Rail Simulations Models

Rail Traffic Controller (RTC)

Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) by Berkeley Simulation Software, LLC is a powerful, industry standard rail simulation software package. In the rail industry, RTC is the go-to software for simulating large freight networks. The key to RTC is its state of the art dispatching logic, which is able to dispatch trains efficiently over a large network, rivaling even human dispatchers.

The modelers at AECOM use RTC to analyze a wide range of rail networks. RTC is extremely useful for modeling networks with a variety of different freight and passenger services. The ability to model everything from a small terminal to an international rail network makes RTC an invaluable tool for rail analysis. AECOM uses RTC for many types of projects, including:

  • Analyzing the capacity and achievable throughput on a network,
  • Evaluating the benefits of potential infrastructure improvements, and
  • Assessing the impact of new rail services.


OpenTrack by OpenTrack Railway Technology Ltd. is another powerful software tool for simulating rail networks. OpenTrack is used throughout the world to analyze and plan large passenger networks. Just as RTC has found its place in the freight industry, OpenTrack has become the industry standard for passenger-focused networks.

OpenTrack is used in much the same was as RTC, and in fact, for many projects, the two can often be used interchangeably. However, the real benefit of using OpenTrack is the suite of tools for modeling and analyzing scheduled passenger services, including everything from streetcars and Light Rail Transit (LRT), all the way up to High-Speed Rail (HSR). At AECOM, the key types of projects handled using OpenTrack include:

  • Analyzing proposed passenger networks, including sensitivity analyses,
  • Evaluating the impact of road traffic on LRTs with semi-exclusive or shared right-of-ways, and
  • Planning passenger schedules and minimum service headways.


RAILSIM by SYSTRA is a software suite of industry standard rail simulation tools. The flagship module is the Train Performance Calculator (TPC), which can be used to accurately simulate a train operating over a given track geometry. RAILSIM also contains a large database of verified, pre-built models for common North American rolling stock.

RAILSIM is the number one tool at AECOM for analyzing track geometries and individual train performance.  AECOM also uses the RAILSIM suite to analyze traction power networks for projects involving electric locomotives. Often, RAILSIM is used alongside a full network simulation in RTC or OpenTrack. RAILSIM is used by AECOM to provide analyses such as:

  • Calculating minimum achievable runtime for proposed services,
  • Determining safe braking distance and maximum achievable grade, and
  • Conducting Load Flow Analysis (LFA) for traction power networks.


AnyLogic by The AnyLogic Company is a highly flexible piece of simulation software. AnyLogic is used to simulate processes in a variety of industries, including rail. The greatest benefits to using AnyLogic are the ease of quickly developing a rail network model, the ability to visualize the operations in 2D or 3D, and the flexibility to program additional operations outside of rail.

AnyLogic is used at AECOM for a number of tasks, including:

  • High level operational planning,
  • Analyzing rail yard operations, including processes such as loading/unloading cargo, and
  • Presenting designs and operational concepts using engaging visuals.