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Effects of transversal wind on the circulation of trains. Determination of limit values

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Rail icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The project fitted with the major ongoing expansion of Spain's high-speed passenger railway network and investigated efficiency and safety issues related to the effects of lateral winds on trains at high speed.


The main aim of this project was to evaluate the effects of side-winds on the circulation of railway vehicles, in order to determine operation limit values of high speed trains.

This involved the definition of the requirements related to railway infrastructure and rolling stock, execution of tests in an aerodynamic tunnel, analysis of aeroelastic phenomena in infrastructures, studying vehicle dynamics and stability, and analysing load combinations and the ride quality.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
CEDEX (Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas)1; part of the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructures
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Different methodological actions were deployed: 

  • Experimental measurement through tests in aerodynamic tunnel with bi-dimensional models to determine a scale of pressure distributions on railway vehicles subject to side wind in a wide range of environments.
  • Experimental study in aerodynamic tunnel: the efficacy in several types of windbreak barriers and their impact in excitation of aeroelastic instabilities in the catenaries are analysed. Wind loads on barriers and other infrastructures.
  • Field measurements of features of side wind in the nearby of several types of railway platform, in order to quantify the measure of different shapes of the railway platform. This will affect the profile of side wind velocities in relation with those existing on level terrain.
  • Study of wind action on structures and associated elements to the railway (viaduct, gantries, catenary, …) and study of vibrations produced by wind on these structures. Catenary-pantograph interaction.
  • Analysis of the wind effect on the dynamics of the train, especially the incidence of this in case of a possible capsize and its effect on the on-going stability.
  • Development of a combination analysis of lateral action of wind with other railway actions. It includes the calculation of fundamental variables to take into account in the analysis of the on-going security (derailment and capsize risk, risk of lateral displacement) and of the on-going quality (acceleration and variation on non-compensated lateral acceleration, velocity of rocking turn).


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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