Field measurements of aerodynamic pressures in tunnels induced by high speed trains

Yung Yen Ko, Cheng Hsing Chen, Ing Tsang Hoe, Shin Tsyr Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The passage of high speed trains causes aerodynamic effects in tunnels, and considerable pressure transients are generated because of the restricted airspace within the tunnel. This leads to passenger discomfort, noise surrounding the tunnel, resistance to train movement, and possible damage to the train body and tunnel facilities. For the real assessment of the aerodynamic pressures in the tunnel induced by the passing trains of the high speed rail in Taiwan, a series of field measurements were performed near the portal and the shaft or the adit of the tunnel during normal operation. The measurements were conducted for several train speeds, including the maximum operation speed of the high speed rail in Taiwan, which is 300. km/h. Pressure sensors were deployed along the tunnel to investigate the propagation of pressure waves. The results show that the train nose entry/exit generated a compression wave propagating throughout the tunnel, resulting in a sharp increase in pressure. Conversely, the train tail entry/exit generated an expansion wave causing a pressure drop. The successive reflections of these pressure waves between both ends of the tunnel were observed. The pass-by of a train inside the tunnel also induced an immediate local pressure drop due to aerodynamic drag. Based on the measurement results, the spatial variation of the train-induced pressure peaks inside the tunnel is discussed. Furthermore, the relationship between the pressure peaks and the train speed is established, and the influence of the cross-sectional area of the tunnel is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering


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