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Investigating the effects of climate change on High Speed Rail using CFD

Academic lead
David Connolly, Civil Eng
Xiaohui Chen​, Civil Eng, Bill Murphy, Earth and Environment, Yu Qian​, University of South Carolina
Project themes
Energy and Transport, Environmental Flows, Geophysical and Astrophysical Flows, Underpinning Methods for Fluid Dynamics

High speed rail is a sustainable mode of transport that has the potential to help meet global ‘net zero’ targets.  However, although train movement is energy efficient and emits low emissions, the resulting deterioration and replacement of the supporting railway track granular materials is carbon intensive (160% greater than operations).  This is becoming increasingly important because changing rainfall patterns induced by climate change are increasing the rate of track material degradation.  Therefore to reduce the volume of granular track materials being replaced each year, the effect of water flow within track materials must be better understood.  This project will study the characteristics of water flow and drainage through railway track materials, with the aim of helping high speed railway companies better manage their track in the face of climate change.