European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOns for new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RUN2Rail (Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOns for new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-09-30

Innovative running gear can make an important contribution to the S2R goal of making rail transport more competitive with other modes of transport and further increasing sustainability. The running gear is probably the most complex mechanical part of a rail vehicle and has to fulfil a great variety of different functions many of those safety relevant which means the implementation of novel designs requires care. The aim of RUN2Rail was to identify and develop the key methods and tools required to allow the design and manufacture of this next generation of running gear. This has been done in coordinated research activities addressing four work streams:
1) Innovative sensors & condition monitoring
2) Optimised materials & manufacturing technologies
3) Active suspension & control technology
4) Noise & vibration
These activities also included the development of case studies derived from the methods and tools elaborated in the project. A cross-cutting Work Stream ‘Impact Management Support and Assessment’ evaluated the impacts of the new technologies and looked into aspects related with the authorisation of vehicles with innovative components.
• A modular architecture was designed for the on-board condition monitoring system
• Requirements for the condition monitoring hardware were defined
• A review of existing technology was performed to identify suitable hardware for the condition monitoring system, with a focus on smart sensors and smart components
• an embedded monitoring system for railway wheelsets to monitor axle stresses and accelerations at the axle-boxes was developed. The system can be used to extend the periodicity of non-destructive inspections and to optimise the maintenance of wheels
• New methods for fault detection and isolation in wheelsets, suspension components, gearboxes and bearings were defined and wherever possible validated through experiments. A concept of a low-cost strain-gauge-based Wheel/wheelset In-Service Force Monitoring system was proposed
• A review of relevant standards was carried out and appropriate assessment methods proposed to facilitate the use of new materials
• Simulation models of the two Run2Rail concept vehicles have been set up. These have been used to produce sample load cases, already being used by other projects including NextGear
• A new method for production of aluminium alloy powder suitable for use in additive manufacturing of railway running gear components has been developed and tested
• Material samples have been manufactured using the selective laser melting technique and the new powder and the mechanical properties of the samples have been verified
• A method for the robotic layup of long fibre composite components has been developed including a novel robotic applicator
• Scale components have been built using these techniques and the results have been used to establish Life-Cycle-Cost and benefits of using these novel materials
The above outputs will contribute to the reduction in mass and reducing the life cycle cost of running gear in the next generation of railway vehicles
• Technical information on actuators has been gathered and documented and a level of maturity matrix has been developed
• An approach to determine the fault tolerance of a bogie with active suspension has been developed
• A concept for an innovative single-axle running gear with active suspension and active wheelset steering has been developed that promises significantly lower weight and lower cost due to simplified design and fewer parts. The concept will be further explored in the NEXTGEAR and PIVOT-2 projects
• An authorisation strategy for active suspensions is proposed based on templates for safety guidelines. The templates were tested for applicability and are available for use
• With the proposed running gear concepts, a conventional bogie concept and the single-axle concept, the impact on cost and benefit was estimated. Both concepts, but especially the single-axle concept, indicated a high potential for reduced system cost
• A comprehensive methodology for predicting the structure-borne transmission of noise and vibration from the running gear to the carbody has been developed
• New prediction methods for the transmission of sound beneath and around the vehicle have been developed and combined with TWINS predictions of the rolling noise and measured insertion losses of the panels to determine the airborne noise
• These prediction models have been validated through extensive field measurements using both static and running tests. The relative contributions of the different transmission paths haves been quantified. For this metro vehicle the airborne transmission was found to be dominant, whereas the structure-borne path was important only below 200 Hz
• The newly developed models have been used to assess the effect of changes to the running gear on noise and vibration. An initial assessment has been made of the effect of novel lightweight materials and active suspensions systems and an optimisation strategy for controlling the structure-borne noise transmission has been demonstrated
In RUN2Rail, innovations have been developed in parallel with standardisation activities. An Advisory Group in charge of Regulatory and Standardisation (R&S) monitoring has been established, composed of ERA, CEN/CENELEC and members of the PIVOT Project as main beneficiaries.
The final outcome of the project has been a comprehensive set of technology concepts, along with the methodology for interior noise prediction. Altogether they provide a scenario and a starting point for the design of future running-gear generations with substantially improved performances. The following key indicators were assessed in the 3-car RUN2Rail metro trainset concept running on the case-study infrastructure:
• bogie associated maintenance costs €/(bogie*year): -15% (S2R target -20%);
• vehicle fleet operating costs €/(trainset*year): -8.5%;
• running gear mass t/trainset (overall S2R target -20%): -11% to -18% due to lower unsprung mass (even with a conventional layout), -15% to -20% due to the adoption of the single-axle concept;
• infrastructure / wheel wear and damage, in terms of wear volume per wheel or metre of rail per year (S2R targets -25% wheel, -10% rail): -5% to -8% due to lower unsprung masses, -25% (wheel), -10% (rail) or more due to the wider use of mechatronics
• energy consumption kWh/(trainset*year): - 10% due to lightweighting, single axle concept.
The quantitative analysis of their economic impacts suggests that the technology concepts that should receive top priority are those that bring about lightweighting. The single-axle running-gear concept seems likely to outweight the costs.
The RUN2Rail virtual test method for running-gear noise transmission shows potential for savings in the design phase and allows improved designs for interior noise with shorter times to market.
The environmental and social impacts look positive and desirable: energy savings, lower impacts of running-gear manufacturing on the environment and on worker health&safety, potential in supporting modal shift to rail.
Finally, suggestions for R&S documents – essentially for the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability and EN standards – have come from all thematic WSs. In particular, the “strategy” shared with ERA and CEN, comprising templates and examples, support future R&S for active suspensions and steering.