Simulation of Rolling Stock

Are you looking to simulate bogies, drivelines and wheel-rail contact to improve pollutant and noise emissions, energy efficiency and vehicle dynamics of your rolling stock? Achieve maximum reliability in the development of rolling stock through the multiphysics simulation software SimulationX.

Ensuring and proving full functionality already during the development of rolling stock

Be it simulations of driving cycles, modeling of the wheel-rail contact, analyses of braking systems or the optimization of the traction control system – ESI ITI’s engineers provide you with engineering support throughout the entire product lifecycle of your rolling stock from safe designs to virtual testing to refitting measures. With the simulation software SimulationX, you can model rolling stock as multiphysics systems and ensure compliance with certification requirements right from the start.

Market requirements

Rolling stock manufacturing: market requirements and trends

During the development and operation of rolling stock, it has always been of great importance to ensure maximum traction under various operating conditions and driving scenarios. Already in the design phase, engineers must guarantee this functionality – also with respect to meeting certification requirements for their vehicles. 

Certain design and calculation tasks from the area of drive and braking systems, for example, are moving more and more to the bidding stage, which means extra effort for manufacturers. The prospective operators, for example, demand at this point already rather close predictions about fuel and energy consumption for the intended application scenarios with a suitable vehicle concept.

Besides functional and safety related properties, the international competition between manufacturers of rolling stock commands further purchase criteria for railway vehicles that differ from application scenario to application scenario (regional transport vs long-distance transport, public transport or freight transport). Such criteria may even contradict each other – for instance, homogenization of a fleet versus purpose-specific modifications.

Requirements for manufacturers of rolling stock

  • Comply with strict legal requirements
  • Meet required journey times for certain route profiles through appropriate traction
  • Identify and eradicate weak points
  • Prevent expensive and time-consuming revisions of already certified vehicles
  • Reduce specific energy consumption and make use of alternative energy resources
  • Control and optimize vehicle dynamics of entire trains
  • Develop, test and implement cutting-edge technologies (e.g. recuperation, hybridization, start-stop systems)
  • Safeguard economical saving effects already during the development
  • Meet the customer’s target for operating costs
  • Run simple and quick variation calculations
  • Master the growing complexity of railway vehicles
  • Handle cost and time pressure in the development of rolling stock with ease

Requirements for operators and leasing companies of rolling stock

  • Maximum transport performance
  • High energy efficiency and CO2-free development of vehicles
  • Efficient operation
  • Reduced noise emissions
  • Guaranteed tact times
  • Low lifecycle costs (LCC)
  • Safeguarding vital vehicle parameters, such as reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS)
  • High level of flexibility in the fleet operation by homogenization (long-distance traffic, freight transport)
  • Optimal efficiency by adapting the vehicle to the intended route (regional transport)
  • Economical modernization of existing fleets
  • Analyzing anomalies in the fleet operation fast and reliably

Efficient development of rolling stock

Engineers at Alstom analyze already at early stages of the design phase the detailed interactions between vehicle dynamics and traction through wheel-rail contact and optimize drive and suspension systems of railway vehicles. At Siemens, engineers increase the energy efficiency of their motors by optimizing heat dissipation with multiphysics system simulation. Different use cases that have one thing in common: a simulation solution provided by ITI. Make your product development more efficient! Bring your vehicles to fruition even faster and ensure an early product maturity that fully meets certification and safety requirements. From various projects, we know the particular requirements and can find the right solution for you. Find out more about ESI ITI engineering services.

Engineering services

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In the Customer Center, you can find learning material and training offers on system simulation as well as a free trial version of SimulationX. Register now and jump right into it!

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Simulation of rolling stock

In order to meet the above requirements, manufacturers must regard their vehicles as a complex system already during the development and design and optimize them with all the necessary sub-systems accordingly. That is why well-renowned rolling stock manufacturers around the world have trusted ESI ITI’s simulation software SimulationX and engineering services for years – for new developments, modifications and refitting projects. Simulate the entire vehicle with all its sub-stems in one model. Analyze and optimize the behavior of your railway vehicle already during the development for various operating conditions.

Get to know SimulationX

The great importance of energy efficiency of rolling stock is a matter of both environmental protection with regard to reduced pollutant emissions and economical aspects. For these reasons, looking at the system as a whole becomes even more crucial. Besides the already very efficient travel drives, it is the auxiliary units with their controls, such as engine cooling, compressed air supply, air conditioning and onboard power supply, and the way they are designed that offers the greatest optimization potential.

Whether you are already experienced in the field of simulation or if you just about to get started – the multiphysics simulation software SimulationX is available to both beginners and experts for modeling, simulating and analyzing state-of-the-art rolling stock. Have look yourself to find out which version may suit you best.


SimulationX – software for the development of rolling stock

  • Identifying and reducing torsional vibrations through traction control
  • Developing drive solutions, bogies, braking and suspension systems, drive units for rolling stock or traction control
  • Testing and evaluating critical load scenarios, such as acceleration and deceleration, o effects from passing rail joints, synchronization errors, short circuits in drive motors
  • Simulating driving cycles: calculation of journey times and consumption
  • Analyzing and optimizing mechanical vibration phenomena
  • Evaluating performance and optimizing energy aspects of auxiliary units (heating, air conditioning, cooling systems and compressed-air systems)
  • Changing, integrating and adjusting components to the overall system
  • Designing and testing controller layouts with real-time models

Customers and references

All over the world, suppliers and engineering providers in the railway industry use SimulationX for designing and optimizing their systems, e. g. Alstom, Bombardier Transportation DWA, GE Jenbacher, Herwarth Reich GmbH Maschinenfabrik, KWD Kupplungswerk Dresden, Siemens Transportation Systems, Siemens Automation & Drives, Voith Turbo or Watteeuw.

  • Alstom Transport

    Alstom Transport uses SimulationX to design and optimize drive and suspension systems for trains

    about Alstom's project
  • HVAC technology in vehicles, machinery and buildings

    Application examples and solutions

    Go to HVAC technology
    Jörg Arloth Sales
    Dr. René Noack Engineering
    Florian Ohser Engineering
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