Title: Train drag reduction from simple design changes

Authors: R.G. Gawthorpe

Addresses: British Rail Research, Derby, UK

Abstract: The evolution of passenger trains on the railways has produced an impressive reduction of drag coefficient over the last 15-20 years. This has allowed operating speeds to be increased with only modest rises in energy consumption, and has allowed safe conditions at the trackside, in terms of slipstream effects, to be maintained. In contrast to car aerodynamics, where drag reduction has featured recently as a very important sales promotion exercise, on which considerable investment has been placed by the car manufacturers and research organizations, the improvements to trains are not encouraged by the same market forces. This paper attempts to make an appraisal in fairly general terms of the potential for drag reduction in all types of train by relatively low cost means in order to examine whether this can be reasonably justified. A survey of existing train resistance performance is included, and recommendations are made for a carefully controlled programme of investigations into the topic.

Keywords: vehicle design; train drag reduction; train drag inside tunnels; locomotive design; railway engineering; wind tunnel tests.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1982.061269

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1982 Vol.3 No.3, pp.263 - 274

Published online: 25 May 2014 *

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