Assessing Railway Vibration Modelling Accuracy via Experimental Testing Across Seven Countries

Michael Forde, David Connolly, Georges Kouroussis, Pedro Alves Costa, Pedro Galvin, Peter Woodward, Sara Mezher, Demitrios Cotsovos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This work presents an experimental analysis of ground-borne vibrations collected on high speed lines across 7 European countries. 1500 ground-borne vibration records, at 17 high speed rail sites are analysed with the aim of quantifying the errors associated with ground-borne vibration prediction models. It represents one of the most comprehensive analyses of experimental ground borne vibration data undertaken and comprises of datasets from Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, England and Italy.

Firstly, a variety of vibration metrics are considered and best fit relationships for
each are calculated. Furthermore, the suitability of several mathematical vibration relationships are considered to describe the attenuation of vibration with distance. Then a variety of high speed train speed passages are analysed, up to 300km/h and the effect of train velocity on vibration levels is investigated. Next, 1/3 frequency octave bands are investigated to determine the effect of critical velocity on vibration propagation. Finally, a statistical analysis is undertaken to determine the typical error encountered when modelling
high speed rail vibrations. To do so, train passages of similar trains and similar speeds are analysed to determine the unquantifiable error between each. The results present valuable findings for the design of new high speed railways, particularly close to urban environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Permanent Way Institution
Issue numberApril
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


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