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International Journal of Railway Technology
ISSN 2049-5358
IJRT, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012
Next Generation Unconventional Trucks and Wheel-Rail Interfaces for Railways
Y. Suda1, Y. Michitsuji2 and H. Sugiyama3

1Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ibaraki University, Japan
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo University of Science, Japan

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
Y. Suda, Y. Michitsuji, H. Sugiyama, "Next Generation Unconventional Trucks and Wheel-Rail Interfaces for Railways", International Journal of Railway Technology, 1(1), 1-29, 2012. doi:10.4203/ijrt.1.1.1
Keywords: self-steering, equivalent stiffness, asymmetric truck, negative-conicity, independently rotation wheel-set.

The conventional rigid wheel-set benefits from its ability to self-steer and self-centre. Because the wheel-set has a simple structure and preferable dynamics, railway bogies with wheel-sets have been widely used for more than a hundred years. In the design of a railway bogie with wheel-sets, the compatibility between curving ability and hunting stability has been studied for a long time by many researchers. Based on past research, the bogie design with conventional wheel-sets has been well summarized. Today, the requirement for railway systems has dramatically changed. For example: high speed trains are required to reach over 300 km/h cruising speed, while maintaining a high quality of ride comfort; and LRVs, for urban transit, are required to achieve a high curving ability at intersections and turnouts while maintaining a sufficient degree of safety. It is true to say that unconventional approaches are necessary in designing the next generation of railway systems. In this paper, the history of research on steering trucks, including conventional wheel-sets, is explained. Unconventional bogie concepts with asymmetric trucks are introduced. Furthermore, a new wheel-set concept based on the reconsideration of the wheel-rail interface is proposed. In the design of new wheel-set concepts, the gravitational stiffness can be effectively used for minimizing wheel and rail wear. The proposed wheel-set has negative-conicity tread with independent rotating wheels. The fundamental effectiveness and dynamical benefits are introduced.

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