In the past decade, the high speed trains (HSTs) in China have experienced a booming development, with the design of CRH380A as a predominant example. A series of brand new HSTs have been developed with high aerodynamic performance, which includes the running resistance, the lift of the trailing car, pressure waves when trains pass by each other, aerodynamic noise in the far field, etc. In order to design HSTs with better aerodynamic performance, it is necessary to perform aerodynamic shape optimization, especially to optimize the streamline shape of HSTs. Parametrization is the basis for the whole optimization process, since good parametrization approach not only affects the optimization strategy, but also determines the design space and optimization efficiency. In the present paper, a series of work related to the streamline shape parametrization performed by the author in recent years have been introduced. Four different parametrization approaches have been exhibited, which are Local Shape Function method (LSF) and Free-Foam Deformation method (FFD), Modified Vehicle Modeling Function method (MVMF), Class function/Shape function Transformation method (CST). These methods could be categorized into two kinds: shape disturbance approach (LSF and FFD) and shape description approach (MVMF and CST). Among these four methods, some are developed by the authors while some are locally modified so as to meet the parametrization of the streamline shape. The detailed process of these four approaches are exhibited in the present paper and the characteristics of these four approaches are compared.

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