The rectangular coordinates of the Bloss transition

(Quickly but nostalgically written, remembering the good old days when Taylor was not yet known as the name of a beautiful singer but as the laborious math trick used to solve rather painful Mathematical Analysis problems …) The  deflection angle (θ) of the Bloss transition is: The rectangular equations (x and y) of the curve are…

Maglev Guideway Design

Maglev is a transport system that uses the magnetic levitation to move vehicles without contact to the guideway. The system uses magnetic forces for levitation, propulsion and guidance of the vehicle, thereby making practically negligible the friction forces and allowing very high speeds. The technological evolution is making this transportation system competitive and gaining consideration as a…

The orphan rule of cant design over a reverse transition

Motto: Tolle lege. Most of the railway track design standards around the world are presenting the particular issue of the reverse transition. All these standards are insisting on keeping a constant rate of change of curvature – a constant A. By doing this in fact the design will include a single continuous transition between the two opposite circular…

The Clothoid

INTRODUCTION In transportation infrastructure design the route is defined based on its axis (centreline) – the alignment model. This simplified abstract model is designed in such a way to clearly define the principle course of the infrastructure project. For most of the transportation means the infrastructure alignment design is split into two main two-dimensional complex…

British Railway Track

Another classic book it sure is “British Railway Track Design, Construction and Maintenance”, edited by Geoffrey H Cope and having around 40 contributors for writing the 30 chapters of this essential track compendium. Its last six edition was published in 1993 by The Permanent Way Institution. Presenting the essential principles but also the British specifics…

La voie ferrée

When it comes to Railway track engineering literature, there are a few books we can consider “classic”. Even old, some very old, these books still have significant railway engineering value and can be always a good reference both for young and inexperienced engineers as for the ones that already have robust railway track experience and…

Virtual Transition

This is an animation showing how a PWay Track Horizontal Alignment Virtual Transition is defined by the trajectory of the vehicle centre, when is passing over a railway track section with a sudden change in curvature: The nature of this curve is presented in this post: THE VIRTUAL TRANSITION CURVATURE VARIATION. More details about this principle…

The limits of the track alignment design parameters

(A commented extract from BSEN 13803-1 (2010) Railway Applications – Track – Track alignment parameters – Track gauges 1435 and wider – Part 1: Plain Line) The track alignment design PARAMETERS (BSEN 13803-1 – 5.1.2) In the design process the values of the track alignment parameters are chosen to ensure a safe riding with at least…