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A review of simulation models for railway systems

Goodman, C.J., Siu, L.K., & Ho, T.K. (1998) A review of simulation models for railway systems. In International Conference on Developments in Mass Transit Systems 1998, IEEE, London.

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Abstract

With the advances in computer hardware and software development techniques in the past 25 years, digital computer simulation of train movement and traction systems has been widely adopted as a standard computer-aided engineering tool [1] during the design and development stages of existing and new railway systems. Simulators of different approaches and scales are used extensively to investigate various kinds of system studies. Simulation is now proven to be the cheapest means to carry out performance predication and system behaviour characterisation. When computers were first used to study railway systems, they were mainly employed to perform repetitive but time-consuming computational tasks, such as matrix manipulations for power network solution and exhaustive searches for optimal braking trajectories. With only simple high-level programming languages available at the time, full advantage of the computing hardware could not be taken. Hence, structured simulations of the whole railway system were not very common. Most applications focused on isolated parts of the railway system. It is more appropriate to regard those applications as primarily mechanised calculations rather than simulations. However, a railway system consists of a number of subsystems, such as train movement, power supply and traction drives, which inevitably contains many complexities and diversities. These subsystems interact frequently with each other while the trains are moving; and they have their special features in different railway systems. To further complicate the simulation requirements, constraints like track geometry, speed restrictions and friction have to be considered, not to mention possible non-linearities and uncertainties in the system. In order to provide a comprehensive and accurate account of system behaviour through simulation, a large amount of data has to be organised systematically to ensure easy access and efficient representation; the interactions and relationships among the subsystems should be defined explicitly. These requirements call for sophisticated and effective simulation models for each component of the system. The software development techniques available nowadays allow the evolution of such simulation models. Not only can the applicability of the simulators be largely enhanced by advanced software design, maintainability and modularity for easy understanding and further development, and portability for various hardware platforms are also encouraged. The objective of this paper is to review the development of a number of approaches to simulation models. Attention is, in particular, given to models for train movement, power supply systems and traction drives. These models have been successfully used to enable various ‘what-if’ issues to be resolved effectively in a wide range of applications, such as speed profiles, energy consumption, run times etc.

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ID Code: 38630
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Railway systems, Simulation and modelling, Computer-aided design tool
DOI: 10.1049/cp:19980101
ISBN: 0852967039
ISSN: 0537-9989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Simulation and Modelling (080110)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 IEEE
Copyright Statement: Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Deposited On: 18 Nov 2010 09:07
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 03:29

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