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pdf.png 2009 - July - Mclean - Insights into Project Delivery Innovation as applied to the MetWest Alliance Project

Stuart Mclean Bachelor Electronic Engineering, Hons (RMIT)

United Group Infrastructure Ltd

The MetWest Alliance project involved the upgrade of the signalling, track and station infrastructure at No 1 Yard, Southern Cross Station. The Alliance delivered the project on time even though the schedule was compressed, within budget and with minimal disruption to train services while working in a high risk environment at one of Melbourne busiest live rail yards.

This paper aims to provide an overview of how an alliance works, the challenges faced at MetWest and to share insights on how delivery innovations were achieved which made the project successful.

Size 1.11 MB
pdf.png 2009 - July - Gardner and Hughes - Australian Standards for the Railway Industry

Alan Gardner B.Eng (Mechanical)

Manager Infrastructure and Engineering Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board

Brett Hughes B.Eng (Electronics)

M.Eng.Sc. (Traffic & Transport) PostGradDip.Business Director Policy, Australasian Railway Association

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is wholly owned by The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) its primary activity is to harmonise the Australian Rail Industry. One significant activity of RISSB is the publishing of Australian Standards for the Australian Rail Industry. This paper will examine the evolution of standards from the state based rail systems through to the present environment. The issue of interoperability for train communications systems will be used as an example of how the industry identifies an issue at the strategic level and how RISSB develops it to the end product for publication.

Size 76.52 KB
pdf.png 2009 - April - Kessner - Locomotive Communication Systems Installations Project and Operational Challenges

John Kessner OMIEAust, MBus, GradDip Manuf Man, AIMM

Pacific National

The freight rail industry is going through some significant changes in the use of radio communications systems. The ARTC  NTCS is providing the industry with a significant step forward in technology, albeit a fairly large and complex one. The  changes for locomotive fleet owners such as Pacific National have not been straightforward. Moving from a culture of fitting locomotives with multiple stand alone systems to one of introducing a fully integrated system is exciting but full of challenges.

Locomotive cab design and equipment space requirements are difficult aspects of system installations. This is made even  more complex due to the number of locomotive classes and variations in cab design.

There are many project considerations for rail operators such as business impacts, legal considerations, industrial relations, human factors, safety, new technology, engineering, installation, commissioning, training, maintenance and system retirement.

The ICE kits have fallen short in some features anticipated and required by PN and other operators. Some of these have been rectified through project variations at additional cost to the operators. Some remain unresolved or will be covered  independently by PN.

Due to the delayed delivery of the ICE kits, there has been a large effort and cost on PN's part to continue to support existing systems and fit locomotives with interim systems until ICE becomes available.

PN are also fitting equipment for use outside of the ARTC territory including the systems designed for operation in Queensland.

Size 446.08 KB
pdf.png 2009 - April - Hodson & Isles - ICE Design and Testing Acceptance

Grant Hodson BSc

Ben Isles BEng (Hons)


The In Cab Equipment (ICE) for the Australian National Train Communications System (NTCS) implements the next  generation for Locomotive Voice and Data Communications.

The ICE platform builds on design principles, hardware and protocols proven in critical Life Safety Communications. The design consists of a digital voice and data backplane with various communications integration modules plugged in to allow voice and data to be switched to different communications infrastructure. The primary suburban communications modules are 3G850 and Satellite while GSM-R is implemented for urban communications. The end result provides consistent driver communications functions regardless of the underlying technology or Train Control Centre.

The ICE hardware introduces design and test methodologies to railway electronics that have their origins in Aerospace and Military equipment. Highly Accelerated Lifetime Testing allows design weaknesses to be identified and iteratively removed. This complements real world testing which has been performed in a 44 class locomotive.

Continued involvement of access providers, operators and especially drivers in the design, testing and acceptance process has ensured that there will be a low level of operational risk and a high level of user acceptance on deployment.

Size 3.9 MB
pdf.png 2009 - April - Hall - NTCS - National Train Communication System Project Overview

John Hall

Australian Rail Track Corporation

The primary purpose of the NTCS project is to provide a cost efficient, effective and interoperable Train Control  communications network to support the current train control requirements and also future proof ARTC by providing a reliable  high speed data platform to support the data intensive train management control system being planned for the future.

The National Train Communications System is designed to replace the many disparate and old communications systems, of which ARTC is required to maintain and support for Train Control operations.

The NTCS project will provide 704 ICE (in-Cabin Equipment) units for rail operators to install into their Locomotives that will operate across ARTC and adjacent controlled rail networks on Telstra's NextG™ mobile network. Telstra will provide an additional 78 radio sites along the rail corridor comprising of 62 Macro base stations and 16 radio fitted tunnels. The Telstra NextG™ network will provide a single network for communication between Locomotives, Train Control, Track side workers and wayside equipment. This seamless coverage will be backed up by a secondary communications platform provided by the Iridium Satellite network.

The NTCS solution will provide for routine and emergency communications across ARTC and non ARTC train control territories, which ARTC has engaged Telstra as the primary contractor to design, construct and maintain the National Train Communication system.

Size 195.02 KB
pdf.png 2009 - April - De Worp, Di Lernia & Shier - Advanced Train Management System ( ATMS ) Proof of Concept Phase

Mike van de Worp, Lino Di Lernia & Craig Shier General Manager, Communications and Control Systems Division (ARTC), Program Director (ARTC) and Program Manager (LM)

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) & Lockheed Martin (LM)

In June 2008 the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) announced an investment of A$90 million to improve capacity, safety and efficiency on the interstate rail network through the development of an 'Advanced Train Management System' (ATMS). As part of the investment the ARTC entered into a contract for A$73.2 million with Lockheed Martin (LM) for the company to design, develop, construct, integrate and test an ATMS prototype system on 105 kilometres of the interstate rail network between Crystal Brook and Port Augusta. Lockheed Martin has engaged Ansaldo-STS to assist with the delivery of the project.

The 'Proof of Concept Phase' of the ATMS program is underway and by April 2009 the project will be 10 months into the 39 month schedule.

This paper outlines the ATMS project, the broad program plan and the rationale for and description of the ATMS including a status report on the current 'Proof of Concept Phase'. The paper will also examine some of the key issues that the program is addressing.

Size 73.67 KB
pdf.png 2009 - April - Bartlett - Port River Expressway Road and Rail Bridges Project Overview and its Challenges

David Bartlett B.E, B.Ec

Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure

The Port River Expressway (PRExy) opening bridges are the centre piece of a significant upgrading of the road and rail infrastructure in the Port Adelaide area. The project was complex in scope and was at the time the largest contract entered into by the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. It was the first transport project which contained a significant rail element.

Both the rail component and the opening bridges were challenging. This paper describes how the contractor, Abigroup, worked closely with the Client and a diverse range of consultants, subcontractors and suppliers to ensure that the project met all the requirements of the scope of works. There were many areas where innovative engineering solutions were employed to ensure a successful outcome. The rail component was multi-faceted, with a complex scope and there was close involvement of a third party (ARTC) which had a keen interest in many of the design and construction outcomes. Several elements of the railworks were unique.

Size 628.79 KB
pdf.png 2009 - April - Baker - Rail Revitalisation : A Decade of Change for Transadelaide

Brett Baker, BE (Elec), MBA, MIRSE, GMAA, TransAdelaide

A strategic priority for rail in South Australia is to maximise the use of rail transport for passenger and freight movements. Modal shifts to rail for freight and to public transport for people in the metropolitan area offers significant benefits for greenhouse emissions, road congestion and safety.

In the 2008 State Budget, the Government of South Australia announced a range of public transport initiatives, including plans for the electrification of the TransAdelaide heavy rail network and further extension of the tram network. The announcement provides a program of works to meet the States Strategic Plan targets to facilitate a significant increase in public transport patronage by revitalising Adelaide's public transport system.

This paper reviews elements of the budget announcement that impact upon the future rollingstock, signals and communication system needs for the TransAdelaide rail network. These represent significant developments for public transport in Adelaide, presenting major opportunities for TransAdelaide..

Size 869.16 KB
pdf.png 2008 - Nov - Stelmach - Proposed Electric Traction for Auckland

Jan Stelmach MSc Elect Eng CPEng MIEAust

D’ACE Design And Consulting Engineers

The electrification of the Auckland passenger service is one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects undertaken by the government of New Zealand.

The Auckland Electrified Area (AEA) consists of approximately 175 Single Track Kilometres over five existing, yet to be built and upgraded railway lines.

This paper describes the general requirement for the railway fixed electrical infrastructure and then discusses the applied process and tools used to determine the most appropriate traction system for the Auckland electrification. It also points to the challenges encountered and solutions found during that process.

The project is in progress and therefore this paper refers to its present status as at the end of September 2008.

Size 2.85 MB
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

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