Improving tractive effort is a very complex task in locomotive design. It requires the development of not only mechanical systems but also power systems, traction machines and traction algorithms. At the initial design stage, traction algorithms can be verified by means of a simulation approach. A simple single wheelset simulation approach is not sufficient because all locomotive dynamics are not fully taken into consideration. Given that many traction control strategies exist, the best solution is to use more advanced approaches for such studies. This paper describes the modelling of a locomotive with a bogie traction control strategy based on a co-simulation approach in order to deliver more accurate results. The simplified and advanced modelling approaches of a locomotive electric power system are compared in this paper in order to answer a fundamental question. What level of modelling complexity is necessary for the investigation of the dynamic behaviours of a heavy-haul locomotive running under traction? The simulation results obtained provide some recommendations on simulation processes and the further implementation of advanced and simplified modelling approaches.