Wheel–rail wear investigation on a heavy haul balloon loop track through simulations of slow speed wagon dynamics
Heavy haul railway track infrastructure are commonly equipped with balloon loops to allow trains to be loaded/unloaded and/or to reverse the direction of travel. The slow operational speed of trains on these sharp curves results in some unique issues regarding the wear process between wheels and rails. A wagon dynamic system model has been applied to simulate the dynamic behaviour in order to study the wheel–rail contact wear conditions. A wheel– rail wear index is used to assess the wear severity. The simulation shows that the lubrication to reduce the wheel–rail contact friction coefficient can significantly reduce the wear severity. Furthermore, the effects of important parameters on wheel–rail contact wear including curve radius, wagon speed and track superelevation have also been considered.
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