Broken Rail Train Derailment

Technical Challenge

A train derails with an ensuing fire and evacuation of a neighborhood.  What was the root cause of the derailment?

Veryst Solution

Veryst worked with a team of investigators to analyze broken pieces recovered from the derailment, including rail car components and rail fragments. 

Veryst performed dynamic multi-body simulations based on the location of railcars, simulated deformation patterns using finite element analysis and fracture mechanics, evaluated metal composition, and performed failure analysis of the rail using scanning electron microscopy. 

Veryst’s analysis indicated that the derailment occurred due to a rail defect developing from a vertical split head (VSH), a type of fatigue crack initiating in the rail head.

Vertical Split Head in Rail Head
Vertical split head (VSH) in rail head
Trainrail Deformation Analysis
Deformation analysis of bearing surface with associated forces on bolts



Can we help? Just want to keep in touch?