IIT Delhi, RDSO Researchers Develop Easy to Use Train Simulation Software ‘Runtrain#’ to Help in Train Timetabling Methods

New Delhi: Researchers from IIT Delhi and Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), a unit of Ministry of Railways, have collaborated and developed a train simulation software named ‘Runtrain#’ that outputs results, which can be incorporated into timetabling methods. Runtrain# simulation software is an update of ‘Runtrain’ software being used by the Indian Railways since 1990s.

The simulation software Runtrain# has been developed under the guidance of Prof Subir Kumar Saha, Principal Investigator, and Prof Satinder Paul Singh, Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Delhi. The other team members include Bhanu Vardhan Chennoju, Shashwat Jain, Vishnu Sukumar, and Rajeevlochana G Chittawadigi.

Runtrain# was developed to analyze a wide range of train running parameters (TRP) such as running time, fuel consumption, coupler force, and so on. These parameters help the railway personnel in deciding how many of locomotives, stock, etc. are to be used and scheduling. The software’s ease of use and visual graphics representation of output make it useful for analyzing frequently occurring planning issues such as the impact of temporary changes in speed restrictions, halts, train configuration, and so on.

The software architecture was designed to systematically segregate pre-processor, processor, and post-processor using new programming techniques such as Object-oriented programming. The software employs a variety of data representation modes, such as data-grid and graphical visualization to improve the insights of post-processed data. Characteristics of any train configuration can be studied using a combination of locomotives (Diesel-Electric/Electric) and rolling stock (Passenger/Freight) with ease in almost no time.

Speaking of the Runtrain# simulation software, Prof SK Saha, Mechanical Engineering Dept., IIT Delhi said, “There is a paradigm shift in railway operations. Over recent years, demand for passenger and freight transport has increased significantly. As a result, Indian Railways is consistently working to increase operating speeds of trains as well as advanced traffic management to meet societal demands. In this time, a simulation tool like Runtrain# will be a valuable tool to efficiently plan and schedule trains. Indigenous software for railway applications will also provide complete customization and flexibility to users. The collaboration has provided valuable insight to our students as well as engineers at RDSO.”
Prof Saha expressed hopes that such developments will help the country become “Atmanirbhar” in true sense.
Mr. BPS Bhadoria, Joint Director, Motive Power Directorate, RDSO in his letter addressed to the IIT Delhi researchers shared that the project to develop the simulation software Runtrain# has been conferred with Best Research Project Shield in RDSO for the year 2020-21 and he congratulated the IIT Delhi’s team for the successful execution of this project.

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