Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Dmitris Rizos


Increasing interest in developing high speed lines is driving research on the effects of incorporating high speed trains into existing rail infrastructure. Simulating vibrations through rail and soil substructures is a complex task, and has been the subject of research for decades. As computational technology and dynamic modeling theory develop, the potential for creating higher detail systems increases, and studies have continuously involved more realism. In this thesis, work to develop an efficient computational tool for the examination of vibrations in the train, track, and ground, using a time-domain procedure that couples a finite element model of the track and train is detailed. This paper specifically discusses the formulation of the train and track models and their simulation using a coupling scheme. The train model has multiple degrees of freedom, and includes multiple train cars, bogies, and wheels. The track is modeled using Timoshenko beams for the rail so the shear and rotational effects on the rail due to the combined vertical and longitudinal forces exerted by the train onto the rail can be considered. Shape functions are implemented to determine the equivalent nodal forces acted on the rail by the traveling train. The coupling methodology and shape function force and displacement interpolation are validated through comparisons with a baseline finite element model of the joint track and train. Parametric studies concerning rail damping, stiffness, and irregularities of the wheel and train profile are conducted, and the impact of the various train and rail properties is examined.