Train-Track Interaction

The Train Track Interaction sector represents an intersection of the rolling stock, track and structure sectors. Its main purpose is to study the interaction between vehicles and infrastructure by means of a systemic, holistic approach. The TTI Sector is currently chaired by Pierre-Etienne Gautier, Director of BIM and Digital Twin/Continuity at SNCF Réseau (France).

The TTI Sector, Rolling Stock Sector, Track Expert Group (TEG) and Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) coordinate their activities and seek out synergies on an ongoing basis. Potential synergies with the UIC Energy, Environment and Sustainability (EES) platform and, more generally, with the Passenger and Freight forums, have been identified thus far.

TTI activities

The TTI Sector’s activities are aimed at optimising the operational, economic and environmental efficiency of the railway system, improving interoperability and ensuring the safety of the railway system.

The following key technical areas have been identified in this regard, constituting the scope of the TTI sector’s activities:

  • Safety in relation to track/vehicle dynamics and derailment prevention
  • Vehicle homologation
  • Clearance gauge
  • Noise and vibration
  • Aerodynamics
  • Pantograph/catenary mechanical interaction (not including energy management)
  • Cost efficiency
  • Technological innovation and disruptive ground transportation methods

A permanent core expert group provides skills in cross-functional areas such as safety, technological innovation and cost efficiency. The core expert group steers activities and defines the topics for which further research is to be conducted.

Main objectives

The first working groups (WGs) to be launched in the TTI Sector were focused on aerodynamics and acoustics and on pantograph/catenary mechanical interaction. This decision was taken by the Sector’s Advisory Board based on the needs identified. Since then, the ad hoc working groups built networks of recognised experts from these different technical areas.

The first two (acoustics and aerodynamics) were formed in 2017. Later on, it was launched the WG for interaction. Finally, after their “kick-off” meetings, it was set that they’ll have to draft and publish three different white papers on each of their specialist areas by the end the year to provide a basis for future projects, IRSs and activities focusing on these areas.

The first White Paper on Aerodynamics was published in 2018 and is available for download free of charge in the ETF Shop.

Among other activities, the TTI Sector is currently involved in the “Effects of instabilities on track resistance and fatigue” project, which seeks to verify the acceptable limits of vehicle instability in relation to superstructure resistance and fatigue damage.

The TTI Sector is also concluding its activities in respect of prevention and mitigation of derailments (PMD). This project was developed with the aim of defining recommendations for harmonisation of the assessment procedure for running vehicles and limit values throughout Europe.

Current PMD expertise is being gathered in IRS (International Railway Solution) 70729 which after its approval will be published by October 2019. This IRS is based mainly on the findings of the ALC, HRMS and D-RAIL projects, amongst others, and is an example of the important role fulfilled by UIC in implementing valuable results from previous projects.

In 2020, a new project on a common codification methodology for railway gauges (GAUGECODE) could be proposed as part of the opt-in process with a view to project launch in 2021 in cooperation with the Freight Forum. The aim of this project would be to identify a harmonised methodology to strengthen communication and cooperation between IMs and RUs, increase transparency in relation to access conditions for railway lines, promote the use of lines by RUs, attract additional traffic for rail and improve interoperability throughout the international network, including in the EU.

Additionally, the HARMOTRACK “Harmonisation of track quality description and assessment” project (which was restarted last year 2018 from a two-year break period) will produce a specific new IRS: (“Recommendations for use track geometry and dynamic measurement systems. Description of specific applications”).

Finally, a new project has been launched in 2019: ”Sidewind Assessment For Infrastructure and Rolling Stock (SAFIRST)”, with the general aim of obtaining reference characteristic wind curves distinct from those already established for high-speed trains (> 250 km/h), defining common European methods for assessing wind exposure on railway lines, proof safety in reference to cross winds effects, and addressing each of these topics within the context of climate change.

7 IRSs and technical reports are currently being drafted, two of which are due to be published in 2019 (IRSs 60661 and 70729).

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