Train braking technology needs to be advanced corresponding to the vehicle advancement to fully utilize the benefits of the potential capacity, efficiency and to ensure safety. The effectiveness of the braking changes as the friction condition at the wheel-rail interface and speed of rail vehicle change. The conventional brake control systems do not differentiate these changes in conditions and consider a constant slip reference. To overcome this issue, a new control algorithm for a wheel slide protection device incorporated in the electronically controlled pneumatic brake system has been proposed. Unlike conventional controllers, the proposed controller is responsive to the change of operational and environmental parameters between wheel and rail. It is designed based on multiple modes shifting during operations as the friction conditions change which allows to utilize the maximum adhesion available and to prevent the occurrence of sliding. The control algorithm is developed in a modular approach, where the first module identifies the adhesion condition at the wheel-rail interface. The result from the first module is further implemented in the second module to search for the optimum slip range for that adhesion condition and vehicle speed. For numerical simulation, a wagon model considering in-train forces is developed. The adhesion force is modeled by a proper definition of an adhesion-creep characteristics curve achieved from measured data. The comparison between the proposed control algorithm and the conventional algorithm suggests that the proposed control algorithm can optimally utilize available adhesion between wheel and rail to ensure shorter braking distance while maintaining vehicle stability.

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