Three types of multibody models are presented for the investigation of the internal dynamics of a drive train in a wind turbine. The first approach is limited to the analysis of torsional vibrations only. Then a rigid multibody model is presented with special focus on the representation of the bearings and gears in the drive train. The generic model implementation can be used for parallel as well as planetary gear stages with both helical and spur gears. Examples for different gear stages describe the use of the presented formulations. Furthermore, the influence of the helix angle and the flexibility of the bearings on the results of eigenmode calculations are discussed. The eigenmodes of a planetary stage are classified as rotational, translational or out-of-plane modes. Thirdly, the extension to a flexible multibody model is presented as a method to include directly the drive train components' flexibilities. Finally, a comparison of two different modelling techniques is discussed for a wind turbine's drive train with a helical parallel gear stage and two planetary gear stages. In addition, the response calculation for a torque input at the generator demonstrates which eigenmodes can be excited through this path. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.