The topic of this article is the calculation of the critical speed for railway vehicles. It is emphasised that it is misleading to formulate the mathematical problem as a stability problem. It must correctly be formulated as a problem of existence of coexisting solutions to the full non-linear dynamical problem. The lowest speed at which there exist more critical speed in road tests. A couple of examples show applications of the method to various dynamical models of railway vehicles. Freight wagons are treated in the end of the article because the dry friction damping with stick-slip and end stops in the suspensions demand the use of the newest numerical solvers and great care in their application to the dynamical problem in order to obtain reliable results.
International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2006, Vol 40, Issue 1-3, p. 251-264