Method for validating the train motion equations used for passenger rail vehicle simulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

External organisations

  • School of Electronics


Train simulation software is conventionally validated by checking simulation results against equivalent data collected from real train runs. It is typically expected that these results will be within 5-10% accuracy of the recorded data. However, such a large margin could allow errors in the programming to be overlooked, resulting in an inaccurate model. This paper presents a method for error checking and validating the kinematics of train simulators based on comparison with calculated results, which are found by solving the fundamental equations governing train motion. A typical train run comprises of a combination of two or more of the four stages: accelerating, cruising, coasting and braking. Each stage is considered as a separate scenario for which the equations must be solved, in order to find the running time, distance travelled and energy consumption of the vehicle. This validation method is applied to two train movement simulators currently used for research. Certain specific scenarios for which analytical solutions are available are run in each simulator. The differences from the analytical solution in each test case are quantified, allowing the simulators to be compared to each other and the exact solution.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • equations of motion, Simulation, validation, vehicle dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas