Find out more about THOMoS from Dr Julian Stow, Associate Director - Enterprise & Industrial Partnerships in the Institute of Railway Research

THOMoS: Train Hi-fidelity Motion Simulator


THOMoS is a state of the art rail vehicle motion simulator designed to provide a fully-featured passenger experience using motions generated from rail vehicle dynamics simulations (VAMPIRE, SIMPACK, VI-Rail etc.) or measured data. THOMoS allows users to travel on any vehicle and any route that can be simulated, even if they haven’t been built yet. The simulator is based around the latest generation of Bosch Rexroth servo-electric motion platform to provide accurate motion reproduction. The passenger ‘cabin’ is configured to represent a generic commuter / regional multiple units with seating for up to four passengers in either airline or table style seating. All seats are on tracking to allow easy fitting of alternative interior configurations of seat styles. The simulator is provided with 160km of UK scenery (city and rural) and has a configurable soundscape for representing various traction and track types. HVAC is provided to provide controlled conditions within the cabin, together with interior video monitoring and playback to monitor passenger’s reactions. This can be supplemented with a range of instrumentation to monitor the response of passengers and interior fittings.


Brief Specification:

General characteristics

  • Vehicle types: LRV, metro, inter-city, high speed
  • Vehicle dynamics input: Vampire, Simpack, VI-Rail etc.
  • Speed range: 0 - 360 km/h
  • Max. runtime: 4 hours
  • Briefing room: 8 seats, 80” flat screen tv live/replay of the video 

Motion reproduction 

  • Frequency range: 0 - 25 Hz (higher frequencies possible via floor-mounted earthquake shakers)
  • Simulated jerk rates: lateral / longitudinal >1.5 m/s³
  • Simulated braking / acceleration: <=3 m/s2
  • Golden seat position: configurable 10 locations within cabin
  • Simulator payload: up to 2.7 t

Data collection

  • Video recording: 4 x HD video cameras
  • Data logging: various instrumentation option, synchronised with the video



Vehicle body module

  • Interior layout: fully reconfigurable (tables/airline/high density etc.)
  • Modules swap time: <2 hours
  • Graphics: HD video 4 LED panels, fully synchronised with the motion system
  • Scenery: 160 km generic UK country/city scenes
  • Max occupancy: 4 persons
  • Sounds system: surround sound, configurable soundscape
  • Cabin temperature: selectable 15 – 30 °C 


  • Input data: hardcoded limits to prevent injury to passengers
  • Emergency stop: fully interlocked, reachable from all interior positions

Motion System

  • Bosch Rextroth 6 DOF eMotion-2700 motion platform
  • Linear electric actuation

Key values