The majority of passenger rail services in the United States (U.S.) operate on the shared-use corridors with freight rail. These types of operations tend to be challenging due to high heterogeneity, particularly in terms of reliability of service and capacity availability. The projected growth in demand for rail transportation is likely to exacerbate the situation. Similar to the U.S., the European passenger rail services are generally operated on shared-use corridors, but the infrastructure conditions and the operational priorities and patterns typically allow more reliable and higher speed passenger operations in comparison to the U.S. trains.
Both continents use capacity and simulation software to analyze capacity allocations and operational limitations. However, the effects of the software selection haven’t been investigated. This research reviews two common simulation tools developed in the U.S. and Europe, Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) and Railsys, respectively. The paper reviews the structure and the main components of these two simulation tools. It will also present the outcomes of running RTC and Railsys through a given segment of shared-use track based on the same rolling stock, operation and signaling characteristics and analyze the similarities and differences between the outcomes of RTC and Railsys.