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Mathematical Modeling of Train Dynamics: A PC Train Simulator

Muhammad Junaid Arshad, Atiq-ur-Rehman Ahmad, Arjumand Iqbal Durrani, Hasnain Ahmad


Training of locomotive engineers (train drivers) is an expensive and a time consuming undertaking. Expertise regarding efficient driving on track with steep grades and curvatures can only be achieved after many years of experience on that particular track. Coupled with this, techniques for minimizing fuel and time, conventional training is provided on the locomotive with some experienced driver. This mode of training is subject to the arability of experienced resource so it can only be carried out for a couple of times in a week. It takes locomotive engineer months to qualify for a specific section of track. A PC based train simulator can accelerate the training process. Although some train simulation games are available in the market, they are not based on the actual physics involved in the train operation.  This work explores the mathematical modeling of train dynamics, and based on this model of train; we build a train simulator that can be used by railroad operators as a driver-training tool. This mathematical modeling also include modeling of the Train Air Brakes, Coupler and Wagon connections, Track forces, Dynamics Brakes and Tractive forces. The proposed train simulator provides an accurate and realistic dynamic response of actual train. In this way the transition from simulator to actual train will be much smoother.

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Faculty of Engineering and Technology

University of the Punjab