|Category: Technical Papers|
|Technical Papers||Files: 20|
|2014 - July - Moore - Signalling Concept Plan - RIP|
Trevor Moore B Eng, MBA, FIRSE, FIEAust
Australian Rail Track Corporation
The Concept Signalling Plan is often used to allow scoping and costing of a project for approval at an early phase in a project program. While it is basically a cut down version of a Signal Arrangement Plan, the compromises in producing the Concept Signalling Plan often result in significant differences in the verified final Signal Arrangement Plan. These may lead to variations in scope, rework, cost increases and project delays. The only advantage of the Signal Concept Plan is that it can be produced with only a little effort, as there is still the need to produce the final Signal Arrangement Plan.
Considering the disadvantages that can flow from an incorrect signal concept plan, the advantages are vastly overshadowed. Producing the verified Signal Arrangement Plan in lieu of the signal concept plan allows the project to proceed on a firm basis and achieve the required outcomes with the minimum of rework.
This paper examines the advantages of designing the Signal Arrangement Plan at an early phase in the project and deleting the requirement for the Concept Signalling Plan.
|2014 - July - Malaviya & Sweeney - Economic Signalling Enhancement - Providing Capacity Improvement in a Mixed Traffic Environment|
Akshaya Malaviya, MIRSE B.Tech. PG Dip Management
Engineering Manager, Australian Rail Track Corporation
David Sweeney, FIRSE Grad. Dip Eng.
Signalling Consultant, Calibre Global
Coal volumes on the Hunter Valley network are steadily increasing and have gone up by about 50% in the last six years. The volumes are expected to increase to 200+ mtpa (Million Tonnes Per Annum). Based on the coal volume forecasts, the Hunter Valley Corridor Capacity Strategy (the Strategy) identifies projects to be delivered to ensure the network capacity stays ahead of the demand.
The Strategy includes infrastructure upgrade projects involving track duplication/triplication and building of new crossing loops. The Heavy Haul Guidelines, in conjunction with the ARTC standards, form the basic framework for the Civil and Signalling designs on the projects delivered by ARTC in the Hunter Valley corridor.
Although track upgrade projects provide the desired capacity increases, recent investigations have established that signalling enhancements, in some situations, can also provide equivalent capacity increases at significantly lower costs.
The coal trains originate from various mines located in the Hunter Valley region and travel up to the Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) and Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) ports near Newcastle. Whilst the single track section north of Muswellbrook is capacity constrained necessitating construction of new crossing loops, the Ports area is heavily congested due to convergence of entire coal traffic into that region and slow clearance of dump stations and the arrival roads leading up to these dump stations.
This paper first analyses the constraints in the Ports area leading to congestion and shows how these constraints have been overcome by using economic signalling enhancements. The paper then discusses how the crossing transit times at crossing loops can be optimised by using an economic signalling design referred to as Modified SIM entry. Lastly, the paper details the issues associated with the Coded Track Circuit designs and how they can be addressed.
|2014 - July - Hillcoat & Clancy - Increasing capacity in the Hunter Network - Streamlining train control|
Brett Hillcoat G.C.Mgmt, Dip Bus Prog
Michael Clancy B.Ed
Australian Rail Track Corporation
The Hunter Valley Rail Network is a mixed traffic rail network in New South Wales that is managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Since 2007, the Hunter Valley has seen significant growth in the demand for coal export via the port of Newcastle resulting in a significant increase in train services for coal transportation. Coal transport from pit to port has increased from 90MTPA to 150MTPA between 2007 and 2013. This growth has potential to increase to 200MTPA over the next several years, with notional prospective volumes currently indicating potential growth to 280MTPA. Non-coal traffic (passenger, freight services), which currently accounts for more than 50% of HV operations services, is also expected to grow.
To facilitate this growth, a number of projects (predominantly track infrastructure projects) have been implemented to provide the additional capacity required within the ARTC HV Network.
To manage the increase in trains servicing the growth in coal, ARTC HV Operations has instigated a number of measures, including some small Information technology integration projects, to facilitate automatic data transfer, additional human resources to reduce workload and assist in resolution of live run issues.
With an eye on future increases in coal demand and expected organic increases in other commodities, ARTC have been investigating options to increase operational efficiencies during future growth. A recent downturn in the market for coal has accelerated this desire for increased efficiencies, whilst also limiting forward capital and operating spend. This desire has led to the initiation of the ARTC Network Control Optimisation (ANCO) project.
The ANCO project involves the implementation and integration of a suite of systems and applications and processes designed to enhance and streamline network planning, control and management. The project aims to maximise the safe and efficient use of current infrastructure and resources to increase throughput, and to minimise the potential for further capital outlays and increased operational costs.
This paper will discuss how ARTC plans to use technology, systems and process improvements in a network control environment to address and manage issues and challenges associated with a growing, evolving, dynamic mixed rail network like the Hunter Valley.
|2014 - July - Greaves & Allison - End of the line for linewires at the end of the line|
Adam Greaves BE (UTS), AMIRSE
Andrew Allison BE (UWS), AMIRSE
Microlok II computer-based interlockings with coded track circuits have replaced the last two electric train staff sections on the Transport for NSW network, Kiama – Berry and Berry – Bomaderry. Features include interface to a mechanical interlocking at Bomaderry and automatic working through Berry when unattended. While it will take time to confirm the anticipated reliability improvements, improved capacity has already been realised with time savings from elimination of the manual staff exchange. Motorists also benefit with reduced waiting times at level crossings in the vicinity of Berry station. The following describes the project from the design team perspective.
|2014 - July - Baker et al - Signalling Design for Freight and Passenger Railways - A Tutorial and Discussion Paper|
Philip Baker MIRSE
Kaniyur Sundareswaran FIRSE, CPEng
Trina Chan MIET, CEng (ECUK)
This is a discussion paper using Transport for NSW’s Auburn Junction Project, which is part of the Lidcombe to Granville Corridor Upgrade program of works being delivered by Novo Rail ( a partnership between Transport Projects division of Transport for NSW and Laing O’Rourke, RCR Infrastructure ODG and Aurecon), as a case study to examine some of the challenges and issues that can be faced when mixing freight and passenger trains on the same lines. The first part will discuss the difference in operational characteristics of freight and passenger trains, such as train lengths, braking characteristics and curves, and required train movements.
The third part of this paper will look at examples of how these issues were resolved at Auburn Junction. Some of the implemented solutions include use of differential line speeds, increase in signal aspects, and use of modelling to prove attainable freight speeds for signal spacing purposes. But with each of these solutions there are compromises that have to be made, which can make it difficult to satisfy all stakeholders involved and provide the operational flexibility required in such a busy corridor.
Finally we will explore some of the traps and pitfalls involved in mixing freight and passenger trains based on our experience of implementing those solutions. The decision on what solution to implement is ultimately a complex one, dependent on value for money, operational requirements, land availability and so on. Perhaps through this tutorial, new innovative solutions will be postulated that would eliminate some of the difficulties with mixed traffic railway lines.
|2014 - July - Aitken - In all normal and reasonably foreseeable abnormal situations|
John Aitken BE MIRSE SMIEEE
Aitken & Partners
“New rolling stock or electrical/electronic equipment to be used in rolling stock modifications must be designed, built and maintained with regard to EMC in order that they operate safely throughout their operational life. This applies to all normal and reasonably foreseeable abnormal situations, including failures.”
Such a statement is easily made but compliance is not readily demonstrated, particularly when there is little or no definition of what might make something electromagnetically compatible (EMC). Signalling systems are generally poorly defined from an EMC viewpoint, so foreseeing abnormal situations can require considerable insight into the design and failure modes of the signalling systems.
|2013 - Oct - Topham - The International Engineering Safety Management Guidance|
Gareth Topham C Eng, B Eng, MSc, MIRSE, MIET, MSaRS
Decisions on rail safety are traditionally based on established practice and experienced judgment, supported by tests and trials as judged necessary. However, the past is not always a useful guide when conditions are changing and practice needs to keep pace with technology.
The Yellow Book was developed in the UK to provide a pragmatic set of guidance to applying engineering safety management in line with the internationally adopted CENELEC Standards (50126/8/9). The Yellow Book is no longer supported and a new international Engineering Safety Management publication has been developed to fill this gap.
The primary purpose of the new international Engineering Safety Management (iESM) is to help people who lead and undertake railway engineering make sure that their work contributes efficiently to improved safety and helps new railways and changes to be accepted more efficiently.
The new iESM Handbook should help:
• Tackle the pressures from increased complexity of railway systems;
|2013 - Oct - Phay - Driver Video Assist System (DAVS) Migration Due to Digital Dividend|
Yang-Lit Phay BEng(EE), GradIEAust, MIEEE
Signals Engineer, Public Transport Authority of Western Australia
Changes in regulations by the Australian Government in the use of RF spectrum will impact upon the Driver Video Assist System (DAVS) that is used on Perth's metropolitan train network. DAVS provides drivers live video footage of the platform that allows them to decide whether it is safe to close the train doors and depart from the platform.
Current DAVS uses analog television technology as its transmission method. A project has been initiated to investigate and implement an alternate transmission technology. A number of technologies have been identified including infrared (IR) and Wi-Fi are discussed here along with the trials that have been conducted thus far.
|2013 - Oct - Heibel - Quantum Leaps in Train Protection and Control|
Frank Heibel PhD MSc (Hon) CPEng MIEAust FIRSE
Doc Frank Pty Ltd
The signalling systems of the metropolitan rail networks in the major Australian cities face their most prominent technology upgrade for decades, the introduction of modern Automatic Train Control (ATC). Key drivers for this introduction are:
This paper outlines some considerations for selection between those two types of ATC systems. Two topics specifically addressed are the implementation risk of those technologies and the much discussed subject of interoperability from a practical application viewpoint. The analysis uses case studies from current ATC introductions in Australia and aims to draw commonalities for providing some strategic guidance to the arguably most influential signalling technology decision for at least 20 years.
|2013 - Oct - Gifford and McPeake - Split Detection and Emergency Power Operation|
John Gifford FIRSE
ARTC Hunter Valley
Thomas McPeake AMIRSE
ARTC's Hunter Valley Rail Network in NSW is currently transporting 150MTPA of coal to the Newcastle Ports, with projected increases between 200 - 270MTPA over the next 5 years. The Network sees 1560m long coal trains travelling between 60 and 80kph at 8minute headways. How will ARTC undertake maintenance activities and avoid the loss of train paths and consequential train cancellation at around $1MIL loss to the coal industry per event Points and crossovers in particular are the Achilles heel in terms of reliability and difficulty in obtaining maintenance windows due to combined detection for each point end. Incorrect manual operation of powered points due to failure or to allow the movement of track maintenance machinery is a significant risk for ARTC. There has been a major derailment at Whittingham in March 2010 and many instances of damage to point switch blades due to a train or track maintenance vehicle trailing through the points following manual operation. This paper details the reasons why ARTC needed to investigate, develop and deploy Split Point Detection and Emergency Power Operation for crossovers to improve maintainability and reduce the impact of point failures. It covers the development, risks identified and mitigation measures, the design and the operating procedures for this innovative solution to a difficult operational problem.
|2013 - Oct - Brearley - Innovation in Engineering Education - Update of the Railway Signal and Telecommunications Program Final|
Les Brearley BE (Elect) Grad Dip (Bus) Hon FIRSE, RPEQ
Director, L & B RailConsult Pty Ltd
The Signal and Telecommunications Program was developed as a project through the Cooperative Research Centre for Railway Engineering and Technologies (Rail CRC) as a response to the industry need for structured education in railway signal and telecommunications engineering. The program was developed by the Rail CRC with the content provided by IRSE Australasian Section members. The program took an innovative approach to engineering education with a combination of learning techniques including distance education, workplace activities, problem based learning, team based projects and workplace mentors. The initial offering in 2004 through Central Queensland University (CQUni) was for a Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in Railway Signalling. Since then the program has been expanded to include a course on Railway Telecommunications, a Masters Degree and recently a course in Professional Competency.
This paper provides a brief background on the Program and what has been achieved to date explaining how innovation was definitely worth the risk. It then provides an update on the recently completed second five year review. It explains the need for an increased partnership approach with industry if the objectives of the program are to be achieved. It also explains the needs for the proposed changes that have come out of the five year review process including the proposed change from a three term student year to a two semester student year. It also explains how technology will be used to further enhance the students' learning experience.
|2013 - Oct - Alvarez and Roman - ETCS L2 and CBTC over LTE – Convergence of the radio layer in advanced Train Control Systems|
Mr. Rodrigo Alvarez MEng CEng MIET
Titan ICT Consultants
Mr. Juan Roman MEng
Titan ICT Consultants
A general trend in modern Train Control Systems is the use of increasingly similar hardware platforms to implement different applications. More and more, the on-board equipment needed to deploy a mass transit CBTC system is, if not effectively the same, at least equivalent to the equipment used for ETCS Level 2 rollouts. A similar process is taking place trackside, with Eurobalises being adopted for CBTC and Zone Controllers or Interlockings being revamped into RBCs. It is mostly at the application level where these systems really begin to differ, as if CBTC systems were about to become a series of customised ATO applications on top of what basically is a generic ETCS-like ATP system.
This integration tendency begs a question: what will happen with the radio layer? Today, nearly all ETCS Level 2 systems use GSM-R as their radio carrier technology, with a few anecdotal instances of TETRA usage. At the same time, nearly all CBTC systems use radio networks based on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi). The main reason for this difference is historical – with GSM-R being developed by European authorities as part of the ERTMS specification, and Wi-Fi being chosen as a "cheap and dirty" unlicensed band solution for railways that are mostly underground.
This paper explores the forces that underpin the trend to move away from those radio layers. It also identifies LTE as a technology that seems to be, according to current market trends and to technical reasons, the obvious successor to GSM-R and the best alternative to replace Wi-Fi in safety critical applications. The paper finally presents some of the integration challenges that train control system engineers will face in the coming years in trying to make the transition from their current radio interfaces to the latest radio carrier technology around, and how enhanced capabilities of the radio layer may open the box for oncoming innovations in Train Control Systems.
|2013 - March - Wullems - How safe is safe enough? A Socio-technical View of Low-cost Level Crossing Safety|
Christian Wullems BIT(Hons) PhD MIEEE MACS
Cooperative Research\ Centre for Rail Innovation
George Nikandros BE CPEng FIRSE MIEAust MACS (Snr)
Australian Safety Critical Systems Association
Peter Nelson-Furnell B.Bus(Transport)
Public Transport Victoria
Low-cost level crossings are often criticised as being unsafe. Does a SIL (safety integrity level) rating make the railway crossing any safer? This paper discusses how a supporting argument might be made for low- cost level crossing warning devices with lower levels of safety integrity and issues such as risk tolerability and derivation of tolerable hazard rates for system-level hazards. As part of the design of such systems according to fail-safe principles, the paper considers the assumptions around the pre-defined safe states of existing warning devices and how human factors issues around such states can give rise to additional hazards.
|2013 - March - How - IRSE Presidential Address|
Francis How MA (Cantab) CEng FIRSE MIEE
As his term of office as IRSE President nears completion, Francis will reflect on the Centenary Year. He will consider what has been achieved, and offer a personal perspective on what still remains to be done in terms of modernising the Institution and making it fit for the next 100 years. In particular he will briefly explore the need for greater focus on professional development, which has been a recurring theme in discussions with members and Local Sections around the world.
|2013 - March - Frauenfelder - TrackSAFE: Working together to save lives|
TrackSAFE Foundation Manager
trackSAFE is a not for profit foundation, established by the Australian rail industry in 2012.
trackSAFE aims to reduce suicide and suicide attempts on our rail network; reduce rail trespass; improve level crossing safety through education and awareness.
It aims to provide world's best practice support for rail industry employees who experience trauma through exposure to one of the above incidents.
|2013 - March - Forbes - Solar Power for Railway Signalling and Communications|
Michael Forbes B Tech (Elect) MIRSE MIE(Aust)
Australian Rail Track Corporation
This paper looks at how solar photovoltaic power systems work, design considerations for stand-alone DC systems, application as used by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and other railways, including operation in conjunction with Wind generators, and remote monitoring.
|2013 - March - Baker - Keeping your eyes on the road|
Philip Baker MIRSE
Aurecon Australia Pty Ltd
This paper will examine the challenges for signalling designers that follow from the move of signalling and control systems from the trackside to the cab. A case study will be drawn from the Llanbadarn incident where the train driver’s workload was such that he was perhaps distracted by looking at the ERTMS screen rather than out of the window. The signalling designer had not incorporated a level crossing warning into the ERTMS system so the train entered a level crossing where the booms were not down. Lessons learned and discussion about how we can avoid a similar situation.
|2013 - March - Aitken - Communication in Emergency: Success or Failure?|
John Aitken BE MIRSE MIEEE
Aitken & Partners
Emergency implies urgency. Not just urgency but abnormality. We have no difficulty dealing with what is normal, routine. However, when an emergency arises our systems are often found wanting.
Incidents from around the world form the basis of this paper. In each of these incidents the communication system has failed those who depended on it in a time or emergency. In few of these incidents did the technology require repair: rather, a defect in the complex system of communication was exposed.
Myth and legend are inadequate substitutes for thorough training, system analysis and testing. Too often the consequence has been fatalities. This paper seeks to address some of the causes and suggest solutions.
|2013 - June - Szacsvay - Washington Metro Train Crash|
Paul Szacsvay FIRSE
At 4:58 pm on Monday, June 22nd, 2009, in the middle of the afternoon rush hour, approaching Fort Totten station, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail train 112 ran into the rear of train 214 at close to line speed.
The impact caused the rear car of train 214 to telescope into the lead car of train 112, resulting in the death of nine people on board train112, including the train operator (driver). 52 people were transported to local hospitals, and a further 28 people with minor injuries were treated at the site and allowed to home.
Initial investigations by the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) focussed on human error and the possibility that the operator of train 112 may have been using her mobile phone at the time of the crash. As the investigation progressed it became clear that the crash was wholly attributable to the unsafe failure of a track circuit to detect train 214, and that this failure mode was far from being a one-off incident. The accident was largely attributable to failures of the signalling equipment and by the signalling discipline.
This paper describes the history of an unsafe failure mode dating back over 20 years, and the equally long chain of events and actions which not only failed to prevent the accident, but also made it almost inevitable that something like this would eventually happen.
Each individual incident, response and subsequent action or failure to act has parallels in the author's experience, and undoubtedly the reader will be able to relate the issues to their own experience. Far from being impossible in our own rail environment, it is evident that similar events could well have combined in our own working environment to produce equally dire outcomes. It may be only a matter of good fortune that we are now in a position to draw lessons from others' misfortunes, rather than our own.
|2013 - July - Strike and Crivelli - Using Axle Counters for Block Control The ARTC Experience|
Michael Strike Managing Director
Selectrail (Australia) Pty Ltd
Jarrod Crivelli Project Engineer
Selectrail (Australia) Pty Ltd
Utilisation of axle counters over the last two decades has been expanding to encompass many signalling and non-signalling applications. Their uses range from simple triggering devices for wayside equipment such as hot box detectors and weighing systems, to more complex train detection systems for train signalling.
The use of high quality fail safe (SIL4) axle counters for occupancy detection have been widely applied in Australia for short track sections where communications are reliable and visual cues provide an extra level of safety confidence. Life cycle costs can be substantially lower with axle counters when compared to other technologies and with advancements in technology; capital costs can also be reduced.
Longer block sections introduce an extra degree of design and procedural complexity. In the past, it has been difficult to appreciate the benefits of axle counters in these longer sections. The experience of the Australian Rail Track Corporation with small scale applications has allowed development of good operating procedures and the confidence to expand their use to block sections on the Spencer Junction to Tarcoola Line in South Australia.