Railway aerodynamic tests

The TRAIN rig is one method of carrying out aerodynamic investigations on trains.

TRAIN rig in operationThe specific advantages of the TRAIN rig are:

  • Its use avoids the uncontrolled ambient conditions and expense associated with full scale tests, and model test geometry can be varied relatively quickly and cheaply
  • Unlike conventional wind tunnels and CFD, it can be used to investigate transient phenomena, such as train passing, slipstreams etc
  • It can be used to calibrate/validate computational models of train tunnel pressure transients
  • The use of full scale train speeds ensure Mach number similarity when undertaking tests of pressure wave phenomena in tunnels

Typical examples of studies that can be performed include:

  • Investigations into the effects of cross-winds on train stability
  • Slipstream studies (at the trackside and on station platforms with and without cross-winds)
  • Trains passing
  • Effect of train shape (development of the aerodynamic design of new trains and improvement of existing trains
  • Determination of train empirical factors for unsteady flow predictions in tunnels
  • Exploration of methods for the alleviation of transient pressures in tunnels
  • Investigation of primary wave steepening in tunnels and the development and alleviation of micro-pressure waves

Links and contact

For further information please contact Professor Chris Baker on c.j.baker@bham.ac.u