Flow, Turbulence and Combustion

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 417–434 | Cite as

Investigation of High-Speed Train Drag with Towing Tank Experiments and CFD

  • J. TschepeEmail author
  • D. Fischer
  • C. N. Nayeri
  • C. O. Paschereit
  • S. Krajnovic


In order to assess the accuracy of drag prediction methods for high-speed trains, experimental and numerical investigations were performed. Besides the drag coefficient, skin friction and pressure distributions on and near the model have been measured for a 1:22 model of the ICE/V. For the experiments, a moving model rig called DIWA (Drag measurement in water) was realised in a 120 m long towing tank to allow for a realistic simulation of the flow around the train, even in the underbelly region. Numerical investigations were performed using Partially-averaged Navier-Stokes (PANS) simulations based on the k-ω-SST turbulence model. Both experimental and numerical methods can be considered as a novelty in the field of train aerodynamics. The results are compared with data from full-scale tests. It is shown, that the moving model rig DIWA allows for the measurement of drag coefficients of trains with high accuracy. Furthermore, the data acquired using the PANS approach compares well with the experimental data.


Towing tank Moving model Drag measurement Train aerodynamics PANS 



The experimental research presented was supported by the ZIM program and the BIT GmbH. The project was funded under grant number EP 141376 from the “Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)” of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, following a decision of the German Bundestag.

The simulations were performed with resources provided by the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Nolte, R., Würtenberger, F.: Evaluation of Energy Efficiency Technologies for Rolling Stock and Train Operation of Railways. UIC, Berlin (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peters, J.-L.: Bestimmung des aerodynamischen Widerstandes des ICE/v im Tunnel und auf offener Strecke durch Auslaufversuche. Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau 39(9), 559–564 (1990)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lukaszewicz, P.: Running resistance - results and analysis of full-scale tests with passenger and freight trains in Sweden. J. Rail Rapid Transit 221(2), 183–193 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Orellano, A., Kirchhof, R.: Optimising the aerodynamics of high speed trains. Railw. Gaz. Int. 5, 41–45 (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Steuger, M.: Velaro - kundenorientierte Weiterentwicklung eines Hochgeschwindigkeitszuges. ZEVrail 133(10), 414–425 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Somaschini, C., Rocchi, D., Tomasini, G., Schito, P.: Simplified Estimation of Train Resistance Parameters: Full Scale Experimental Tests and Analysis. In: the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance, Stirlingshire, UK (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boschetti, G., Mariscotti, A.: The Parameters of Motion Mechanical Equations as a Source of Uncetainty for Traction System Simulation. In: Proceedings of the IMEKO World Congress, Busan, Korea (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kwon, H., Park, Y., Lee, D., Kim, M.: Wind tunnel experiments on Korean high-speed trains using various ground simulation techniques. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 89, 1179–1195 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gaylard, A., Howlett, A., Harrison, D.: Assessing Drag Reduction Measures for High-Speed Trains. In: Proceedings of the Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Loughborough, UK (1994)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Baker, C.: A review of train aerodynamics Part 1 - fundamentals. Aeronautical J. 118(1201), 201–228 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Baker, C.: A review of train aerodynamics Part 2 - applications. Aeronautical J. 118(1202), 345–382 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhang, J., Li, J., Tian, H., Gao, G., Sheridan, J.: Impact of ground and wheel boundary conditions on numerical simulation of the high-speed train aerodynamic performance. J. Fluid Struct. 61, 249–261 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wang, S., Burton, D., Herbst, A., Sheridan, J., Thompson, M.: The effect of the ground condition on high-speed train slipstream. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 172, 230–243 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lajos, T.: Effect of moving ground simulations on the flow past bus models. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 22, 271–271 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fago, B., Lindner, H., Mahrenholtz, O.: The effect of ground simulation on the flow around the vehicles in wind tunnel testing. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 38, 47–57 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jia, L., Zhou, D., Niu, J.: Numerical calculation of boundary layers and wake characteristics of high-speed trains with different lengths. PLoS ONE 12(12), e0189798 (2017). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Muld, T., Efraimsson, G., Hennigson, D.S.: Wake characteristics of high-speed trains with different lengths. J. Rail Rapid Transit, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part F. 228 (4), 333–342 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bell, J.R., Burton, D., Thompson, M.C., Herbst, A.H., Sheridan, J.: A wind-tunnel methodology for assessing the slipstream of high-speed trains, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, vol. 166 published online (2017)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Neppert, H.: Komponenten-widerstände im Einfluss der Grenzschicht an zügen variable länge. ZEV-Glasers Annalen 108(9), 239–247 (1984)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ido, A.: Energy-saving in conventional trains by aerodynamic drag reduction. Japanese Railway Eng. 188, 2–4 (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Baker, C.J., Brockie, N.J.: Wind tunnel tests to obtain train aerodynamic drag coefficients: Reynolds number and ground simulation effects. J. Wind Eng. Industrial Aerodynamics 38, 23–28 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Peters, J.-L.: Effect of Reynolds number on the aerodynamic forces on a container model. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 49, 431–438 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Willemsen, E.: High Reynolds number wind tunnel experiments on trains. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 69-71, 437–447 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Niu, J., Liang, X., Zhou, D.: Experimental study on the effect of Reynolds number on aerodynamic performance of high-speed train with and without yaw angle. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 157, 36–46 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Krajnovic, S., Minelli, G.: Status of PANS for bluff body aerodynamics of engineering relevance, progress in hybrid RANS-LES modelling, Texas, USA, 399–410 (2015)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Krajnovic, S., Minelli, G.: Partially-averaged Navier-Stokes simulation of the flow around simplified vehicle. In: AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1648 (2015)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Peters, J.-L.: Luftwiderstand von schnellen Triebzügen bei stationärer Anströmung. In: CCG-Lehrgang V5.02 (1983)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Peters, J.-L.: Aerodynamics of very high speed trains and maglev vehicles: state of the art and future potential. Int. J. Vehicle Des. SP3, 308–341 (1983)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Peters, J.-L.: Measurement of the influence of tunnel length on the tunnel drag of the ICE/v train. Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Vehicle Tunnels, 739–756 (1991)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sterling, M., Baker, C., Jordan, S., Johnson, T.: A study of the slipstream of high-speed passenger trains and freight trains. Proc. Instit. Mech. Eng. Part F: J. Rail Rapid Transit 222, 177–193 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Baker, C., Dalley, S., Johnson, T., Quinn, A., Wright, N.: The slipstream and wake of a high-speed train. Proc. Instit. Mech. Eng. Part F: J. Rail Rapid Transit 215, 83–99 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bell, J., Burton, D., Thompson, M., Herbst, A., Sheridan, J.: Moving model analysis of the slipstream and wake of a high-speed train. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 136, 127–137 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Yang, M., Du, J., Li, Z., Huang, S., Zhou, D.: Moving model test of high-speed train aerodynamic drag based on stagnation pressure measurements. PLoS ONE, 1–15 (2017)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Yang, Q., Song, J.-H., Yang, G.: A moving model rig with a scale ratio of 1/8 for high speed train aerodynamics. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 152, 50–58 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hoerner, S.: Fluid-Dynamic Drag, pp. 10–5. CA: Hoerner Fluid Dynamics, Bakersfield (1965)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Molland, A., Turnock, S., Hudson, D.: Ship Resistance and Propulsion: Practical Estimation of Ship Propulsive Power, pp. 97–107. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2011)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gertler, M.: Resistance Experiments on a Systematic Series of Streamlined Bodies of Revolution. Navy Department: The David W. Taylor Model Basin, Washington D.C. (1950)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Weinblum, G., Amtsberg, H., Bock, W.: Tests on Wave Resistance of Immersed Bodies of Revolution. Navy Department: The David W. Taylor Model Basin, Washington D.C. (1950)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wigley, W.: Water forces on submerged bodies in motion. Trans. Instit. Naval Architects 95, 268–279 (1953)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Grimiaji, S., Abdol-Hamid, K.: Partially-avergaed navier stokes model for turbulence: Implementation and validation. In: 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit (2005)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Lakshmipathy, S., Girimaji, S.S.: Partially-averaged navier-stokes method for turbulent flows: k-ω model implementation. AIAA paper, 119 (2006)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lakshmipathy, S., Togiti, V.: Assessment of alternative formulations for the specific-dissipation rate in rans and variable-resolution turbulence models. In: 20th AIAA Computational Fluid Dynamics Conference, p 3978 (2011)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Foroutan, H., Yavuzkurt, S.: A partially-averaged Navier-Stokes model for the simulation of turbulent swirling flow with vortex breakdown. Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow 500, 402–416 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Basara, B., Girimaji, S.: Modelling of the cut-off scale supplying variable in bridging methods for turbulence flow simulation. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Jets, Wakes, and Separated Flows, Nagoya, Japan, pp. 17–21 (2013)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Fischer, D., Tschepe, J., Nayeri, C.N., Paschereit, C.O.: Partially-averaged Navier-Stokes method for train aerodynamics. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium Rail aerodynamics and Train Design (2018)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Tschepe, J., Fischer, D., Nayeri, C.N., Paschereit, C.O.: Aerodynamic Drag Measurement of Rail Vehicles by Means of Towing Tank Tests. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium Rail Aerodynamics and Train Design (2018)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Tschepe, J., Nayeri, C.: Untersuchungen zum strömungswiderstand von Schienenfahrzeugen mit bewegten Modellen im Wasserschleppkanal. ZEV Rail 142(4), 124–131 (2018)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Östh, J., Kaiser, E., Krajnovic, S., Noack, B.: Cluster-based reduced-order modelling of the flow in the wake of a high speed train. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 145, 327–338 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    EN14067-4 Railway applications - Aerodynamics - Part 4: Requirements and test procedures for aerodynamics on open track (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Tschepe
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Fischer
    • 2
  • C. N. Nayeri
    • 1
  • C. O. Paschereit
    • 2
  • S. Krajnovic
    • 3
  1. 1.Berliner Institut für Technologietransfer (BIT GmbH)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Chair of Fluid DynamicsTechnische Universitaet BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Applied MechanicsChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations