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Michael DeLorenzo

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NUCARS Modeling of a Freight Locomotive with Steerable Trucks

Date of defense:
May 20, 1997

Document Type:
Master's Thesis

Master of Science

Mechanical Engineering


The rail dynamics modeling package NUCARS has been used extensively to model freight cars. We have found that it can also be used effectively to model freight locomotives. This thesis discusses the development of a NUCARS model to represent a six-axle freight locomotive equipped with steerable trucks. This includes separating it into a set of individual bodies, representing the suspension components as inter-body connections, and validation of the computer model. This model is then used to conduct a study of the impact on tangent track stability and curving performance of varying suspension parameters. It is found that the presence of damping in the system improves hunting stability, while increasing wheel conicity is harmful to stability and varying the flexicoiling stiffness has little effect. In curving, the clearances between the axles and truck frame are very important. Limiting these clearances in the steerable truck causes it to curve similar to a conventional straight locomotive truck and increases both the track force ratios and angles of attack. Increasing the wheel conicity increases an axle's tendency to align with the track and improves the locomotive's curving performance. The lateral stiffness of the inter-axle links and inter-motor links has little effect on the curving of the locomotive.

NUCARS, Locomotive, Steerable, Trucks, Bogies, Parametric

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File NameSize (Bytes)
Thesis MWD 6397.pdf4,356,582 Bytes

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