So far, some freight cars have a detection device attached in order to be able to detect a derailed car. This work was carried out in order to investigate the possibility of the detection of derailments only by means of the evaluation of various signals at the locomotive. Several cases of short trains were examined, both by simulation and in reality. For each train configuration a derailed car at the end of the train and the normally running train were investigated. For these cases the longitudinal forces in the train were simulated and compared with the measured results. Also a long train consisting of 39 cars was examined, but only in simulation. Such a long train could not be derailed in reality. Experiments including the derailment have been carried out by the Austrian Federal Railways. Subsequently, several computer simulations have been performed to check if it is possible to detect a derailed freight car in any distance from the locomotive. Computer simulations have been performed by means of ITI-SIM PC [1]. This software is a block oriented tool for modelling, analysis and optimization of dynamically stressed complex nonlinear systems in the area of machinery and vehicular and mechanical transmission.

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