5at Train

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Locomotive Simulation Software

A number of computer programs have been developed for simulating locomotive performance, perhaps the best known being Microsoft's Trains simulator that was released several years ago.

A few simulation packages have also been developed targetted at technical people and students of locomotive performance, which aim to produce accurate predictions of a steam locomotive's outputs based on its design parameters such as: steam pressure and temperature, cylinder valve and valve port sizes, valve gear geometry and settings and driving wheel diameter.

One of these simulation packages was developed by the late Professor Bill Hall who produced two software suites shortly before his death in 2003.  His software can be accessed though a separate page of this website.

An alternative valve gear simulation package has also been developed by Dr Allan Wallace of Adelaide in South Australia.  His package is also available for download from his own website, a link to which is provided here.

Other simulations programs include:
  • Two spreadsheets (one for Walschaerts simulation, the other for Stephensons) created by Don Ashton and downloadable from his website.
  • Several programs covering a variety of valve gears has also been created by Charles Dockstader of the USA and are downloadable from his website.

A recent development in simulation software is a spreadsheet model currently under development by 5AT Group member Jamie Keyte as described on a separate page.