Rolling Stock (RoSto)

Methodology for lightweight construction of rail vehicles

Rolling Stock (RoSto)

The requirements for the design of future generations of rail vehicles are currently changing in the area of conflict between sustainability, economic efficiency and increasing mobility, comfort and safety requirements. This affects both the mechanical architecture and the interior design of rail vehicles.

In the Next Generation Train (NGT) project, DLR is researching the rail vehicles of the future. The aim is to improve their energy and resource efficiency by considering their entire life cycle and to make rail transport more effective and attractive. Among other things, the use of new materials and lightweight construction for car bodies is being investigated.

The standards and verification procedures applicable to the approval of rail vehicles were developed for metallic materials and are based on tests that are easy to carry out. However, they are unsuitable for new materials such as composites and do not allow their special strength properties to be optimally utilised. This is where DLR research aims to create new possibilities by analysing material damage processes under dynamic loads and using modern simulation technology.

At the SR Institute, the system dynamics of the NGT high-speed train are being analysed using detailed multi-body simulation. In this way, the deformations and stresses occurring in the car body when travelling along a measured route are determined. Based on these results and the application of fatigue strength calculations, the design of car bodies can then be made as light and efficient as possible, whilst as robust as necessary.