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Qualitative comparison of the characteristics of articulated and non-articulated trains and their effects on impact

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xiang Xue, Dr Stephen Ingleton, Professor John Roberts, Professor Mark Robinson


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This paper presents a qualitative comparison of the key characteristics and subsequent impact performance between articulated and non-articulated train types. The fundamental purpose of the paper is through a review of articulated and non-articulated trains in terms of impact stability to identify and compare the areas referable to ‘impact worthiness‘ design. The major differences between articulated and non-articulated trains are highlighted first. Then, the mechanical reasons leading to the differences and their consequences to impact performance are analysed from three viewpoints: coupling stiffness and freedom, support and coupling patterns and carbody structural features. The analysis shows that the differences in bogie support positions on the carbody and the effects on coupling devices lead to differences in several structural and compositional characteristics, including height of gravity of carbody, length of vehicle, composition of end panel, stiffness of coupling device, number of support points to vehicle and support height of the secondary suspension. These characteristics result in different impact responses for the two types of train and are directly related to subsequent behaviour. Articulated trains show stiff connection and integral performance in collisions but with less capability for absorbing impact energy between vehicles, whereas non-articulated trains show flexible connection with more random behaviour in collisions but with greater options for energy absorber installation between vehicles.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xue X, Ingleton S, Roberts J, Robinson M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit

Year: 2011

Volume: 225

Issue: 1

Pages: 24-37

ISSN (print): 0954-4097

ISSN (electronic): 2041-3017

Publisher: Sage Publications


DOI: 10.1243/09544097JRRT303


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