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Robust safety systems for trains


Sources of funding

  • Banverket
  • Bombardier Transportation
  • SL AB
  • Tågoperatörerna
  • Interfleet Technology
  • Vinnova

Research Direction

Wheel to concrete sleeper impact
Wheel to concrete sleeper impact

This research project aimed at systematically studying the possibilities of minimizing devastating consequences of high-speed derailments by appropriate measures and features in the train design. In particular, the cause of events immediately after a mechanical failure on axles, wheels, rails or similar were studied, e.g. whether the train stays upright close to the track centre or deviates laterally with probably serious consequences.

Conclusions were drawn from an interactive process where multi-body computer simulations were performed and compared with real incidents and accidents. Different train design parameters were systematically investigated by means of in this way validated simulation models.

The vehicle behaviour associated with derailments was taken into consideration through a newly developed multi-body system post-derailment module, capable of predicting the dynamic motion of wheelsets rolling and bouncing on concrete sleepers.

The project continued until January 2008, but publications are availabe also after that.


  •  Brabie D and Andersson E: On minimizing derailment risks and consequences of passenger trains at higher speeds. Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, Vol. 223, pp. 543-566, 2009.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: An overview of some high-speed train derailments - means of minimizing consequences based on empirical observations. Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, Vol. 222, pp. 441-463, 2008.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: Analysis of vehicle features influencing train derailment processes and consequences. 38.Tagung Moderne Schienenfahrzeuge, Graz, Sepember 2008. Also published as proceedings in ZEVrail, Vol. 132 (2008), Tagungsband SFT.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: Vehicle features minimizing consequences of a train derailment. 15:e Nordiska seminariet för Järnvägsteknik, Hook, 22-23 maj 2008.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: High-speed train derailments - minimizing consequences through innovative design. World Congress of Railway Research (WCRR’08), Seoul, Korea, May 18-22, 2008.
  • Brabie D: On derailment-worthiness in rail vehicle design - Analysis of vehicle features influencing derailment processes and consequences. Doctoral Thesis, Report TRITA AVE 2007:78, ISBN 978-91-7178-828-3, KTH Rail Vehicles, 2007.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: Means of minimizing post-derailment consequences by alternative guidance mechanisms. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Railway Bogies and Running Gears, BOGIE'07, Budapest, 3-6 September, 2007.
  • Brabie D and Andersson E: Post-derailment dynamic simulations of rail vehicles - Methodology and applications. Presented at the 20th IAVSD Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks, Berkeley, CA, 13-17 August, 2007. Also In Vehicle System Dynamics, Vol. 46, Supplement, pp. 289-300, 2008.
  • Brabie D: Wheel-sleeper impact model in rail vehicle analysis. Journal of System Design and Dynamics, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 468-480, On-line ISSN 1881-3046, 2007.