Abstract: The modeling of cascading failure in power systems is difficult because of the many different mechanisms involved; no single model captures all of these mechanisms. Understanding the relative importance of these different mechanisms is important for choosing which mechanisms need to be modeled for particular applications. This work presents a dynamic simulation model of both power networks and protection systems, which can simulate a wider variety of cascading outage mechanisms relative to existing quasi-steady-state (QSS) models. This paper describes the model and demonstrates how different mechanisms interact. In order to test the model, we simulated a batch of randomly selected N-2 contingencies for several different static load configurations, and found that the distributions of blackout sizes and event lengths from the simulator correlate well with historical trends. The results also show that load models have significant impacts on the cascading risks. Finally, the dynamic model was compared against a simple dc-power-flow based QSS model; we find that the two models tend to agree for the early stages of cascading but produce substantially different results for later stages.