An Overview of the OnTrack Rail Simulation Suite
What is OnTrack?
OnTrack is a suite of related computer programs developed to help plan,
design, and operate a railroad. These programs include:
- An interactive simulation that accurately models railroad operations.
- A relational database for capturing wayside, engineering and equipment
- Safe braking signaling programs which can be used to design and evaluate
control lines for speed controlled and wayside based control systems.
- Load flow analysis programs for determining the voltages, currents and
power at all points in the traction supply system for regenerative and
OnTrack runs on Windows 9x and NT-based machines. Users may license all or
parts of the OnTrack system. Licensing can be by railroad, site, project or
company. We provide installation CD’s, training, and support for OnTrack. We
ourselves perform analysis employing the OnTrack system and/or we can provide
supplemental support for clients performing such analysis.
Who uses OnTrack?
OnTrack is licensed by many segments of the railroad industry including rail
properties, consultants, and engineering firms. We performs analysis using the
programs on a contract basis. Users of OnTrack include:
- Planners who study reconfigurations of existing railroads, extensions,
or entirely new lines. They study operational factors such as transit times
and achievable headways of railroads as a function of equipment types, route
geometry, platform location, location of crossovers, and other parameters.
- Operations staff who experiment with schedules and operating policy to
determine the feasibility of alternative operating plans. They can experiment
with failure management scenarios and observe the characteristics of a
railroad under loadings which produce congested train operations.
- Signal engineers who can determine the location of block boundaries
and the signal lines required to meet performance characteristics subject to
meeting safe braking specifications.
- Traction power engineers who must evaluate or design substation and
traction power feeder system that must be able to sustain operations with
under various worst-case scenarios, such as unavailable components, and during
peak train operating conditions.
What makes OnTrack special?
Clients from railroads and engineering firms who have used and/or purchased
other programs for railroad analysis but are now using OnTrack have indicated
that there are many reasons why they prefer OnTrack. Some of these are:
- Modules share a common relational database program for capturing data.
Data entry, often one of the most difficult parts of railroad analysis, is
facilitated by forms tailored to the railroad environment, with many
graphical and other aides to assist entry and help assure the correctness of
- Easy to use graphical outputs and reports are included with the modules.
Interfaces have been provided to other programs such as Excel, AutoCad, and
Word where appropriate so that the user can easily export the analysis
results for ease of report preparation.
- The internal logic in OnTrack models is extremely accurate. Great effort
has been expended to insure the fidelity of interlocking logic, wayside
train control, and other details.
- We continually update the programs based on our railroad experience and
the railroad experience of our clients. We strive to make the system easier
to use, to improve functionality, to add capability, and to ensure
ever-increasing levels of reliability and accuracy.
- We provide continuing support to our clients. We are available to provide
on-site, telephone, or network support for OnTrack.
The suite is comprised of:
relational network database
OnTrack interactive simulation
and Performance Analysis module
We'll send you a variety of OnTrack material and documentation based on your interests or set up an online webinar. Please call TDS at
1.650.949.1101 or email us