The Power of TrainOps


TrainOps Applications


Ease of Use


Case Histories


Amtrak (National RAIL Passenger Corporation)
Northeast Corridor “Stair Step” Operating Plans for 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2040 Operations (2010-12)

CH01-2LTK performed operations planning, TrainOps computer simulation and operating unit cost development for Amtrak’s ambitious Northeast Corridor growth plans, including expanded high speed and regional services. TrainOps accurately captures the unique performance attributes of the Amtrak Acela High Speed Trainsets (with future operating speeds as high as 160 mph) as well as traditional Amtrak Regional and Long Distance fleets.

Four “Stair Step” plans were developed, corresponding to 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2040 operations, each with differing assumptions regarding infrastructure and available operating slots over Metro-North between New Rochelle, NY and New Haven, CT.

The plans include the NEC branches to Springfield, MA and Harrisburg, PA as well as the planned Inland Route service from New York to Boston via Springfield.  The plans reflect numerous state initiatives, including expanded service to Virginia and North Carolina.  LTK also developed equipment cycles, equipment requirements and overnight layover requirements for these plans. 

The LTK work products were used to:

  • Serve as input to the Northeast Corridor ridership forecast model,
  • Provide input to the conceptual development of infrastructure requirements necessary to support a robust service plan,
  • Develop operating cost estimates, and
  • Determine future energy demand for the NEC intercity rail service.

Raritan Valley Line Third Track Feasibility Study

CH02NJ TRANSIT selected LTK to develop a long-term Raritan Valley Line (RVL) infrastructure master plan that provides for pragmatic solutions to accommodate growing ridership while not precluding shorter term capital improvements. Such a plan logically focuses on the possibility of a third main track for a portion of the RVL between Raritan and Cranford stations to support zone express overtakes of local trains in the peak direction.

TrainOps is being applied to the assignment to support NJ TRANSIT in the development of workable operating plans for each of the options, varying stopping patterns, overtake locations and, in one case, maximum authorized speed (MAS).  The work is being performed to ensure compatibility with planned improvements east of the CP-Aldene connection of the RVL to the Conrail Lehigh Line, including Lehigh Line Third/Fourth Track, Hunter Flyover, Westbound Newark-Waterfront Connection, and others. LTK is also documenting the signal block clearing times/minimum supportable headways of each RVL signal location for a variety of stopping patterns, then developing sketch concept plans for improved signal system throughput that would also allow trains closer together for the third track scheduled overtakes.

Working iteratively with the operations planning activities, LTK is evaluating the required infrastructure improvements from both a constructability and cost perspective. Sketch level design for the alternative schemes has been developed allowing the evaluation of capital costs associated with the required improvements. The goal is provide NJ TRANSIT with a clear understanding of the engineering challenges, construction considerations, and projected capital cost associated with each operating scenario. 

New York State Department of Transportation
Tier I Environmental Impact Statement: Empire Corridor Rail System

CH03-LTK is supporting the planning, environmental and engineering services that are part of the Tier I NEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed New York State Empire Corridor Rail System (ECRS). The 461-mile rail corridor requires both localized and system-wide improvements on the Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls, NY, which includes the Federally-designated Empire High Speed Rail Corridor (New York City – Albany – Buffalo).

Responsible for vehicle engineering, operations planning and network computer simulation of the proposed improvements, LTK is building on earlier Empire Corridor operating plans it developed for NYSDOT and Amtrak. LTK is developing alternative concept vehicles based on inputs from NYSDOT, AMTRAK and the FRA. These concepts include locomotive-hauled trains with unidirectional operational capability (trains must be wyed or looped at terminals), locomotive-hauled trains with push-pull operational capability, and multiple unit (DMU or EMU) type train sets. 

The LTK operations planning and simulation modeling efforts provide important evaluation tools in confirming the feasibility of each EIS Alternative and in quantifying the benefits to the ECRS traveling public of each EIS Alternative. The work also serves to confirm that the ECRS’s freight capacity – present and future – is sufficiently protected to provide for growth in freight volumes through the EIS future horizon year of 2035.

TrainOps is being used to develop the comprehensive future passenger service operating plans for the EIS, including assessment of trip times and performance trade-offs.  TrainOps output is also being used to support alternative-specific rail vehicle emissions analysis as part of the air quality assessment of the EIS.

NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations
Atlantic City Rail Line Operations Study

CH04The Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) is operated by NJ TRANSIT between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, sharing trackage with Amtrak and SEPTA on the Northeast Corridor between 30th Street Station, Philadelphia and Shore Interlocking. The ACRL parallels the PATCO Hi-Speed Line right-of-way between Haddonfield and Lindenwold, New Jersey.

NJ TRANSIT is managing the Study, including assessment and evaluation of infrastructure and potential operational improvements for the ACRL. The objectives of the study are to:

  • Build on the funded plans for a new River Line transfer station in Pennsauken, recognizing that the single track operation through this area requires diligent nearby capacity mitigation to ensure that the new station stop does not degrade overall system throughput,
  • Examine opportunities to increase ridership and the line's role in serving as a vital transportation link connecting southern New Jersey with Atlantic City and Philadelphia;
  • Pursue a transfer station opportunity between the ACRL and PATCO at the high ridership Woodcrest Station, with its direct highway access to I-295; and
  • Provide increased multimodal opportunities at a new Galloway/Pomona station in conjunction with the Atlantic City Airport.

TrainOps is being used to test a variety of new infrastructure scenarios, including understanding the interrelationships of single track occupancy times, proposed new station locations and overall corridor operating capacity/reliability. With the line equipped with both wayside and cab signaling, TrainOps accurately models operating rules associated with both, including alternative passing siding/end of double track interlocking configurations.

New York City Transit Authority
Analysis of R160 Vehicle Interaction with Traction Power Substations on the Queens Boulevard Line

CH05-LTK assisted the NYCT Power Department’s evaluation of the impact of the R160 train operations on substation loading and feeder breaker settings.  The LTK TrainOps® traction power simulator software was used to model morning peak period operations in the extended area surrounding the 70th Ave substation of the Queens Boulevard Line using R160 and R68 cars.  The project area was at the time served by the E, F, R and V trains (V and G now replaced with M) and includes a yard connection to the Jamaica Yard and shops.  The area is also served by G trains but only during off-peak periods that fall outside of the 6 to 10 a.m. morning peak period simulated. The 34 simulation scenarios included normal conditions, as well as various degraded power supply scenarios designated by NYCT.  The scenarios also differed in terms of whether regenerative braking was enabled or not.

TrainOps was used to produce simulated substation and train voltage, current, and power profiles over time. Variance between the power return rail potential and ground potential was also modeled.

Additionally, an overview of transient current characteristics of the R160 cars versus the older DC cars was developed, in order to support NYCT’s selection of feeder breaker transient protection settings. 

Detailed train dispatch schedules were obtained from NYCT Operations Planning’s Rapid Schedules Group.  Various mixtures of R68 and R160 cars were simulated. R68 cars are equipped with DC cam propulsion systems. Validity of the motor performance throughout voltage range utilized in the simulation was confirmed through comparison against actual field data collected by NYCT from the DC propulsion cars.  The R160 characteristics were confirmed against actual field qualification test data. R160 performance as modeled in the TrainOps simulation software incorporates the details of propulsion system response to the reduced voltage conditions. The TrainOps model’s train performance was calibrated to model real-world train performance.  LTK collected point-to-point travel times of selected off-peak trains of each of the four services operating through the study area.

In addition to regular operation, NYCT requested review of substation out of service conditions for the two adjacent substations.  Therefore, cases where these substation rectifiers are turned off are included.  Additionally, the cases where all feeder connections at these substations are disconnected are included.  To observe heavy load cases, a simultaneous startup of four trains from the 71st Avenue station was included in the simulation.