This paper presents a study of the parametrically excited behavior of passenger and freight vehicles on tangent track due to harmonic variations in conicity using linear models. The effect of primary and secondary stiffnesses on parametric excitation is also studied. Floquet theory is used to find the stability boundaries. The results show that wavelengths associated with conicity variation that are in the vicinity of half the kinematic wavelengths of the vehicles can lead to significant reductions in critical speeds. Results also show that the primary and warp stiffnesses can affect the severity of principal parametric resonance depending on the vehicle models and magnitude of stiffnesses chosen.

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