This paper presents the results of a study to evaluate the effect of semiactive dampers in reducing track dynamic loading at the interface between the rail and moving wheel in rail vehicles. Considering an elastic foundation for the track, the study derives a simplified dynamic model for a railcar primary suspension, attached to the wheelset (unsprung mass) and car body (sprung mass). The performance of the system for different semiactive control strategies is presented and compared with conventional passive suspensions. Different system excitations, caused by track irregularities, are considered and the performance of the system is investigated in both time and frequency domains. Simulation results show that displacement-based groundhook control strategies can reduce the dynamic loads caused by the moving wheel in the vertical direction, therefore lessening the track damage caused by high wheel loads.

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