Digitalisation, Information Technology, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Train Operations

Dassault Systèmes: unleashing the benefits of virtual twins

Dassault virtual

Dassault Systèmes’ value proposition for enhancing rail efficiency and promoting sustainability is centred around the concept of the virtual twin experiences.

According to Dassault Systèmes business services industry global vice-president Taherah Kuhl, rail operators can consolidate documentation and operational data to create an integrated view of rail operations by leveraging this technology.

This enables optimization and efficiency improvements in how railways are managed.

“The virtual twin technology available through Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform plays a crucial role in streamlining railway operations by assimilating data on predictive maintenance, traffic conditions, and track layouts,” he said.

“It optimises operations and enables simulations to monitor and enhance the reliability of railway assets. The technology utilises real-time data analysis to optimise rail schedules, resulting in higher efficiency in end-to-end operations management.

“Moreover, the virtual twin immerses rail operators in realistic environments to face potential operations disruptions by better anticipating risks through 360-degree operations visibility.

“From the initial design and construction phases to ongoing operations and end-of-life management, the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform empowers rail operators to plan, visualise, and manage rail operations comprehensively.”

Rail operators can build in all key business rules and constraints using Dassault Systèmes’ optimised solution for rail freight operations.

The software evaluates all options to solve disruptions and other challenges by ranking and weighing KPIs such as cost, punctuality, productivity and sustainability to provide the ideal solution.

Why choose virtual twins instead of digital twins?

Digital twins are merely digital representations of real-world entities or systems, Kuhl said.

“In contrast, virtual twin technologies enable rail operators to create 3D models of their entire ecosystem that can then be tested and simulated to ensure accuracy and optimize the performance of end-to-end rail operations,” he said.

“As the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform company, Dassault Systèmes constructs virtual worlds that assist customers in devising real-world solutions to transportation challenges.

“Virtual twins are the ideal solution for the rail industry to achieve sustainability because they surpass the capabilities of digital twins.”

They offer a comprehensive solution by enabling key rail stakeholders to model and simulate disruptive scenarios based on market and data analysis.



Virtual twins allow rail organisations to track and address all project requirements in one space by consolidating all aspects of a rail project within a single platform.

Kuhl said Dassault Systèmes had more than 40 years of experience in enabling customers’ industrial transformations and a strong background to support rail customers improve their daily operations.

“The virtual twin technology on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform can simulate and test rail operations using a constant stream of real-world data, surpassing the capabilities of digital twins,” he said.

“In addition to its sustainability benefits, the deployment of the virtual twins on the platform can help railway operators achieve a high degree of automation, which is a key priority for railways worldwide.”

Virtual twin technologies enable the visualisation, design, testing, and simulation of rail infrastructure development. They also provide ongoing monitoring and support throughout the entire lifecycle, encompassing scheduling, planning, maintenance, and operations.

“Considering that rail development projects often have extended project durations, the virtual twin — in conjunction with automation — accelerates time to market for rail projects, expediting the achievement of sustainability goals,” Kuhl said.

“The prevailing global trend in rail operations is to replace diesel engines with electric engines, which rely on different technologies. This is where Dassault Systèmes can assist in coordinating interactions among participants in the railway ecosystem, ensuring seamless transitions and delivering reliable, positive outcomes,” he said.

Enabling deeper collaboration in the rail sector

The key value proposition of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is that it breaks the silos between various disciplines and establishes seamless collaboration between railway stakeholders such as rolling stock manufacturers, train operators, and infrastructure managers.

It helps them to ‘imagine, design, simulate, deliver and operate’ the trains, the infrastructure and the network.

Virtual twins capture end-to-end rail data, including maintenance, design, crew and fleet planning, and infrastructure management, promoting deep visualization and seamless collaboration.

Dassault Systèmes supports an integrated problem-solving approach in the rail industry, encompassing above rail, below rail, and off-network operations.

“Our technology is uniquely positioned to unite stakeholders involved in manufacturing trains, controlling infrastructure development and projects and managing rail networks. This drives end-to-end digital transformation in the rail industry,” Kuhl said.

“Playing a pivotal role in the rail sector, Dassault Systèmes’ advanced capabilities and real-time monitoring within a collaborative platform leads to increased efficiencies, cost savings, and sustainability in the rail sector.

“Similar to other industries such as transportation, aerospace, and defense, where unified platforms have been fostering collaboration and generating new value over the past 20 years, Dassault Systèmes is introducing the same value to the railway industry during this era of rail revitalisation.”