Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Research article
16 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 16 Apr 2013

Prediction of railway induced ground vibration through multibody and finite element modelling

G. Kouroussis and O. Verlinden

Abstract. The multibody approach is now recognized as a reliable and mature computer aided engineering tool. Namely, it is commonly used in industry for the design of road or railway vehicles. The paper presents a framework developed for predicting the vibrations induced by railway transportation. Firstly, the vehicle/track subsystem is simulated, on the basis of the home-made C++ library EasyDyn, by mixing the multibody model of the vehicle and the finite element model of the track, coupled to each other through the wheel/rail contact forces. Only the motion in the vertical plane is considered, assuming a total symmetry between left and right rails. This first step produces the time history of the forces exerted by the ballast on the foundation, which are then applied to a full 3-D FEM model of the soil, defined under the commercial software ABAQUS. The paper points out the contribution of the pitch motion of the bogies and carbodies which were neglected in previous publications, as well as the interest of the so-called coupled-lumped mass model (CLM) to represent the influence of the foundation in the track model. The potentialities of the model are illustrated on the example of the Thalys high-speed train, riding at 300 km h−1 on the Belgian site of Mévergnies.