One of the critical factors in Positive Train Control (PTC) is accurately estimating the train braking distance under different conditions. Accurate estimation of the braking distance will allow the trains to be spaced closer together, with reasonable confidence that they will stop without causing a collision. This study will develop a dynamic model of a train consist that includes three railcars for performing a parametric study to evaluate how various elements will affect the train stopping distance, from an initial speed. Parameters that can be varied in the model include, initial train speed, railcar weight, wheel-rail interface condition, and dynamic braking force. Other parameters are included in the model such as aerodynamic drag forces and air brake forces. The model is based on a multibody formulation of the railcars, trucks (bogies), and suspensions. The paper will include the derivation of the mathematical model and the results of a numerical study in Matlab. The results indicate that the railcars’ weight and initial speed play a significant role in the stopping distance and the time required to stop the train. Our future work will include using this model for closed-loop control of the dynamic braking forces, such that the train braking distance and time to stop can be minimized, under various wheel-rail dynamic conditions.

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