Conference article

The DLR RailwayDynamics Library: the Crosswind Stability Problem

Andreas Heckmann
Institute of System Dynamics and Control, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Gustav Grether
Institute of System Dynamics and Control, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Download article

Published in: Proceedings of the 12th International Modelica Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, May 15-17, 2017

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 132:69, p. 623-631

Show more +

Published: 2017-07-04

ISBN: 978-91-7685-575-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


High crosswinds affect the stability of railway vehicles, in particular if they run on very high speed to reduce traveling time, if they are configured as double-deck cars to increase the number of passenger seats and if they use light-weight design in order to reduce life-cycle costs. This is why crosswind stability is an active field of research within the project Next Generation Train. However, this field relies on the cooperation of two different domains, namely aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics. With this background a crosswind stability tool was implemented in Modelica as a part of the DLR RailwayDynamics Library. This tool gathers data from scaled wind tunnel measurements and multibody data on the railway vehicle in order to rapidly analyze and assess the risk of overturning due to high crosswinds. To a large extent the tool is oriented towards the associated homologation rules and standards. However, the tool is as well supposed to support future advancements of these standards by providing capabilities for the stochastic analysis of the crosswind stability problem.


Vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, railway vehicles, crosswind stability, aerodynamic admittance, stochastic analysis


M. Arnold and H. Netter. Wear profiles and the dynamical simulation of wheel-rail systems. Progress in Industrial Mathematics at ECMI, 96:77–84, 1997.

Chris Baker, Federico Cheli, Alexander Orellano, Nicolas Paradot, Carsten Proppe, and Daniele Rocchi. Cross-wind effects on road and rail vehicles. Vehicle System Dynamics, 47(8):983–1022, 2009. doi:

C.J. Baker. Ground vehicles in high cross winds part II: unsteady aerodynamic forces. Journal of fluids and structures, 5(1): 91–111, 1991.

C.J. Baker. The simulation of unsteady aerodynamic cross wind forces on trains. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 98(2):88–99, 2010.

R.K. Cooper. Atmospheric turbulence with respect to moving ground vehicles. Journal of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics, 17(2):215–238, 1984.

EN 14067-6: 2010. Railway Applications -Aerodynamics- Requirements and test procedures for crosswind assessment., 2010.

Uwe Fey, Johannes Haff, Mattias Jönsson, Sigfried Loose, and Claus Wagner. Experimental investigation of topological changes in the flow field around high-speed trains with respect to reynolds number scaling effects. In J. Pombo, editor, The Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance, number P32 in Civil Comp Proceedings, pages 1–20. Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, 2014. doi:

A. Heckmann, A. Keck, I. Kaiser, and B. Kurzeck. The Foundation of the DLR RailwayDynamics Library: the Wheel-Rail-Contact. In 10th International Modelica Conference, 2014a.

Andreas Heckmann, Bernhard Kurzeck, Tilman Bünte, and Sigfried Loose. Considerations on active control of crosswind stability of railway vehicles. Vehicle System Dynamics, 52(6):759–775, 2014b.

Heinrich Hertz. Über die Berührung fester elastischer Körper. Journal für die reine u. angewandte Mathematik, 92, 1882.

S. Iwnicki. Handbook of railway vehicle dynamics. CRC Press, 2006.

B. Kurzeck, A. Heckmann, C. Wesseler, and M. Rapp. Mechatronic track guidance on disturbed track: the trade-off between actuator performance and wheel wear. Vehicle System Dynamics, 52(sup1):109–124, 2014.

Christoph Schwarz, Andreas Heckmann, and Alexander Keck. Different models of a scaled experimental running gear for the DLR RailwayDynamics Library. In 11th International Modelica Conference, 21.-23. Sep. 2015, 2015.

Mark Sterling, Chris Baker, Abdessalem Bouferrouk, Hugh ONeil, Stephen Wood, and Ewan Crosbie. An investigation of the aerodynamic admittances and aerodynamic weighting functions of trains. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 97(11):512–522, 2009.

TSI HS RST 2008. 2008/232/EC: Commission Decision of 21 February 2008 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the rolling stock sub-system of the trans-european high-speed rail system, 2008.

Citations in Crossref