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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 1901089, 6 pages
Research Article

Effect of the Longitudinal Contact Location on Vehicle Dynamics Simulation

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Section of Road and Railway Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, Netherlands

Received 27 October 2015; Revised 31 December 2015; Accepted 10 January 2016

Academic Editor: Enrico Meli

Copyright © 2016 N. Burgelman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper investigates the effect of the calculation of the longitudinal location of a wheel rail contact point on the wheelset’s motion in a vehicle dynamic simulation. All current vehicle dynamic software programs assume that the contact between wheel and rail takes place in the vertical plane through the wheelset’s rolling axis. However, when the yaw angle of the wheelset is nonzero, the contact point is situated up to 10 mm from that plane. This difference causes a difference in the yaw moment on the wheelset which is used in the vehicle dynamic simulation. To such an end, an existing analytical method to determine the longitudinal method was validated using a numerical approach. Then vehicle dynamic simulations with both the classic and the new contact location were performed, concluding that using a more accurate contact point location results in a smaller wheelset yaw angle in a vehicle dynamic simulation, although the effect is small.