Railway Engineering Laboratory

Testing and Experimenting

Often, experiments in the lab are a useful replacement for outdoor testing. For instance when costs, safety or controllability are considered. The Section of Railway Engineering at TU Delft has a number of laboratory test facilities that allow testing and experimenting in a controlled environment.

Wheel-Rail Test Rig

The behaviour of the wheel-rail contact is assessed at the test rig. This facility allows simulation of real contact stresses to assess the wear of track and wheels. Also the development of rail defects is studied.

Catenary Simulator

The lab also possesses a state-of-the-art catenary simulator. This is a hardware in the loop (HIL) test device that calculates the catenary behaviour in real-time. The dynamic behaviour allows full-scale dynamic testing of railway pantographs.
A number of other experimental equipment is available in the Rail Lab as well, like hammer testing for dynamic characterization of railway structures; actuators and sensors and in forces ranging until 150kN, for instance to study the fatigue behaviour of structures.


  • Laboratory technician Railway Engineering: J.Moraal
  • Railway Professor: Z.Li