Real Time L/V Force Prediction

LVSafe is an engineering based model with 48 degrees of freedom for each railcar.

Legend: LT - Lead Track, TT - Trailing Track, TT-Fwd - Forward Track, TT-Rev - Reverse Travel Direction

Real time calculation of L/Vs, for all axles, for both directions, for multiple car-types, at multiple speeds.

Existing track maintenance standards are based on individual threshold measures, which in isolation pose no derailment risk.

The Lateral/Vertical force ratio at the gauge face is directly related to derailment risk. LVSafe considers the simultaneous dynamic stimulus of all seven geometry measures to predict L/V forces at the wheel-rail interface of all axles, of multiple cars, at multiple speeds, for both directions of travel.


  • Capacity for many more cars than presently validated.
  • Cars added as validation data (derailment or test) are available.
  • Real time operation has been bench-tested at 60 mph geometry car test speed with 60 car/speed combinations.

Implementation Status (March, 2005)

  • Easily connected as a separate processor, linked to the existing onboard network.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway will install LVSafe on their Track Evaluation Car in June, 2005.
  • Performance will be compared with existing regulatory and in-house standards over a 9 month period.

Further Information?

  • Do you have geometry data from a past derailment?
  • Do you want to know what LVSafe predicts for your tracks?
  • Do you 'bad actors' you would like included in the LVSafe consist?
  • Do you want to arrange a demonstration run?

To Submit Data

  • Standard 7-channel geometry data (1 ft. intervals preferred).
  • Must be from an inertial measurement system.
  • Must not be in 62 ft. MCO format (79 ft. space curve format preferred).

Project History

TranSys Research Ltd. project activities since 1994:

Economic Evaluation of Railway Bridges over the Welland Canal-For the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, a review of the economic viability of two railway bridges over the Welland Canal.
Devolution of Bridges over the Welland Canal-For the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, a review of alternative services for rail customers served by bridge number 20 across the Welland Canal and development and presentation of a devolution strategy for the SLSA board of directors.
Railway Safety Management-For the Railway Safety Act Review Committee, a review of railways' approach to managing safety and its views of present regulations.
Railway Track and Equipment Safety Inspections-For the Railway Safety Act Review Committee, assessed the effectiveness of existing safety practices, reviewed alternative roles and approaches for government oversight of safety and made recommendations on government's role with respect to railway safety standards and safety inspections.
Track Modulus Investigation-For Toronto Transit Commission, field tests and theoretical assessment of expected vehicle response at the transition between double-tie and floating slab track designs.
Railway Accident Data Analysis-For Transportation Development Centre, analyzed Canadian and U.S. railway accident statistics with the objective of identifying research priorities and data needs (culminated in a working paper).
Track Geometry Deterioration-For CP Rail, assessed track geometry deterioration and scoped a research program to enhance geometry maintenance planning.
Performance Measures from Track Geometry Cars-Two separate projects, one for CP Rail and a follow up one for Transportation Development Centre, assessing the feasibility of predicting, in real time from measured track geometry, railcar response and track geometry defect development.
Train Derailment Simulation Modelling-For Association of American Railroads, Assessed the status of computer models of train derailment dynamics and outlined a development program.
Risk Review of Spent Nuclear Fuel Transport by Rail-For the Association of American Railroads, a confidential review of the risks of transporting spent nuclear fuel by rail.
Spent Nuclear Fuel Transport Cask Crashworthiness-For the Association of American Railroads, a confidential assessment of the crashworthiness of spent nuclear fuel casks.
Evaluation of derailment barrier-For the Yonge and Summerhill Residents Association, review of the risk impacts of a proposed earth berm and noise barrier for a new residential development adjacent to railway tracks.
Vehicle Dynamic Report Review-For National Research Council's Centre for Surface Transportation Technology, a confidential review of the development and application a vehicle dynamic model using the MEDYNA computer software package.
High Speed Rail Assessment-For the government of Taiwan, undertook a review of the suitability of foreign standards, designs and operating practices for Taiwan's conditions and assisted in the evaluation of competitive bids for a Build Operate Transfer HSR tender.
Technical Report writing-For NDT Technologies, wrote a technical report of its development and testing of 'ICEYE', an ice detection technology for aircraft wings.
Rail / Wheel Life Assessment-For Toronto Transit Commission, assessed TTC's existing maintenance practices and evaluated the economics of a number of alternatives (including profile grinding) with the objective of prolonging the service life of rail and wheels.
Rail Wear Limits-For ResCo Engineering, assisted in the identification of rail wear limits for BC Transit's sky train system.
Transit Simulation Workshop-For OC Transpo, a user's workshop and demonstration of the bus operations simulation model OPSSIM.
Transit Priority Measures-For Transportation Development Centre, with steering committee representation from OC Transpo and Region of Ottawa Carleton, enhanced our transit operations simulator to include traffic and signalized intersections and undertook an investigation of the energy and person-delay impacts of introducing alternative transit priority measures.
In addition to its own projects, TranSys Research Ltd has undertaken a number of projects in association with the Research and Traffic Group of which Mr. English is a partner. Following is a list of RTG projects in which TranSys Research Ltd. participated.
Environmental Damage from Accidents-On behalf of Transport Canada, Environmental Services, prepared a policy discussion paper concerning the minimization of environmental damage from accidents.
Measures to Favour Passenger Modal Shift for GHG Reduction-for Transport Canada, acting in support of The National Climate Change Process, Transportation Table, estimated the Canadian domestic intercity passenger sector's GHG emission, and identified and reported on potential measures and to achieve emission reduction through shifts in modal choice.
Survey of Rail Industry Technological and Operational Improvements-for Transport Canada, acting in support of The National Climate Change Process, Transportation Table, identified and assessed the cost effectiveness of potential measures for the Canadian railway sector to achieve a pro-rata share of Canada's Kyoto commitment.
Socio-Economic Issues Affecting the Railways' Ability to Improve Greenhouse Gas Emission Performance-for Transport Canada, acting in support of The National Climate Change Process, Transportation Table, identified and assessed the regulatory and socio-economic issues related to potential changes the Canadian railway sector might consider to reduce its GHG emissions.
The Competitiveness of the Great Lakes/Seaway System for Forwarding Eastbound Grain-For a consortium of twelve parties including the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and as principal subcontractor to the University of Manitoba Transport Institute, RTG was responsible for the economic assessment of the Great Lakes/St Lawrence and the eastbound and southbound alternative modes and routes. Economies from simplified and restructured operations, and institutional adjustments necessary to their achievement, were recommended.
St Lawrence Seaway Competitiveness Study-On behalf of the St Lawrence Seaway Authority, examined the competitive position of the Seaway, evaluated the competitive advantages enjoyed by its competitors and identified opportunities and threats.
Ontario Freight Movement Study: Component Two-For the Ministry of Transportation, used company-specific case studies to assess the prospects for CO2 emission reduction and the consequences of these options for the companies concerned.
Grain Transportation Costing-For Transport Canada, Marine Policy, developed comparative costs for movement of western grain by: the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system, direct rail to Quebec, the Mississippi and direct rail to New Orleans.
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