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A feasibility assessment of multi-modelling approaches for rail decarbonisation systems simulation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David GolightlyORCiD, Dr Ken Pierce, Professor Roberto Palacin, Dr Carl Gamble



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Simulation is an important tool to support rail decarbonisation but can be challenging due to heterogeneous models, simulation tools and skill sets, and concerns around intellectual property. Multi-modelling, a proven methodology in sectors such as aerospace and automotive, uses Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) and co-simulation to potentially overcome these problems. This paper presents a feasibility study of multi-modelling for rail decarbonisation, using a combination of audit of current state of the art, technical implementation and stakeholder consultation. The audit showed that while current uptake of FMI in rail is low, there is potential to repurpose models from pre-existing tools and apply them within multi-modelling. The technical feasibility assessment demonstrated how multi-modelling could generate flexible simulation outputs to identify decarbonisation systems effects both for urban and mainline rail, including rapid integration of pre-existing MATLAB Simulink models. Work with industry stakeholders identified use cases where multi-modelling would benefit rail decarbonisation, as well as barriers and enablers to adoption. Overall, the study demonstrates the feasibility and considerations for multi-modelling to support rail decarbonisation efforts, and the future developments necessary for wider rollout.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Golightly D, Pierce K, Palacin R, Gamble C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit

Year: 2022

Volume: 236

Issue: 6

Pages: 715-732

Print publication date: 01/07/2022

Online publication date: 06/09/2021

Acceptance date: 06/07/2021

Date deposited: 31/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0954-4097

ISSN (electronic): 2041-3017

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177%2F09544097211039395


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