Increased stability against crosswinds

The transformation of railway operations into a networked, safe and sustainable mobility of the future is a central research topic at DLR in the context of the Next Generation Train (NGT). The management, linking and use of data from the vehicle and the infrastructure enable new data-based services for optimised and safe rail operations. One example of this is the stabilisation of (high-speed) rail vehicles against crosswinds based on the currently prevailing wind conditions.

Double-decker design, lightweight construction and a maximum operating speed of 400 km/h are three important key features of the NGT, with which high benefits are to be achieved at low life cycle costs. However, these three features also require special measures to ensure driving stability. Strong crosswinds can lead to an unacceptable unloading of some of the wheels. This effect can be even greater with unsteady crosswinds than with stationary crosswinds. Complete wheel unloading, i.e. the wheel lifting off the rail, must be avoided at all costs.

For this reason, the SR Institute is investigating various active measures to increase crosswind stability at chassis level. The focus here is on possible networking between the vehicle and track-side sensors (e.g. wind measuring devices at crosswind-critical points). For example, eddy current brakes are provided in the bogies of the NGT, but these can also be controlled in such a way that the greatest possible magnetic holding forces act in the vertical direction between the bogie and the rail. Integrated into a control loop, this is an effective way of counteracting inadmissible wheel unloading.