Computer Simulation

Rail Sciences utilizes validated computer simulation programs that are recognized as standards in the industry as well as internally-developed proprietary simulation software to model and solve real-world issues for our rail clients. .

Tasks Rail Sciences routinely address include:

  • Accident Investigation / Derailment Cause Determination
  • Derailment Risk Assessment
  • Train Braking Analysis and Stopping Distance Calculations
  • Locomotive Tonnage Ratings
  • Tractive Effort Requirements
  • Collision Force and Acceleration Analysis
  • Train Handling Development, Review, and Assessment
  • Railroad Operating Rule Development
  • Train Make-up and Locomotive Placement
  • Ride Quality
  • Capacity Optimization and Planning
  • Wheel / Rail Wear
  • Fuel Consumption and Running Times

Computer Simulation

Rail Sciences experts calculate and analyze critical data items such as coupler forces, L/V ratios, and truck-side lateral forces using vehicle and track/train dynamics simulation models. These models include VAMPIRE and the AAR’s Train Operations Simulator (TOS), the Train Operations and Energy Simulator (TOES), and the Quasi-static Lateral Train Stability Model (QLTS).

Additional computer modeling packages used include the Train Transit Predictor (TTP) model that calculates fuel consumption and train running times, the Derailment Predictor Model (DPM) to assess derailment severity, and RDCAM for rail network planning and optimization.

Some past modeling uses have included:

Vehicle Dynamics Modeling

Evaluate track design criteria, assess vehicle behavior over track features and assess ride quality, identify areas of problematic vehicle/track interaction at various speeds of travel, Chapter XI analysis for AAR acceptance, car/locomotive design, and investigation of train derailments.

Capacity Planning

Model and simulate operations to handle current or future traffic requirements. Optimize planning for yards, ports, terminals, load-outs, and design of leads and run-around tracks for freight, passenger, and industry railroads.

Rollability Analysis

Assess conditions affecting rollability (track geometry, car weights, retarder locations, car combinations, etc.), predict rolling speed and final car positions on track. Evaluate effectiveness of varying track profiles (length, elevation, curvature) to reduce derailments, bypassed couplings, damaged lading, roll-outs, stop-shorts, and track damage.

Remote Control Locomotive (RCL) Services

Support and optimization of new and existing RCL operations. Assessment of safety, operational, economic benefits of implementation, and development of site specific operating rules and pullback transponder placement.

Please also take a look at our other services: