Author Topic: OpenTrack is railway planning software for simulation of railway networks  (Read 437 times)

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OpenTrack is railway planning software for simulation of railway networks - for desktop and mobile platforms.


OpenTrack began in the mid-1990s as a research project at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The aim of the project Object-Oriented Modeling in Railways, was to develop a catalyst for practical economic solutions to complex railway technology problems.

Today, the railway simulation tool OpenTrack is a well-established railway planning software and it is used by railways, the railway supply industry, consultancies and universities in different countries.

OpenTrack allows to model, simulate and analyze the following types of rail systems:

    High speed rail
    Heavy rail / Intercity rail
    Commuter rail systems
    Heavy haul freight
    Mining railway systems
    Metro / Subway / Underground systems
    Light rail (LRT)
    Tram / Streetcar systems
    People mover systems
    Rack railways / Mountain railways
    Maglev (magnetic levitation) systems (e.g. Transrapid)

OpenTrack supports the following kinds of tasks:

    Determining the requirements for a railway network’s infrastructure
    Analyzing the capacity of lines and stations
    Calculation of minimum headways (headway calculation), e.g. using the OpenTrack tool Headway Calculator
    Rolling stock studies (for example, future requirements)
    Running time calculation
    Timetable construction; analyzing the robustness of timetables (single or multiple simulation runs, Monte-Carlo simulation)
    Evaluating and designing various signaling systems, such as discrete block systems, short blocks, moving blocks, LZB, CBTC (communication-based train control), ATP, ATO, ETCS Level 1, ETCS Level 2, ETCS Hybrid Level 3, ETCS Level 3 (see also: ERTMS), PTC (Positive Train Control)
    Analyzing the effects of system failures (such as infrastructure or train failures) and delays
    Calculation of power and energy consumption of train services
    Simulation of railway power supply systems (using OpenPowerNet)


Network data
OpenTrack describes a railway network in special graphs called double vertex graphs. A user can edit the network’s topology graphically. Every element of the graph holds various attributes. An edge, for example, holds its length, the gradient, the maximum speed for different train categories and much more. A user can create and manage objects for edges and vertices, and also signals, switches, stations and routes.

Rolling stock data
OpenTrack stores each locomotive’s technical characteristics, including tractive effort/speed diagrams, load, length, adhesion factor, and power systems. A database organizes locomotives into groups called depots. A simulated train uses one or more locomotives from a depot together with a number of passenger or freight cars (carriages or wagons). Trainsets are also organized in a database.

Timetable data
The timetable database stores information for each train at each station, including arrival and departure times, minimal stop time, and connections to other trains.
A user can compare timetable and actual data either in a table or directly in the train graphic.


OpenTrack offers interfaces to general data formats (such as ASCII and XML) and to some railway-specific formats (including FBS, Protim, Simu VII and others).

OpenTrack also supports railML, the XML-based standard format for the exchange of railway data. Download the railML product sheet (PDF-File, 800 kB).

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