All railway vehicles running on a track have to overcome a resistance to motion. The resistance to motion is due to mechanical and electrical losses, as well as to aerodynamic drag. In order to evaluate this resistance, two different experimental methodologies can be used. The first one consists on a conventional method which takes into account the energy stored in rotating masses and the equivalent curving and grade resistance. The application of this method is based on a coasting test procedure done on a straight track without slope. The second methodology consists on the experimental acquisition of electrical signals in the traction power line and strain measurements at the traction links of the bogie-truck, with different speeds. The electrical signals allow obtaining the efficiencies of the equipments in the traction power line. Once the different efficiencies of the equipments in the traction power line are known, the power transmitted to each wheel can be determined and consequently the resistance to motion is calculated. This paper summarizes an experimental procedure based on both methodologies. The designed instrumentation uses voltage and current probes for the recording of electrical signals in the traction line, piezorresistive accelerometers in order to obtain the uncompensated and the longitudinal accelerations of the train, extensometric gauges in full bridge configuration for the acquisition of stresses at the traction links, and a gyroscope for the detection of curves along the track. Several tests have been done by means of the described methods in light rail vehicles. Also, the vehicles have been tested in order to evaluate the influence of the air conditioning and air intakes, the circulation in curves and the cooling of traction equipments in the resistance to motion. Through these experimental methods, a useful tool for the prediction and analysis of the resistance to motion is provided. Additionally, the results obtained by means of these methodologies permit to calculate the influence of different running conditions in the resistance to motion.

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