab track properties, rolling stock parameters and track irregularities. The prediction model developed in this study can be used as an accurate and lowcost tool to estimate the level of TRC in the track design, operation and maintenance.
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Publication Dates

Publication in this collection
21 Sept 2020 
Date of issue
2020
History

Received
18 Aug 2020 
Reviewed
21 Aug 2020 
Accepted
23 Aug 2020 
Published
26 Aug 2020