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Modern high-performance locomotives suffer from self-excited vibrations in the traction drive-train due to wheel-rail contact. To suppress these oscillations the motor torque has to be reduced, which decreases the traction force. To avoid this loss of traction force, a universal modal state control concept with feed-forward control is proposed for active damping. It is based on a reduced modal three-inertia model which is identified from an arbitrarily branched multi-inertia traction drive-train. The state control is also designed to be adaptive to wheelset wear. Due to computation time limitations an effort-minimized equivalent modal state control concept is proposed in the frequency domain. Therefore a new design method will be introduced. Finally the proposed modal state control is discussed and compared with a conventional concept by simulation results.