Research Project for Optimizing High-Speed Trains’ Bogies Has Been Brought to a Successful Close

FCMS GmbH in Munich, Siemens AG Austria, the Virtual Vehicle Research Center (ViF) and the Institute of Electrical Engineering (IGTE) at the Graz University of Technology spent three years researching multidisciplinary development methods for bogies. The use of new technologies now, for the first time, makes it possible to apply mathematical optimization to the bogie topology of the trains of the future.

Photo: A Velaro D at Berlin’s main train station (¬©

Railroad trucks, or “bogies”, are designed to have a service life of thirty years and are crucial to both the safety and comfort of rail vehicles. This is where the joint project “Multidisciplinary Optimization in the Development of Bogies” carried out by the industry partners FCMS and Siemens and which aims to speed up product validation, comes into play. With the scientific support of the ViF and IGTE, new methods for increasing the level of automation when using numeric calculation procedures were created and validated within the framework of this project. Siemens Graz, where up to 3,000 trucks for short-haul and high-speed trains across the world are produced annually, provided the reference example.

Together, the project consortium developed a platform for multidisciplinary op-timization and implemented numerical optimization algorithms that make possible a highly automated, cross-domain design process based on the core technology Fast Concept Modelling (FCM). The functionality of the developed methods was demonstrated using an application scenario that combines vehicle dynamics behavior and derailment safety with an analysis of the strength of the frame, thus ensuring a balanced design.


Images: project consortium


Before now, the state of the art demanded that the CAD model required for vali-dation be conditioned in a laborious manual process in order to allow the projected behavior of the bogie structures to be optimized in respect of strength, noise and other parameters using computer simulations. The use of FCM now supports the creation of a large number of geometric bogie variants and a more comprehensive configuration of design variables thanks to numerical optimization with results that can be used immediately in practice.

“The multidisciplinary optimization of the topology of a bogie frame in this way wasn’t possible before,” says Dr. Heinz-Peter Kotz, the technical project manager from Siemens Austria, summing up the results of the joint project, which was sponsored by the Austrian Federal government as part of the COMET K2 program.

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