Track design for line speed improvements, Civil Engineering

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The objective of this module is:-

  • For the student to identify the track design issues and there relationships that will need to be considered in the development of a feasibility study for a proposed line speed increase between London and Derby
  • This will require:
  • A working knowledge of the track design handbook including construction standards, design mathematics and clearances,
  • Discussion with senior railway engineering staff involved with track design, track renewal production, enhancement works and maintenance activities (including track geometry)
  • Understanding of curving rules, track forces, their implications and requirement for good track quality

Background

A section of the Midland Main Line runs from London St Pancras to Derby some 128 miles in length. This is predominately two track with a four track section between Bedford and London

Both passenger and freight trains run over the route currently with maximum speeds of 110mph for passenger and 75mph for freight. The feasibility study is to examine if 125 mph running is possible using conventional or tilting trains

Current Passenger trains are predominately 'Meridian' or HST (High speed Trains) both of which have differing acceleration and braking profiles

The line has many sections of straight and curved track and also passes over several hill sections. There are several major stations on the route (e.g. Derby, Leicester, Kettering, Bedford etc) that were built in the Victorian era and are situated on sharp curves

Throughout the route there are a number of structures including viaducts, overbridges and underbridges. Many of these exist from when the line was constructed and have tight clearances

The track runs over various geological situations from chalk in areas at the south end to granite at the northern end of this section.

South of Bedford the line is 4 track and has an overhead electrification system.


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