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Simulation of curving at low speed under high traction for passive steering hauling locomotives
The traction control in modern electric and diesel electric locomotives has allowed rail operators to utilise high traction adhesion levels without undue risk of damage from uncontrolled wheel spin. At the same time, some locomotive manufacturers have developed passive steering locomotive bogies to reduce wheel rail wear and further improve locomotive adhesion performance on curves. High locomotive traction loads in curving are known to cause the loss of steering performance in passive steering bogies. At present there are few publications on the curving performance of locomotive steering with linkage bogies. The most extreme traction curving cases of low speed and high adhesion for hauling locomotives have not been fully investigated, with effects of coupler forces and cant excess being generally ignored. This paper presents a simulation study for three axle bogie locomotives in pusher and pulling train positions on tight curves. The simulation study uses moderate and high traction adhesion levels of 16.6% and 37% for various rail friction conditions. Curving performance is assessed, showing forced steering bogies to have considerable advantages over self steering bogies. Likewise it is shown that self steering bogies are significantly better than yaw relaxation bogies at improving steering under traction. As the required traction adhesion approaches the rail friction coefficient, steering performance of all bogies degrades and yaw of the bogie frame relative to the track increases. Operation with excess cant and tensile coupler forces are both found to be detrimental to the wear performance of all locomotive bogies, increasing the bogie frame yaw angles. Bogie frame pitching is also found to have significant effect on steering, causing increased performance differences between bogie designs.