Latest Rail News

25.02.14

Researchers unveil high-speed rail vibration assessment system

Researchers in Edinburgh and Belgium have developed a new vibration assessment method to predict how much a new high-speed railway would shake the ground around it.

Such vibrations and disrupt sensitive equipment nearby and have other knock-on effects, but full impact assessment require “expensive and impractical” vibration tests.

Instead, the researchers used existing soil property data from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) British Geological Survey and a new computer model to make free and accurate predictions. The model has already been tested on Belgian high-speed lines and on HS1.

Dr David Connolly of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, lead researcher on the project, said: “The big challenge in this area is that vibration assessment is a very slow process; it's very computationally demanding so previously some models took days or weeks. I was developing a new technique to predict this vibration. My tool is instant.

“The way I designed it is to use existing data. A big challenge with performing one of these vibration assessments is that you don't want to have to spend time and money investigating soil properties, so this tool can use historic or existing soil records and then build a picture of soil and use a machine learning approach to build a vibration report.”

The new study was published in Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.

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