Passenger comfort is an important constraint on high-speed operation in curves and transitions. The effect of track geometry and vehicle suspension characteristics on passenger comfort were investigated with a six-degree-of-freedom, time domain simulation of the car body dynamics. The rail vehicle was simulated at constant speed on transitions and curves to generate acceleration profiles at a passenger’s seat location. The main conclusion of this study is that modern rolling stock can negotiate curves at a higher unbalanced superelevation than is recommended in the current AREA formula without exceeding passenger comfort standards. Also, the minimum spiral lengths as determined by the AREA formula are adequate for passenger cars with stiff roll characteristics, such as the Metroliner vehicles.

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