Effect of the formation type with different freight vehicles on the train aerodynamic performance

Xiaoshuai Huo, Tanghong Liu, Zhengwei Chen, Wenhui Li, Hongrui Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the effect of the freight train formation on the train aerodynamic performance was studied. Six cases involving a locomotive (LM) and three different freight vehicles–a boxcar (BC), a tanker (TK), and a double-container freight wagon (DW), were compared and analyzed. The results showed that the aerodynamic drag was significantly affected by the freight train formation type, and the total drag force in Case 2 (LM + BC + DW + TK) was the smallest. Furthermore, the flow field around the train was analyzed to reveal the influence mechanism of the different types of freight train formations on the aerodynamic drag. The car position and the adjacent cars had significant effects on the aerodynamic characteristics of the train. The DW had a greater effect on the pressure and velocity distributions around the train. In addition, the variations of the vortices in the near wake of the same tail car were inconsistent, although there were similar characteristics for the same tail car.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3868-3896
Number of pages29
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • aerodynamic drag
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • flow field
  • Freight train formation
  • pressure and slipstream

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering


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