Improving the Track Friendliness of a Four-Axle Railway Vehicle Using an Inertance-Integrated Lateral Primary Suspension

Tim D Lewis, Yuan Li, Gareth Tucker, Jason Zheng Jiang, Yunshi Zhao, Simon A Neild, Malcolm Smith, Roger Goodall, Neil Dinmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Improving the track friendliness of a railway vehicle can make a significant contribution to improving the overall cost effectiveness of the rail industry. Rail surface damage in curves can be reduced by using vehicles with a lower Primary Yaw Stiffness (PYS); however, a lower PYS can reduce high-speed stability and have a negative impact on ride comfort. Previous studies have shown that this trade-off between track friendliness and passenger comfort can be successfully combated by using an inerter in the primary suspension; however, these previous studies used simplified vehicle models, contact models, and track inputs. Considering a realistic four-axle passenger vehicle model, this paper investigates the extent to which the vehicle's PYS can be reduced with inertance-integrated primary lateral suspensions without increasing Root Mean Square (RMS) lateral accelerations when running over a 5km example track. The vehicle model, with inertance-integrated primary lateral suspensions, has been created in VAMPIRE, and the vehicle dynamics are captured over a range of vehicle velocities and wheel-rail equivalent conicities. Based on systematic optimisations using network-synthesis theory, several beneficial inertance-integrated configurations are identified. It is found that with such beneficial configurations, the PYS can be reduced by up to 47% compared to a base case vehicle, without increasing lateral RMS accelerations. This could result in a potential Network Rail Variable Usage Charge saving of 26%. With the beneficial inertance-integrated suspensions, further simulations are carried out to investigate the vehicle's performance in curve transitions and when subject to one-off peak lateral track irregularities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalVehicle System Dynamics: International Journal of Vehicle Mechanics and Mobility
Early online date12 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sept 2019


  • Inertance-Integrated Networks
  • Suspension
  • Vibration
  • Railway Vehicle


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