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pdf.png 2008 - Nov - Skilton & Clendon - Signalling Considerations for Electrification of the Auckland Metropolitan Rail Network

John T Skilton, CPEng, BE (Elect) Hons, MIRSE, MIPENZ, ONTRACK

James D Clendon, CPEng, BE (Elect) Hons, MIPENZ, Booz & Co.

By 2013 it is proposed that the Auckland Metropolitan Rail Network (AMRN) will be electrified with a 25kV AC electric traction system. The existing signalling system in Auckland is predominately in excess of 30 years old and not immunised against the effects of electric traction.

This paper examines the resignalling requirements for the AMRN to provide electrification immunisation and also provide a control system which meets the operational requirements of the railway. A background to the Auckland network and the resignalling requirements is provided along with a description of the procurement process undertaken.

A high level description of signalling and telecommunications considerations for the project is provided along with a more in depth analysis of the requirements for train protection and train detection.

Size 76.04 KB
pdf.png 2008 - Nov - Piper, Ashman, & Radford - Interfaces and Complexities Affecting Signalling Works - Dart and Aep

Myles A Radford, ONTRACK

The Auckland Electrification Project (AEP) and Develop Auckland Rail Transport (DART) project will require complete replacement of the majority of the existing signalling system. By necessity, construction of the projects, including this new signalling system, will be carried out within a live, mixed traffic, railway environment.

All construction and installation work must therefore be carried out with minimal impact on train operations and disruption to the travelling public.

The interfaces and complexities of construction, installation, changeover and commissioning of a completely new signalling system within this live, working, railway environment will demand careful planning and implementation of:

• Track possessions to facilitate safe and maximised duration track access windows for construction activities.
• Minimised disruption to existing signalling and interlocking.

This paper summarises the signalling work to be undertaken as part of the AEP and DART Project and explains steps being taken to minimise disruption to the existing signalling during this work.


Size 89.68 KB
pdf.png 2008 - Nov - Cotton & Wood - Auckland Metropolitan Railway Upgrading - Operational Background and Challenges


Simon Wood, BE CEng (UK) MIPENZ, MIET, AMIRSE, Maunsell AECOM

This paper provides a description of the Auckland Metropolitan Rail Network including the current passenger and freight operations, the existing multi-agency governance and funding arrangements together with an outline of the current upgrading and electrification projects and proposed electric train fleet. The operational challenges associated with trying toaccommodate ambitious passenger service growth aspirations within a mixed traffic railway, which has had minimal investment for many decades are described, together with an outline of the operational modelling tools which are currently being used to analyse network capacity and develop robust passenger and freight timetables for the electrified railway. A description of the current and possible future signalling and associated railway system control arrangements is provided, together with an overview of the areas in which the introduction of higher frequency electric services will require establishment of new operational and maintenance procedures as well as the development of rail industry personnel capabilities and competencies.

Size 586.25 KB
pdf.png 2008 - Nov - Blakeley-Smith & Neilson - Earthing and Bonding: Emerging Australasian Practices

Andrew Blakeley-Smith, BSc(Hons), MIEAust, MIRSE

Director Andrew Blakeley-Smith & Associates

Allan Neilson, BE(Elect), MIPENZ, FIRSE

Manager Traction & Electrical Engineering, ONTRACK – (New Zealand Railways Corporation)

Earthing & Bonding is an essential element in an a.c. electrification environment to ensure personnel and property safety. It is a highly interdisciplinary and iterative activity in the design process of a new 25kV a.c. railway system and many of the fundamentals are not widely understood - yet the underlying principles do not require much more than a basic appreciation of Ohms Law. Personnel hazards resulting from induction and earth potential rise (EPR) are, in practice, very rare events however care must be taken when focussing on the strict numeric requirements of standards that we do not lose sight of the big picture, both in terms of immediate and consequential hazards. These can only be avoided by a top down approach to earthing and bonding, and therefore compromises in design are inevitable.

The design of earthing and bonding systems is well documented by various railway administrations but frequently applied inappropriately as the origin of some of the practices and criteria often seems to have been forgotten. Solutions are frequently subject to subjective philosophical decisions and much faith is often placed in highly accurate modelling derived from input data and assumptions of dubious accuracy. The international signalling fraternity has made great strides in recent times in a top down approach to their contribution to overall rail safety with a consequent harmonizing of standards which the authors would like to see extended to earthing and bonding practice.

This paper aims to ensure that all key aspects of this cross-disciplinary subject are understood, reviewing some past historical practices adopted by different rail authorities and sets out parameters for good design and installation practices applicable to both Australia and New Zealand in alignment with contemporary international practice. This paper builds on the paper presented by the authors at the CORE 2008 conference in Perth.

Size 145.84 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Stainlay & Glendinning - ETCS Revealed - The RailCorp Experience

Graeme Stainlay B.Sc, BE (Elec) (Hons)

David Glendinning BE (Elec) (Hons), Post.Grad. Dip. RailSig

Rail Corporation New South Wales

Rail Corporation New South Wales (RailCorp) is currently conducting a Trial Project of four suppliers of the European Train Control System (ETCS), a first for Australia. In order to evaluate each of the supplier’s equipment, ETCS key concepts and benefits, various test runs and simulations were conducted over each of the test sites. Outputs of this evaluation will influence the development of a new set of Design Principles suitable for ETCS within the RailCorp context and future implementation strategies of this technology across the RailCorp network. Key elements of this evaluation include the relationship between release speeds, the placement of infill balises and suitable overlap distances; linking reactions between balise groups; mitigation strategies for error margins within the onboard system and position of balises; the suitability of the onboard system operating modes; and potential operational and technical benefits from implementing ETCS.

Size 481.99 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Nikandros - ATP - 20 Years On

George Nikandros BE CPEng RPEQ FIRSE MIEAust MACS

QR Limited

QR has had some 20 years operational experience with ATP with some 2500 route kilometres equipped, including some 1000 kilometres in “dark territory”, utilised by a wide range train services. QR is well aware of the operational performance limitations associated with ATP on such a diverse railway. The WESTECT ATP system has been in operation for about 13 years and elements of the system are now nearing end-of-life. In July 2007, QR entered into a contract to replace life-expiring elements and at the same time enhance the product to improve operational performance. The paper discusses the operational performance of ATP, with a focus on WESTECT and reports on the WESTECT enhancements being implemented. The paper concludes with the lessons in adopting ATP.

Size 1.85 MB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Mindel - Interoperability of Radio Block Centres

Klaus Mindel Dr.-Ing.

Thales Rail Signalling Solutions

ETCS Level 2 is developed as a European standard and several projects are already in operation, mainly on a national basis but increasingly crossing borders.

ETCS sparks more and more interest outside Europe, because of its maturity, functionality, flexibility and safety. For the long term perspective, customers value this public standard as a guarantee for multi sourcing, providing long term system availability and competition. Interoperability is a relevant property in itself and on top of that a prerequisite for multi sourcing. One major component of ETCS Level 2 trackside is the Radio Block Centre. This technical paper examines, to what extent RBCs are interoperable already today, how compatible they are at their interfaces, their level of functional standardization and how they fit into an existing infrastructure. As most important topic the paper gives an example of how interoperability can be tested.

Size 241.59 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Kaiser & Nielson - The Core Of ATP - Data Engineering

Warren Kaiser (Design Engineer, ATP Pilot Trial)

Stein Nielsen (Project Engineer, ATP Pilot Trial)

United Group Limited

This paper aims to give an overview of how an ERTMS system can be "configured" to improve train safety. A simple explanation of ATP, ERTMS and ETCS is given and the history of ERTMS is outlined. The information transmitted to the train from the trackside equipment and the available configurable variables in for this information are described and an example is used to show how the variables can be configured to improve the safety for a specific scenario.

Size 130.66 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Hermansson & Elestedt - Moving Block Implementation and Optimization

Dan Hermansson MSc, PMP

Peter Elestedt MSc


This paper provides a brief description of a communication based moving block system designed to be compliant with UIC's 'Regional ERTMS' specification and interoperable with the ERTMS Class1 specifications. It discusses in some more detail the optimization of such a system.

Bombardier has been working with the implementation of communication based signalling with moving and flexible block principles for mainline applications since the mid 1990's. The first commercially operated system was commissioned in 1998. The moving block principles have since been further refined. This paper discusses Bombardier's implementation of moving and flexible blocks, the rationale behind the implementation and the possibilities in optimizing traffic capacity whilst maintaining or improving the operational safety.

The moving block signalling system discussed herein is known as INTERFLO 150. More information about this system can be obtained from Bombardier.


Size 220.01 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Coenraad - Presidential Address - Sustainable Signalling

Win Coenraad

Control and Signalling (CCS) systems are expensive to develop, and are even more expensive in terms of system assurance activities and system acceptance. Yet they are developed for a mature market where innovation or product development does not create significant new revenue, neither for suppliers nor for operators, unless they provide improvement in speed, capacity or indeed safety. Typically new products only replace existing product lines. This is true even for ERTMS/ETCS.

The increased speed of technological development and innovation leads to a shorter technical life expectancy. Changing demands for transportation services imply a need for more flexible technical systems, able to adapt "rapidly" to changing performance needs (throughput/capacity, reliability and robustness etc.)

Hence CCS systems will need to be able to be adaptable and upgradeable. The signalling industry/profession cannot hope to meet the demands of its clients, i.e. the train- and rolling stock operators, (local-) governments etc. and perhaps even survive, if the lead-time for development and acceptance and the associated costs are not brought under control.

One of the objectives of the ERTMS/ETCS project is to address this issue, in part, by specifying a harmonised system, for a larger market, applying the principles of interoperability and mandatory crossacceptance of constituents.

In this context it should be interesting to examine ERTMS/ETCS, a system development that started in late 1989 with the founding of UIC/ERRI A200 and is now, more than 17 years onwards, starting to see its first deployments in commercial projects. Whilst specifications are still being finalised, a common factor in the first deployment projects appears to be that none, or not many of them, were completed in time and on budget.

In an effort to learn from the collective experience of both the suppliers, the infrastructure operators and the ultimate users, the passenger and freight operators, I would like to centre the theme for the 2007-2008 technical meetings, the international convention and the technical visits around lessons learned and paths forward towards better control of the cycle time for system development, system and product acceptance and deployment.

For this year’s international convention in the Netherlands, this is the theme chosen for the visits to the Dutch projects.

Size 69.43 KB
pdf.png 2008 - March - Winter - Global Perspectives for ETCS

Peter Winter Hon. Professor, Dr. Ing. ETH, CompIRSE

SBB Consulting, Berne Switzerland Director of ERTMS at UIC, Paris France

This report gives an update on the evolution of the ETCS and GSM-R development and describes the European and world-wide perspectives for the ERTMS implementation. After phases of studies and specification (1989 – 1996), finalisation of specification, prototyping, tests and pilot applications (1997 – 2004), ETCS is rolled-out since about 2005. UIC has actively supported this process all the time with the vision of obtaining a universal system to be used for all kind of train services: high-speed, conventional mixed traffic and regional service on low density lines.

The ETCS concept is based on open public specifications, which describe a so-called kernel and its interfaces between track and onboard equipment, as well as towards the adjacent subsystems on track and train side. In order to make it universally applicable with all kind of infrastructure equipment, ETCS has been designed with three levels of application, whereby the target level 3 offers significant cost reduction for the infrastructure side and the highest possible line capacity with use of moving blocks. However, it is hardly possible to introduce this concept in one step on the existing networks and traction unit fleets. Therefore, the ETCS levels 1 and 2 have been additionally conceived, which permit the stepwise building up of an ETCS equipped fleet of traction units in view of the generalised ETCS implementation. The report shows that ETCS-products from several suppliers have reached a high degree of maturity.

In Europe, ETCS has been put in regular service on several high-speed lines such as in Spain and in Italy. On major corridor routes in Central and Eastern Europe, joint efforts are made to systematically implement ETCS with financial support by the EU. For application on regional lines, UIC is pushing together with the Swedish rail administration the use of ETCS with level 3, whereby the on-board fully corresponds to the current specification. The examples of China, India, Saudi-Arabia, South Korea and last but not last Australia illustrate that ETCS is also increasingly selected outside of Europe. This is extremely important for obtaining a real breakthrough for large scale procurement at affordable costs under real hard competition.

Like in all highly informatised systems, the specifications for ETCS and GSM-R need to be regularly updated whereby a firm version management must be adopted. In this way, an optimal balance between protection of already realised investments and improvement of the system must be found under the governance of the European Rail Agency. For ETCS, the challenges are the finalisation of the current SRS version 2.3.0 and the merge to the next base-line 3.0.0. GSM-R needs a replacement of the circuit switched data handling for ETCS by more performant and frequency-economic IP based solutions. For the medium term, the EC supported project "Integrated European Signalling system" INESS will bring a re-engineering and further standardisation of trackside equipment especially in context with the radio based application levels 2 and 3.


Size 2.33 MB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Terry - Callemondah - Business-led Signalling

Nick Terry BA, CEng, MIEE, MIRSE

Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia

Writing and managing specifications is crucial for successful engineering projects. Failures in specifications lead to re-work, frustration, increased costs, delays and disappointed customers. This paper discusses ways to help achieve successful projects through developing specifications with a high level of customer involvement so that projects meet the needs of the business. It also considers how to manage change and maintain flexibility within specifications. The successful commissioning of the Callemondah Third Spur and the associated remodelling at Gladstone, Central Queensland, in April 2008 is used as an example throughout to illustrate the points being made.

Size 531.25 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Terry - Callemondah - Business-led Signalling

Nick Terry BA, CEng, MIEE, MIRSE

Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia

Writing and managing specifications is crucial for successful engineering projects. Failures in specifications lead to re-work, frustration, increased costs, delays and disappointed customers. This paper discusses ways to help achieve successful projects through developing specifications with a high level of customer involvement so that projects meet the needs of the business. It also considers how to manage change and maintain flexibility within specifications. The successful commissioning of the Callemondah Third Spur and the associated remodelling at Gladstone, Central Queensland, in April 2008 is used as an example throughout to illustrate the points being made.

Size 531.25 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Tapsall - Change in Mindset to Promote Better Delivery

Robert Tapsall, Construction Manager Trackstar Alliance, MIRSE

With great vision, QR embarked on their first Program Alliance to gain long term support and commitment from the rail industry suppliers in order to ensure delivery of their Capital Works program would be achieved. This paper will briefly describe the Alliance framework, development of Alliance culture and the benefits of the Alliance delivery model which the Trackstar Alliance has successfully implemented to date.

In an environment of innovation and creation of best value, Trackstar has been instrumental in bringing about savings to QR in scheme design and implementation of new techniques with a reduced drain on QR's key resources. This paper will describe some of these innovations with a particular focus on signalling and the role signalling engineers can take in delivering better outcomes.

Size 745.6 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Russell - Is Alliance Contracting "Doing More with Less"

Graham Russell Chief Operating Officer

Ansaldo STS

Our industry is experiencing unprecedented investment and expansion driven by years of under investment in certain sectors of the Australian Rail industry and more recently the seemingly insatiable appetite for commodities particularly iron ore and coal of China and other expanding economies. The IRSE conference has a theme of Delivering Efficiencies – "Doing more with Less". To examine the contract model of Alliance contracting in the rail environment is entirely appropriate under this theme.

This paper examines the movement toward Alliance contracting within the Australian construction industry and provides the observations of the author of the successes and challenges for the rail industry to date and moving forward in an Alliance contracting context.

The Rail industry not unlike the general construction industry has an unenviable reputation for contractual disputes, cost overruns and unfortunately for all involved, occasionally litigation (unfortunate for all bar the lawyers). It is not surprising on the back of this reputation and the acute shortage of experienced engineering and project management skills in this country if not globally that the rail industry has embraced Alliance contracting.

An alliance contract if well formed in an environment capable of generating and maintaining healthy alliance behaviours can in-fact deliver the best possible risk adjusted Total Out Turn cost (TOC) with an improved focus on scope and time management.

Size 96.51 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Palazzi & Norris -Resignalling Regional NSW: Providing Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Infrastructure

Mr Bill Palazzi, BEng (Elec) Hons, CEng, MIRSE,

PB Australia

Mr Graham Norris, Grad. Cert. Mge, Dip. Qual. Mge, MIRSE

Rail Infrastructure Corporation

This paper outlines the scope and approach taken in resignalling work that has been undertaken throughout the Country Regional Network in NSW. This resignalling includes the replacement of token safeworking systems (electric staff and staff and ticket) and mechanical signalling with a combination of Train Order Working, Centralised Train Control and remote- controlling of signal boxes.

The overall suite of signalling works to be completed on the CRN within a limited timeframe presented all stakeholders with many challengers with each of the projects exhibiting specific issues.

The goal was to always achieve a cost effective solution with minimum signalling infrastructure installed. Operational objectives were always considered paramount, and Signalling Engineers worked directly with Operational personnel during the investigation and concept phases of the projects to ensure that the most effective solution was identified.

Size 212.71 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Huth - Overview of QR Signalling Principles

Paul Huth BE(Elec), RPEQ, AMIRSE

QR Network

This paper provides an overview of the signalling systems and principles that are used on the QR network (excluding the standard gauge between Acacia Ridge and the NSW border).

The content is intended to be informative only, describing the nature and meaning of aspects displayed to drivers, typical interlocking functions provided by control systems, and an overview of some of the technology systems that are used as part of the overall signalling system.

Note that this paper is not intended to be comprehensive, or to be used as a design specification or design input. In some cases, a simplified description of the principle is provided to convey the intent, rather then providing a full description of the requirement. More detailed signalling specifications are available to designers of systems for the QR network. A number of these are listed as references to this paper.


Size 564.29 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Brearley - Improving Skills to Improve Efficiency

Les Brearley BE (Elect), Grad Dip Bus, RPEQ, HonFIRSE

Ansaldo STS Australia

Effective training is an essential element in improving delivery efficiencies. This paper will look at three facets of the impact of training on the delivery of business outcomes. The first is the fundamental issue that if staff do not have the required skills they will not be able to produce the outputs. It follows that if skill levels are increased then flexibility and efficiency will be increased. The second facet is completing the right training. The actual training needs must be determined and training developed and delivered such that the skill gaps are filled effectively at the appropriate time. The third facet is how the training is delivered. There are a range of delivery options available from traditional classrooms and face to face raining to online training and assessments. Using the most effective option for particular situations will improve skill transfer with fewer resources required for both trainers and trainees.

Size 155.44 KB
pdf.png 2008 - July - Automated Signalling Design - A Feasibility Study

Aaron Fraser BSc, BEng, Post.Grad.Dip RailSig, S.I.R.S.E.

Ansaldo STS

This paper documents the proposed development of new automated signalling design tools to facilitate improvement in the current design lifecycle for Ansaldo STS. The project was undertaken as part of the CQU Postgraduate Diploma in Railway Signalling – CPD6 Signalling Research Project. It investigates methods of automating signalling design for the Ansaldo STS Brisbane signalling design office and the benefits of these tools to the company. The design methodology for a typical QR Regional signalling project forms the basis of the research. The project has determined four tools to assist in the production of signalling design: the Bid Tool for generating cost estimations for signalling works; the Drawings Tool for generating circuits; the Microlok II Design Tool for generating Application Logic; and the V&V Tool for automatically validating and verifying the system against safe Signalling Principles. This paper discusses the goals of the project, the project methodology, major findings, and recommendations for Ansaldo STS and all signalling design companies.

Size 237.34 KB
pdf.png 2007 - Oct - Purdy - Priority for Tram

Philip Purdy Manager Asset Development

Lessons Learnt

• Road space allocation is critical
• Competing stakeholder objectives are difficult to resolve
• We must improve on ‘selling’ the benefits to the community
• Push the boundaries as small scale improvements are not sustainable
• Increase enforcement/education
• A delay or do nothing option is not viable in the longer term

Size 4.2 MB

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