CER/EIM Position Paper “Ballast Pick-up due to Aerodynamic Effects”

CER/EIM Position Paper “Ballast Pick-up due to Aerodynamic Effects”

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Aerodynamic loads on the trackbed generated by the passing of trains at high speed may cause individual pieces of ballast to move and rise. While the kinetic energy transmitted to the individual pieces of ballast in this way is in itself low, it may cause the ballast to rise and collide with the rolling stock. These collisions can give rise to two undesirable consequences: damage to rolling stock and stones being thrown away from the track like projectiles. Therefore, the ballast pick-up phenomenon needs to be controlled in order to prevent these incidents, which occur at high speeds in some cases.