Rail-structure interaction and vehicle-track-structure interaction level 1 and 2 analyses

Fedorova M., Sivaselvan M., KURÇ Ö., Karakaplan A.

Bridge Structures, vol.19, no.3, pp.91-101, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3233/brs-230213
  • Journal Name: Bridge Structures
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-101
  • Keywords: impact factor, progressive collapse analysis, rail break, Rail-structure interaction analysis, vehicle response, vehicle-track-structure-interaction analysis
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Rail-structure interaction (RSI) analysis and vehicle-track-structure-interaction (VTSI) analysis are often required during bridge design. For example, the California High-Speed Train Project requires RSI analysis for final design of all structures, as well as VTSI analysis, with the level of interaction to be modeled determined by the complexity of a structure. The goal of RSI analysis is to ensure that superstructure deformations and rail stresses are within acceptable limits. VTSI analysis is a dynamic analysis that takes into account influence of actual trainsets. VTSI Level 1 analysis includes train loads as a series of moving loads. This analysis allows evaluation of dynamic impact effects from trainsets and vertical accelerations of the deck. For complex high-speed railway bridges, VTSI Level 2 might be required, accounting for full dynamic interaction between the trainset and the bridge. To represent this interaction, the trainset is modeled as a multibody system consisting of rigid bodies, springs, and dashpots. The interaction between wheels and rails is accounted for through kinematic constraints and Lagrange multipliers. This paper presents modeling, RSI, and VTSI analyses of a railway bridge in the LARSA 4D software package. The track and superstructure are modeled in an expedited way using a macro that generates the track, approach, and bridge geometries. Fasteners are modeled as hysteretic springs and automatically positioned along the curved geometry of the track using a LARSA 4D's bridge path coordinate system definition. RSI analysis is performed accounting for temperature differentials between rails and the deck, vertical train loads, acceleration and braking forces. Break in the rail is introduced using stage construction analysis, followed by progressive collapse analysis (with adapting increments and arc-length control) or nonlinear dynamic analysis. Finally, VTSI Level 1 and 2 analyses are performed and the results are compared. Car body accelerations are compared to limit values to ensure passenger comfort.