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Stabilizing mechanism and running behavior of couplers on heavy haul trains
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Z Xu, Qing WuQing Wu, S Luo, W Ma, X Dong
Published studies in regard to coupler systems have been mainly focused on the manufacturing process or coupler strength issues. With the ever increasing of tonnage and length of heavy haul trains, lateral in-train forces generated by longitudinal in-train forces and coupler rotations have become a more and more significant safety issue for heavy haul train operations. Derailments caused by excessive lateral in-train forces are frequently reported. This article studies two typical coupler systems used on heavy haul locomotives. Their structures and stabilizing mechanism are analyzed before the corresponding models are developed. Coupler systems models are featured by two distinct stabilizing mechanism models and draft gear models with hysteresis considered. A model set which consists of four locomotives and three coupler systems is developed to study the rotational behavior of different coupler systems and their implications for locomotive dynamics. Simulated results indicate that when the locomotives are equipped with the type B coupler system, locomotives can meet the dynamics standard on tangent tracks; while the dynamics performance on curved tracks is very poor. The maximum longitudinal in-train force for locomotives equipped with the type B coupler system is 2000 kN. Simulations revealed a distinct trend for the type A coupler system. Locomotive dynamics are poorer for the type A case when locomotives are running on tangent tracks, while the dynamics are better for the type A case when locomotives are running on curved tracks. Theoretical studies and simulations carried out in this article suggest that a combination of the two types of stabilizing mechanism can result in a good design which can significantly decrease the relevant derailments.
Number of Pages8
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External Author AffiliationsCentre for Railway Engineering; TBA Research Institute; Xi nan jiao tong da xue (China); Zhongguo tie dao ke xue yan jiu yuan;