OpenTrack by OpenTrack Railway Technology Ltd is a detailed network simulator designed to support investment decisions, timetable stability checks and engineering design processes
Computer simulation allows a virtual reconstruction of complex systems and OpenTrack was developed as a user friendly tool to answer questions about railway operations.
OpenTrack can be utilised to predict and solve the conventional challenges experienced in the railway industry which include, but are not limited to:

  • The determination of station capacity
  • Capacity of train lines
  • Solving capacity bottleneck problems
  • Optimising train timetables and managing conflicts
  • Evaluating how disturbances affect the network
  • Design of signalling systems.

Since September 2012, there have been 252 OpenTrack licenses sold to 167 different license holders in 334 countries. Use of the OpenTrack software has expanded globally, with the user group doubling in size in the past two years.

The Advantages of OpenTrack to Your Organisation

OpenTrack serves as a valuable tool in the planning stages of a railway project as it can potentially identify risks, determine project feasibility and reduce project cost.

The benefits of using OpenTrack to simulate network scenarios include:

  • Being able to consider the combined effects of all known variables and uncertainties
  • Early detection of problems and conflicts before major decisions are implemented
  • Reducing design errors in preliminary stages
  • Reducing project implementation time.

OpenTrack outputs statistical data in common file types (such as Excel and RailML) to allow the easy comparison and analysis of data. OpenTrack can output data in graphical form to ease the presentation and communication of results to clients.

Using OpenTrack

OpenTrack is relatively intuitive to use. There are four major inputs required to create a model. A graphical model of the physical railway network is created based on infrastructure defined by the user e.g. stations, signalling and track topology. Graphical elements hold the various characteristics of the real railway, for example, a track section length, gradient or maximum speed for different train categories. A user can create and manage objects to emulate the operation of signals, switches, stations and routes.

Modellers then use rollingstock and a train plan or timetable to simulate real time activity over the network. During a simulation, trains try to run to the specified timetable. Differential algorithms for speed and distance are used to calculate a train movement, given, for example the constraints of the signalling system. Occupied tracks, reserved routes and restrictive signal aspects may impede a train’s progress. During the simulation, every train continuously stores its speed, acceleration, position, power consumption and other data.

The simulation records and outputs consequential statistical data about either single journeys or the entire modelled network.

OpenTrack is easily scalable from simple segments such as a junction or main line, through to highly complex networks. It can be used to model all types of passenger and freight services, from regular interval patterns through to individual services.

OpenTrack quantifies and provides various statistical data sets including:

  • Single journey run times
  • Velocity vs time
  • Distance vs time
  • Line profiles
  • Acceleration behaviour
  • Tractive effort
  • Timetable delay
  • Station occupation times.

Plateway is the exclusive Australasian and Indian reseller of OpenTrack, provides technical and operational support and coordinates both beginner and advanced short courses on modelling railway networks in OpenTrack on a semi-annual basis. Click here for upcoming training and user forum dates.