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Opportunities for improving interfaces between railway engineering analysis tools

Bayati, Hamid and Iwnicki, Simon D. and Stow, Julian M. (2002) Opportunities for improving interfaces between railway engineering analysis tools. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

Railways are complex systems, which utilize many engineering disciplines in order to ensure their safe and efficient operation. Railway engineers make use of ever improving analysis tools to control the performance of various parts of the railway system. Often these tools have become efficient but highly specialized. For example, vehicle engineers use powerful dynamic simulation packages but the information these provide are not always fully utilized in work carried out by infrastructure engineers who are using their own software tools. The EPSRC funded TRAINS project is studying the Railway System as a whole. As part of this the Rail Technology Unit at MMU is investigating the links between tools used by different engineering disciplines in the railway field. An overview of the TRAINS project is given in [1]. A database of tools has been set up and is being used to establish links between tools and, more importantly, gaps where tools are not interfacing as they could. The structure of the database is outlined in this paper. This project provides an opportunity to investigate the interaction between design, maintenance and operation of the vehicle and the effect on the track. In this paper we show how a sample system model is being set up which links some of the identified tools to demonstrate the interfaces. This system tool is then used to establish the effects of changes in one part of the system (such as the wheel-rail interface) on other parts of the system (such as interaction with the infrastructure).

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