This paper is part of a series of publications dealing with wheel/rail noise (1-4). Except for comparing the relative importance of impact noise with rolling noise, this paper concerns itself exclusively with the impact noise generated by such discontinuities as rail joints, frogs, switches and wheel flats. Studies show that above a certain critical train speed the wheel separates from the rail when the interface encounters certain types of discontinuities. This critical train speed is an important acoustical parameter, because the noise generation process obeys completely different laws in the speed ranges below and above it. From the geometry, the kinematics, and the dynamics of the wheel/rail system, analytical models have been developed to identify the major variables controlling the generation of impact noise. The validity of these models has been confirmed by both scale-model and full-scale experiments. The results of the study show the following: (1) at rail joints, the height difference - and not the width of the gap - is the controlling parameter; (2) below critical train speed, impact noise increases with increasing train speed and does not depend on the direction of travel; (3) above critical train speed, the intensity of impact noise increases with increasing train speed for travel in the step-up direction but is independent of the train speed for travel in the step-down direction; (4) in generating impact noise, wheel flats are equivalent to step-down rail joints, provided flat height equals height difference at the joint; (5) both the magnitude and spectrum of impact noise produced by wheel and rail discontinuities can be predicted from a simple wheel drop test. With the knowledge gained from both the analytical and the experimental studies, we have been able to identify feasible measures for the control of impact noise. /TRRL/

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    Academic Press Incorporated

    Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square
    London W1,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Ver, I L
    • Ventres, C S
    • Myles, M M
  • Publication Date: 1976-6-8

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  • Accession Number: 00141504
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 3 1976 12:00AM