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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 397515, 7 pages
Research Article

Relative Displacement Method for Track-Structure Interaction

1Institute of Civil Engineering, Universidad Austral de Chile, General Lagos, 5111187 Valdivia, Chile
2Department of Structural and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cantabria, Avenida Los Castros s/n, 39005 Santander, Spain
3APIA XXI S.A., PCTCAN, Avenida Albert Einstein 6, 39011 Santander, Spain

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 27 November 2013; Published 22 January 2014

Academic Editors: Z. Guan and H.-H. Tsang

Copyright © 2014 Frank Schanack 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.


The track-structure interaction effects are usually analysed with conventional FEM programs, where it is difficult to implement the complex track-structure connection behaviour, which is nonlinear, elastic-plastic and depends on the vertical load. The authors developed an alternative analysis method, which they call the relative displacement method. It is based on the calculation of deformation states in single DOF element models that satisfy the boundary conditions. For its solution, an iterative optimisation algorithm is used. This method can be implemented in any programming language or analysis software. A comparison with ABAQUS calculations shows a very good result correlation and compliance with the standard’s specifications.