This paper describes a finite element formulation to solve for the combined dynamic behavior of Shinkansen (bullet train) vehicles, irregular rails, and bridges. A mechanical model for interactions between a wheel and an irregular rail is discussed. The bridge is modeled by use of various finite elements. An efficient numerical method, based on modal analysis and exact time integration, is described for solving the nonlinear equations of motion of the Shinkansen vehicle and bridge. The convergence of the exact time integration scheme is discussed and compared with a previous numerical time integration scheme.

A finite element computer program has been developed to analyze the dynamic response of Shinkansen vehicles operating at high speed over irregular rails and a bridge. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness and validity of the present approach.

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