Class 18 - Beacon Set The Precedent For Dynamic Vehicle Modelling Of New Shunter

February 1, 2023

Beacon, owners of the new Class 18 model are pioneering the new era for vehicle modelling. Ensuring safe operation on the railway, Beacon has approached D/Gauge to dynamically model the Class 18.

A New Era Of Vehicle Modelling & Understanding: Class 18

Dynamic vehicle modelling is the build and simulation of a vehicle, to enable accurate gauging clearance assessment against infrastructure.

In the past, vehicle modelling methodologies contain limited detail of movements, using basic design information that provides a static representation of the vehicle. This made the models largely more conservative.

Dynamic models give added accuracy and provide a realistic representation of the vehicle. This instils higher levels of certainty into the compatibility process and reduces the risk on the network.

The new Class 18, designed and built by Clayton Equipment for shunting operations, demonstrates the latest technology in hybrid power sources. In a bold move towards decarbonisation, the hybrid vehicle will use alternative power sources to move freight across the railway.

D/Gauge worked closely with Clayton Equipment to understand the details of the vehicle design, including the asymmetrical load distribution and non-linear suspension, which was key to the way the vehicle moves. This fed into the creation of the VAMPIRE® Pro model, which enabled us to confidently inform Clayton on specific parts of their vehicle design.

Ryan Wareing: Rolling stock lead from D/Gauge said “It is extremely rewarding that Rolling Stock Leasing Companies and Network Rail can see the benefits that dynamic vehicle modelling has to offer. The commissioning of the Class 18 model marks a new era in locomotive models, allowing more accurate gauging for the freight and plant communities. We are grateful to work with Beacon in setting a new precedent in the vehicle modelling of locomotives.”

The dynamic vehicle modelling methodology provides greater assurances in the model and its movements when on the track. Beacon commissioned the dynamic vehicle model of Class 18 to reduce risk and maximise compatibility.

Dominic Juner,  Beacon’s Class 18 Project Manager, commented:  “We want to ensure that the Class 18 can operate in as many locations as possible to maximise the decarbonisation of shunting operations across the railway. Analysing the vehicle model dynamically ensures we can provide the greatest safety and utility for our customers. D/Gauge’s effective, professional, and detailed work will help Beacon to achieve this goal.”

To maximise the value of the project, D/Gauge shared design optimisations to improve clearances on the vehicle. Clive Hannaford, Managing Director from Clayton equipment (owners and designers of the attractive new vehicle) said “D/Gauge worked closely with Clayton to optimise the clearances on the vehicle, to expand the reach of the vehicle across the rail environments”.


To find out more about D/Gauge’s vehicle dynamic capabilities, get in touch with the D/Gauge consultancy team today. Our consultants challenge the status quo, and we do vehicle modelling with a difference. Get in touch today to better understand your vehicles. Email or submit a contact form.

Other News