Train travel simulations in design software

Calculating the exact travel time of a train through a train station can be critical to achieving the capacity goals of the national railway network. There is a lot of theory describing how these calculation can be done, but lack of good computer tools cause the railway engineers to postpone such calculations until after the station's design is finished. And then, no matter what the calculations show, it can be too late to implement any changes.

By integrating train travel simulation into design software, railway engineers can check their station capacity while still working on the design, before it's too late to improve it.

Ask for discussions with one of the supervisors, for more information or variations of the project. See also general concerns.

(Figure from G. Theeg, S. Vlasenko (ed.), Railway Signalling & Interlocking, Eurail press, 2009.)

There are many factors that influence the train's speed characteristics, such as:
 - Engine power
 - Braking power
 - Gradient (uphill and downhill)
 - Curvature
 - Train protection systems (automatic braking)
 - Tunnels and wind resistance

The calculations are given as differential equations, and they may be solved by methods for numerical integration and the solving of ODEs (ordinary differential equations). Controlling input data quality and making simplifying assumptions can be important.

This project is performed in cooperation with the railway software and consultant company RailComplete.

Tags: railway designs, modelling, simulation, ODEs
Published Aug. 23, 2017 10:17 AM - Last modified July 30, 2019 5:32 PM

Scope (credits)