The Maytas region in the far northwest reaches of China is known for its intense gale-force winds that exceed 90 kilometers per hour. Additionally, an acceleration effect created by the unique topography of the region — similar to that caused by twin mountains — further increases wind speeds and turbulence. These intense winds can damage houses and vehicles as well as injure people. They also pose a hazard to the high-speed trains that traverse the region.

Wang et al. studied the impact of the acceleration effect on high-speed trains around twin mountains to identify possible mitigation techniques.

“In my daily work on a railroad construction project in the region, economic losses and accidents caused by strong winds occur frequently,” said author E Deng. “These experiences motivated me to engage in this study.”

The researchers first created a twin mountain model and conducted wind tunnel laboratory tests. Fluid dynamics calculations and detached eddy simulation dynamics models helped assess the aerodynamic performance of the high-speed trains and their flow fields.

The results found that wind velocity increases on the leeward side of a mountain, but jet streams generated by wind curtain machines could help mitigate the acceleration effect and reduce the maximum wind speed by up to 16 percent.

“I am most excited about the obvious acceleration effect and the mitigating effect of the wind curtain in our results,” Deng said. “I hope to continue to optimize the parameters of a wind curtain or jet device in the future, to improve its economic advantages in production and operation, and finally apply the device in realistic scenarios.”

Source: “Mitigating inflow acceleration effects in twin mountains using air-jets: emphasis on anti-wind for high-speed railways,” by Jian Wang, E. Deng, Yi-Qing Ni, Xu-Hui He, Pak-Wai Chan, Wei-Chao Yang, Huan Li, and Zu-Yu Xie, Physics of Fluids (2024). The article can be accessed at

This paper is part of the Flow and Civil Structures Collection, learn more here.