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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Design Considerations for High-Speed Trucks on Passenger Vehicles

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Shared corridor, high-speed passenger trucks, truck design, vehicle-track interaction, vehicle dynamic performance criteria, lateral/vertical, L/V, wheel unloading, low speed derailment, Minimally Compliant Analytic Track, MCAT, AAR Chapter 11, American P

This report presents an evaluation of high-speed passenger trucks for use in shared freight and passenger corridors. The primary focus of the report is on vehicle dynamic response for a range of low and high speed performance regimes adapted from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Association of American Railroads (AAR), and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) standards. A matrix of existing truck designs was developed, and NUCARS® simulations were performed for five “generic” truck types to assess and compare their dynamic performance capabilities. Evaluations included quantifying the effects on the load environment including wheel-rail wear, vertical and lateral dynamic wheel load and ride quality. Example simulation matrices and test matrices for vehicle qualification and model validation were developed. Conclusions included recommendations for changes to the lateral/vertical (L/V) distance to climb and minimum percent wheel load performance criteria. No single truck design was identified as having the best performance in all performance regimes. Results demonstrate the design trade-offs that must be evaluated by truck designers to optimize performance. 

Last updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2022