Multi body simulations

Multi body simulations

For a safe, reliable and efficient train operation the dynamic interaction between vehicle and track plays an important role. A suboptimal wheel-rail contact will have an adverse effect on running stability, wear and tear, noise, crack initiation in wheel or rail, traction/braking performances, etc. Investigations into these complex aspects in many cases require the use of advanced Multi Body System (MBS) modelling techniques. 

Within a multi body virtual environment it is possible to simulate and visualise the dynamic behaviour of the complete vehicle in order to analyse the forces and movements between wheel and rail, between vehicle and track and between the various subsystems in the vehicle.


Ricardo Rail has been working for over 20 years with advanced multi body simulation software and has extensive experience with modelling and analysing the dynamics of complex rail systems. We use the multi body simulation package Simpack for our vehicle dynamics analyses. Simpack is used by railway companies and research institutes worldwide. Each multi body model we develop is thoroughly validated with measurement data before using it. For certification purposes we have developed models validated according to EN14363:2016 criteria. We often use Matlab for post-processing of the data produced by our Simpack models.  

We apply our experience and knowledge of Multi Body Simulations for a wide range of services for our clients, for example:

  • Assessment of dynamic behaviour according to EN14363:2016 as part of certification, for revision, construction changes or new vehicle subtypes .
  • Safety against derailment calculations
  • Running comfort assessment according to EN12299:2009
  • Optimisation of wheel profiles for improvement of wheelset life and ride stability
  • Rail profile optimisation for reduction of track forces, wear and noise
  • Wheel-rail contact analysis (equivalent conicity, radial steering index, contact stresses, T gamma and RCF damage factors)
  • Track friendliness assessments
  • Side wind analyses (in combination with CFD simulations)
  • Running through switches and crossings   related to derailment safety and wear
  • Assessment of track geometry (cant, height, lateral shift) with simplified models based on our Simpack models