This paper is aimed at developing a computationally efficient approach to simulate the vertical dynamic behavior of vehicle–track coupled system. With the finite element method, the car body, bogies, and rail are modeled as Euler beams supported by springs and dashpots, which can investigate the influence of flexibility of the vehicle on structural dynamic response. By a variant of component-mode synthesis (CMS), the degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) within the substructures are condensed and the two substructures are coupled through nonlinear Hertzian theory. Although the system matrix is updated and factorized during the calculation, the total computational efficiency is significantly improved due to the much smaller size of the equations of motion and direct solution algorithm instead of iterative procedure. Compared with an existing model, the accuracy and efficiency of the method are investigated. Application of the model is shown by numerical example.

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