Running tests is a necessary and crucial part of ensure the materials and procedures in place maximise safety. As such, it is commonplace to build real life simulations and create artificial scenarios mimicking potential disasters that can hit our rolling stock at any given point. As a result, understanding the detriment of this outcome is vital to implementing sufficient measures to protect passengers and rolling stock infrastructure. However, testing becomes a costly routine due to the use and damage of materials to predict all potential outcomes. Thus, the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), or computer simulations, is increasingly being used by leading industry parties to forecast hypothetical outcomes.
Despite the increased use of CFD, it has been hotly debated whether the outcomes predicted accurately reflect empirical cases. Consequently, this has led many to believe that it is not a sufficient, however still a useful tool. This has led to many conducting small scale simulations to validate the use of CFD and its results. After this validation process, several argue that CFD acts as a fair representation of what would happen during large scale simulations and should be used more frequently.
However, another challenge facing the use of CFD as a tool is the tendency for assumptions to be made in the testing process. Consequently, results can be skewed as there has been ambiguities in the methodology. This has led many to push for a framework/regulation that stipulates a common framework to reduce the use of assumptions being made.
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