Technical Reports

Ride Quality Evaluation of High Speed Trains on the Northeast Corridor

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1996
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; Brian E. Mee; Ensco, Inc.
SUBJECT: Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: High speed rail, Cant deficiency, Safety, Tilt train, Lateral acceleration, Curving, Vehicle dynamics, Safety regulations, Ride quality
ABSTRACT: This document contains the results of testing to characterize the ride quality of high speed rail passenger vehicles. The lateral and vertical acceleration and vibration of standard Amtrak Metroliners, the Swedish X2000, and the German Intercity Express (ICE), were recorded during simulated and actual revenue service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Washington, DC Union Station (WAS) and New York City Penn Station (NYP). The ride vibration environment was evaluated using current Amtrak ride quality criteria, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 2631 'Guide for the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole-body Vibration'. Data were collected for locomotives and coaches. The response to specific track features such as interlocking was compared using peak-to-peak acceleration values. The ride quality experienced in steady-state operation on tangent or curving track was compared using ISO 2631 'reduced Comfort Boundary' vibration exposure levels. The ISO exposure levels were calculated using a 'snapshot', generally 8192 data points, corresponding to approximately 41 seconds of travel.