At LTK, we use a wide variety of powerful analytical software tools including those developed by LTK professionals. 



LTK’s flagship TrainOps software reflects more than 10 years of expert development in train performance, vehicle control systems and traction power network (both AC and DC) modeling.  Developed by LTK engineers, the TrainOps software is continually enhanced, benefitting from application on more than 20 North American rail networks.  The TrainOps software is unique in capturing the dynamic response of simulated trains to voltage conditions at the pantograph, the third rail shoe or the trolley pole.  As such, the software’s run-time feedback between train dynamics and the traction power system allows the analysis of trade-offs between traction power investments and system performance (train on-time performance).


LTK’s Vehicle Procurement Control System (VPCS) was designed specifically to support rail car procurements and is widely proven through application to thousands of new rail vehicles in revenue service.  VPCS provides rapid classification and retrieval of procurement-related documents and serves to organize technical submittals, information requests and contract change orders.  All drawings, submittals, documents, correspondence, reports, and invoices produced or received can be classified in accordance with an established index.  VPCS supports distribution of incoming, outgoing and internal documents and correspondence to appropriate parties.  VPCS, which was developed by LTK, also maintains "aging logs" to evaluate turn-around times for the review of drawings, engineering change proposals, test procedures and other technical issues.  It also supports the vehicle procurement management team in maintaining open-item logs for issues not yet resolved, together with the associated individual(s) responsible for resolution.


OnTrack is a suite of related computer simulation programs developed to help plan, design, and operate a railroad. LTK engineers and rail operations analyses use these programs, which include an interactive network simulation that accurately models railroad operations, a relational database for capturing wayside, engineering and equipment data, and safe braking signaling programs which can be used to design and evaluate control lines for speed-controlled and wayside-based control systems.


LTK rail operations analysts use the RAILSIM® Simulation Software Suite for train performance analyses, including travel time, energy consumption and maximum attainable speed computations.  We also use this software for signal block layout, line capacity analysis and minimum supportable headways analyses for both in-service and proposed train control systems.


Vehicle dynAmic Modeling Package In a Railway Environment, VAMPIRE®, originally developed by British Rail Research, allows the user to build a virtual model of a rail vehicle and run it over measured track geometry to predict vehicle forces, displacements, and accelerations for a given configuration. This dynamic modeling program provides a variety of output options that are used by LTK engineers for derailment and vehicle dynamic stability analysis.  VAMPIRE also generates a relative rail wear index that supports comparison of alternative wheel and rail profiles for prediction of wear and durability. 


LTK uses the ANSYS engineering analysis and simulation suite for a wide variety of applications in mechanical and electrical engineering design.  ANSYS Mechanical supports comprehensive structural linear/nonlinear and dynamics analysis. LTK uses the product’s set of elements behavior, material models and equation solvers for a wide range of engineering problems. Electromagnetic simulation from ANSYS supports LTK in accurate simulation of electromagnetic fields; our engineers and designers are able accurately predict the behavior of high-performance electrical and electromechanical devices.


LTK vehicle designers also use PLM Software’s FEMAP suite of applications for complex computer-aided engineering using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques as part of our design and design review processes. FEMAP has its own set of engineering “solvers” but also operates on models created by other engineering simulation applications, including those used by many suppliers.  The design is modeled, often using CAD data as an input source, with FEMAP, which then supports virtual testing to verify that the design will function as expected under defined operating conditions. The results from the simulation provide insight into the behavior of the design and help LTK engineers evaluate potential design changes and improvements.


Our engineers are highly-proficient in the application of MATLAB®,  a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numeric computation. LTK engineers and designers apply MATLAB to the modeling of specific vehicle components, as well as to larger vehicle systems such as propulsion and braking.  MATLAB is used to evaluate vehicle performance characteristics such as thermal capacity and Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI).





LTK electrical engineers – both those focused on vehicles and those focused on wayside traction power – use PSpice (Personal Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) for analog circuit and digital logic analysis. LTK’s PSpice applications focus on short-term and transient analyses, including system responses to power surges, power loss, third rail arcs and similar phenomena.


LTK’s Traction Power Engineers apply the DIgital SImuLator for Electrical NeTwork (DIgSILENT) PowerFactory software to complex power system analyses.  The software is particularly suited for analysis of power quality issues and evaluation of the impact of electrified rail systems on the power supply utility.  The software can analyze networks of any complexity, including meshed and radial systems, as well as 1-, 2-, and 3-phase AC networks, and DC networks.  PowerFactory is used to create detailed power system models in a single database which support a wide range of steady state, time domain, frequency domain and stochastic system characteristics.  LTK typically uses PowerFactory for line-to-ground, phase-to-phase and three-phase short-circuit studies; phase voltage and current unbalance studies; total and individual harmonic distortion studies; frequency scans to check for possible system resonance; power factor analyses; and Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) analysis. PowerFactory supports analysis of balanced and unbalanced load flow studies at all relevant harmonic frequencies with current sources defined in magnitude and phase; in the event that a possibility of resonance is identified, the software has the capability to simulate the effectiveness of the potential harmonic filter solutions.