Advances in Railway Electrification

A special issue of Infrastructures (ISSN 2412-3811).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 3716

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Senior Lecturer, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
Interests: railway engineering; structural optimisation; fatigue and fracture; composites; additive manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Future Mobility Group, School of Engineering, Cassie Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Interests: rail systems engineering; insection and monitoring; lighweighting; subsurface inspection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the International Energy Agency, rail transport is the most electrified transport sector worldwide. Rail passengers account for 75% of electrified movements and 50% of rail freight is electrified. Trains can reduce emissions and congestion in big cities but only if the power generation is not dependent on fuels with high carbon content. Electrification provides the opportunity to break the dependency on liquid hydrocarbon fuels for rail transport, and to exploit the unique advantage of being able to use power generated from a wide range of generation inputs. The scope of this special issue is to provide an overview of the technological challenges in the development of efficient electric trains, implementing new power systems and innovative infrastructure to support the development of solutions to meet net zero emission targets.

This Special Issue aims to explore the design of innovative infrastructure for the cost effective electrification of railway lines, conventional and innovative testing procedures for components of infrastructure, the structural performance of conventional and innovative materials for railway application, the design of innovative locomotives for zero/low-carbon emission, the design and testing of energy storage devices and their structural assessment under service conditions, innovative solution to reduce emission of diesel engines for heavy duty applications, advanced powertrains for mobility and power generation applications, and advanced battery management systems.

Dr. Marzio Grasso
Prof. Dr. Mark Robinson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Infrastructures is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Infrastructure design and simulation
  • Innovative materials for railway infrastructure
  • Full scale testing of infrastructure components
  • Energy Storage Devices
  • Simulation and Testing of electric powertrain
  • Certification of new infrastructure components
  • Overhead line systems and designs
  • Rail electrification optimisation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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23 pages, 7215 KiB  
Use of Dynamic Analysis to Investigate the Behaviour of Short Neutral Sections in the Overhead Line Electrification
by John Morris, Mark Robinson and Roberto Palacin
Infrastructures 2021, 6(5), 62; - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3042
The ‘short’ neutral section is a feature of alternating current (AC) railway overhead line electrification that is often unreliable and a source of train delays. However hardly any dynamic analysis of its behaviour has been undertaken. This paper briefly describes the work undertaken [...] Read more.
The ‘short’ neutral section is a feature of alternating current (AC) railway overhead line electrification that is often unreliable and a source of train delays. However hardly any dynamic analysis of its behaviour has been undertaken. This paper briefly describes the work undertaken investigating the possibility of modelling the behaviour using a novel approach. The potential for thus improving the performance of short neutral sections is evaluated, with particular reference to the UK situation. The analysis fundamentally used dynamic simulation of the pantograph and overhead contact line (OCL) interface, implemented using a proprietary finite element analysis tool. The neutral section model was constructed using physical characteristics and laboratory tests data, and was included in a validated pantograph/OCL simulation model. Simulation output of the neutral section behaviour has been validated satisfactorily against real line test data. Using this method the sensitivity of the neutral section performance in relation to particular parameters of its construction was examined. A limited number of parameter adjustments were studied, seeking potential improvements. One such improvement identified involved the additional inclusion of a lever arm at the trailing end of the neutral section. A novel application of pantograph/OCL dynamic simulation to modelling neutral section behaviour has been shown to be useful in assessing the modification of neutral section parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Railway Electrification)
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