MATLAB and Simulink for Railway Systems

Model, simulate, and optimize railway applications.

Railway systems engineers must design and implement real-time control systems for a wide range of equipment on the market. These systems include: 

  • Rolling stock and locomotives
  • Signaling and interlocking systems
  • Electrification systems

To meet this challenge, engineers are moving from using a traditional design methodology to using Model-Based Design. With MATLAB® and Simulink®, railway organizations can improve the quality, time to market, and cost-effectiveness of their software-intensive systems.

High-integrity systems developed within the railway industry need to demonstrate compliance with EN 50128, a standard for railway control and protection systems software. Using MATLAB and Simulink with TÜV SÜD certified products can help you meet this standard.

“We used MathWorks tools to design, test, modify, and implement a control system for a permanent magnet drive in one year. Given the resources available to us, it would have been impossible to deliver this on schedule without MathWorks tools.”

Han Geerligs, Alstom

Rolling Stock and Locomotives

Locomotives, hybrid locomotives, diesel or electrical multiple units, and general rolling stock carry an increasing number of electronics. The control systems applications in this segment can vary from train control and traction control management systems, to components such as door controls and braking. Designing, generating code, and testing such complex algorithms can be challenging and time consuming. MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape™ can enable railway systems engineers to develop and implement their control algorithms for different targets and design their plant models like electrical motors.

Signaling and Interlocking Systems

To synchronize and improve the efficiency and safety of railway traffic, standardization projects such as the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) are underway. Engineers working on the ERTMS use the European Train Control System (ETCS), an integral component of the signaling and interlocking systems sector of the railway industry. Engineers in this sector develop high integrity software applications that include radio-based wireless communications, signaling control, information, and interlocking systems, as well as advanced forms of display screens used for these applications. MATLAB, Simulink, and Stateflow enable engineers to develop interlocking, level-crossing detection, train operation, protection, train supervision and station operation, and rail telecommunication systems.

Railway Network Electrification and Energy Management Systems

Railway electrification provides traction energy to trains. MATLAB and Simulink enable grid simulation and analysis to replicate and analyze energy transfers in different operation conditions depending on the characteristics of your voltage, current, or contact electrification system. MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape™ products help engineers to model electrical components such as distribution lines, switches, and transformers.

Power networks are complex systems that cannot be efficiently and securely operated without an energy management system. These systems supervise the power transmission between the components in a power network. Engineers working in this area have to assess technology and operational options for these systems. MATLAB and Simulink allow engineers to replicate effects of power generation, load consumption, or regenerative braking.