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Railway vehicle optimisation using the concept of "Design for Control"

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conference contribution
posted on 07.05.2015, 11:15 authored by Christopher WardChristopher Ward, Tian Xiang Mei, Peter HubbardPeter Hubbard, M. Mirzapour
Design for control is an axiom extensively used in the aerospace and automotive industries that has proven highly beneficial both in terms of performance benefits but also in reducing unit costs and reducing maintenance burdens. To date, in the railway industry, active control for vehicle suspensions has been used in a sparse manner operationally, and generally only as a performance improvement measure for essentially passive systems. There is a lack of in-depth understanding of the broader benefits for both vehicle design or architecture and extended impact on rail infrastructure that could be brought about by this concept of design for control. This paper presents a brief summary of the outcomes of a short study into the accumulative benefits of design for control if applied to future railway vehicles. The aim of the project was to determine a philosophy of vehicle architecture that would maximise the effect of the axiom in terms of: reduced unit purchase cost; reduced running costs; and improved overall system performance. The paper proposes an architecture for a mature mechatronic vehicle and dynamic studies show that significant reduction in track damage can be achieved with this approach. A simple understanding of the cost implications is also explored which shows that the real benefits will come from operational cost reduction rather than from unit purchase cost.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Railways 2014: The Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance


WARD, C.P. ... et al., 2014. Railway vehicle optimisation using the concept of "Design for Control". IN: Pombo, J. (ed.) Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 321. doi:10.4203/ccp.104.321


© Civil-Comp Limited


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



The final published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4203/ccp.104.321






Ajaccio, Corsica, France