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pdf.png 2018 - July - Nardi - ATO over ETCS

Federico Nardi
BCompE (Hons), RE(OIGenova), RPEQ (Elec), MIRSE
Ansaldo STS Australia Pty Ltd


This paper has the aim of describing the status of interoperable ATO over ETCS (AoE). AoE provides a set of non-safety
train operating functions related to speed control, accurate stopping, door opening and closing, and other functions
traditionally assigned to a driver. The safety of operation is ensured by ETCS. Enhancement of the time-table adherence
and optimization of energy consumption are two additional important features of AoE. Ansaldo STS, as a full member
of the UNISIG Consortium, is deeply involved in developing, maintaining and updating the ERTMS specifications in
close cooperation with ERA (system authority for ERTMS).


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pdf.png 2018 - July - Moore - Signal Design Verification – A Systems Engineering Approach

Trevor Moore
B Eng, MBA, Hon FIRSE, FIE Aust
Signals Standards Engineer, Australian Rail Track Corporation


There are many signalling projects undertaken each year in Australasia. Each project involves the signalling design
being produced by a signalling designer or team of signalling designers. The objective is to produce a design that
achieves a set of requirements for the operating railway. There is the possibility of Human Error in the undertaking of
the design. There is a statutory requirement to ensure that the signalling design is safe So Far As Is Reasonably
Practical (SFAIRP).
To achieve the project requirements in a safe manner, a great majority of projects knowingly or not apply the V design
development cycle. As part of this development process a verification of the design is undertaken.
This paper examines why we undertake the design verification, how we undertake the design verification and the
outputs from the verification process. The paper also examines the scope of the verification process.
The design and verification activities are also reviewed in the context of the Systems Engineering Life Cycle.

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pdf.png 2018 - July - Gifford/Morris - Realising the Benefits of Developments in Axle Counter Technology in Australasia

John Gifford (FIRSE)

Senior Signal Engineer

Grad Dip Engineering

Maintenance Management


Kevin Morris

Technical Support Engineer

Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons)

Frauscher Sensor Technology


Conventional track circuits have provided the backbone for railway signalling since their first release in the late 1800’s.
Their simplicity and performance capabilities allowed operators to greatly improve the efficiency of their networks, while
maintaining control over expanding infrastructure. With increased pressure for the railway industry to meet performance
expectations, there has been a push for more reliable and available train detection.
Axle counters provide an alternative to traditional train detection, with the introduction of various smart features to assist
in meeting growing customer expectations. Their ability to provide a high level of reliability, availability and cost efficiency
has ensured their place at the forefront of railway signalling infrastructure.
This application paper examines the benefits which can be achieved by implementing axle counters and provides an
insight into some of the leading-edge features of the products themselves, and their use in railways throughout

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pdf.png 2018 - July - Chan - Managing Complex Railways: Dynamic Timetabling and Remote Equipment Diagnostics

Chee Hoe Chan
Systems Engineer (Integration and Testing)
B Eng. (Electrical and Electronics Engineering)
Siemens Mobility Pty Ltd


Australia’s urban population density increase poses many new challenges, such as increased network density,
unpredictability and complexity, while keeping up with the increased expectations of accessibility, reliability and
punctuality. This paper discusses the implementation of Dynamic Timetabling and Remote Equipment Diagnostics within
Centralised Traffic Control Systems; how these functionalities can be utilized in tackling these new challenges without
the blowout of operational costs and overhead associated with conventional methods, such as increasing the number of
services and speeds.
Dynamic Timetabling, when paired with train automation modules such as Automatic Route Setting, can dynamically
determine the optimal operational train speed, dwell times, number of services to use in relation to passenger demand
and other traffic conditions. Furthermore, Dynamic Timetabling can assist in the changes of services during unplanned
or irregular disruptions that can easily impact railway operations with disastrous outcomes such as special events and
trackside breakdowns where planned trips can no longer achieve delivery or punctuality.
Remote Equipment Diagnostics involves the pairing of a reporting module with trackside sensors that read wear and tear
of key trackside equipment, such as points and train wheels to ensure that they are preventatively serviced without
incurring the associated overhead for regular inspections and assuring an early replacement of functional parts. Such
sensors vary in application, such as temperature and timing factors, and data can be fed back into the Remote
Equipment Diagnostics to predict the remaining life expectancy of various trackside equipment and whether specific
equipment require maintenance attention.


Adelaide Technical Meeting 2018

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pdf.png 2018 - July - Blakeley-Smith/Stelmach - Immunization, Earthing & Bonding 2.00

Andrew Blakeley-Smith

BSc (Hons) CNAA, CP Eng, MIEAust, MIRSE

 Director, Andrew Blakeley-Smith & Associates

 Jan Stelmach

MSc Electrical Eng, MIEAust CPEng NER APEC Eng.

Director, D’ACE Design and Consulting Engineers


25kV railway electrification implementation started in Europe, was implemented in the UK in the late 1950’s and was
migrated to Australia in the mid 1970’s. Although some modification and additions were made to accommodate local
conditions such as the use of the Multiple Earthed Neutral (MEN) in utility distribution systems, even at that time
technology had advanced to the point where some specification requirements really needed reviewing but, lacking
practical experience, remained unchanged. This has become more pressing by the 21st century with the advent of, for
example, Optical Fibre technology, LED signals, axle counters and the demise of the Signal Post Telephone reducing
S&C circuit lengths, questioning the requirement for Booster Transformers. Never the less, many specifications still
quote the standards of the 1950’s.
Unquestioning compliance with requirements appropriate to these standards can have a significant cost, particularly
where existing railways run parallel to, but have no running, over 25kV lines, new or to be electrified, or achieving
separation of earthing systems in existing complexes or new developments over or immediately adjacent to a 25kV
railway. The resulting design may be overly complex, time consuming, expensive or, in practice, realistically
Recent injection testing of nominally non-immune signalling equipment and short circuit and normal running Earth
Potential Rise (EPR) testing on complex Central Business District (CBD) sites has shown that, when the going gets
tough, these issues must be looked at anew from first principles and old rules not followed blindly, if time and cost
blowouts are to be avoided. In some instances, by failing to recognise the nature of a problem, such as EPR arising from
lightning, outdated costly design requirements may not even be effective.

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pdf.png 2018 - July - Arana - The High Speed railways in Spain - Digitalization

Jose Luis Arana

Telecommunications Engineer

Thales - Spain

Adelaide Technical Meeting 2018

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pdf.png 2017 - March - Moore - Signalling system safety is NOT an absolute

Trevor Moore Hon FIRSE FIEA Aust

Australian Rail Track Corporation

We often design a signalling system and continue its operation even though there are significant changes in train operating conditions. Do we assume that is still as safe as the day it was commissioned into service?

Some cases are self-evident that safety has changed. If we increase the train speed over a level crossing we know that the approach warnings have to be reviewed and updated. Do we check and update if they have changed the road traffic classification to B double trucks?

When and how should we review the signalling system for safety of operations? What should be the catalyst to undertaking a review? Should this be part of the standard practice for signal engineers managing infrastructure and for signal designers on new works?
The paper addresses some of the situations that can arise leading to a change in the safety of the signalling system.


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pdf.png 2017 - March - McDonald - Is RAMS all BULL for Electromechanical Equipment?

Wayne McDonald BE (Elec) FIRSE

Siemens Limited

Railways are required to operate safely and one of the methods to demonstrate this is type approval of signalling equipment. That approval must include documentation of high RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) when applied in vital and even non-vital applications. Suppliers have provided such values, in some form or another, for electrical, electronic and programmable electronic equipment for many years. The limitations and applicability of these values have not always been well understood and they have often been misapplied. The decisions for product comparison or maintenance plans could therefore be compromised or invalid.

More recently, purchasers, and personnel assessing type approval are demanding values such as SIL (Safety Integrity Level) and MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) for electromechanical equipment and systems. The standards currently used for programmable electronic systems clearly state that using them to derive values for electromechanical is inappropriate.

This paper delves into the importance of understanding and applying meaningful RAMS values for signalling equipment and addresses the inappropriateness of SIL and MTBF for Electromechanical Equipment. It continues to offer some suggestions for how RAMS can be used for Electromechanical Equipment.

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pdf.png 2017 - March - Leveque - Advanced features over ETCS for suburban railway operation

Dr Olivier Leveque

Alstom Signalling – Australia New Zealand

The advanced features over ETCS detailed in this paper are Virtual Block Sectioning and scalable Automatic Train Operation. These features can be incrementally implemented to meet the current and future business requirements of a suburban railway operation. A case study is presented to illustrate the performance benefits of a scalable ATO overlaid onto an ETCS solution for a suburban application.

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pdf.png 2017 - March - Gillespie - Are CAD drawings the best way to design signalling systems

Rob Gillespie NTD Elec Eng.

I&E Systems Pty Ltd

Modern railway signalling systems now incorporate computer-based interlocking, and the wiring is predominantly simple input/output functions, so, is CAD really the best way to design these high integrity systems?

Size 1.05 MB
pdf.png 2017 - March - D'Cruz - Do we have the backbone to support emerging technologies?

Malcolm D’Cruz M.E. Mechatronics

Public Transport Authority of Western Australia

David Lim  MSc. Telecommunication Management

UXC Ltd – A CSC Company

Railways are always increasing the number of network services to cope with emerging technologies. The success of Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) depends on the ability of the backbone communication system to guarantee high bandwidths and reliability. Thus the traditional railway communication network is gradually moving towards a carrier grade network servicing both internal as well as external clients.

The aim of this paper is to show how Software Defined Networks (SDN) adopted by telecom service providers as a common platform for all network services can benefit the railway networking environment to cope with constantly emerging technologies.

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pdf.png 2017 - March - Boshier - Technology based asset management

Steve Boshier FIRSE, FCILTA

Auckland Transport

Asset Management is an area that continues to develop through innovation, technical developments and through new ways of looking at whole of life management. In tough economic times, businesses often take short cuts with asset management in a bid to remain profitable. Its usually one of the first areas whose budget gets cut back for a whole range of reasons. Such a decision only provides a short term solution to a problem that ultimately gets worse and comes back to bite even greater.

Technologies such as BIM, Mobility, Analytics, and a suite of ISO standards represents a coming of age for rail systems asset management. They are transforming the rail sector and are helping to drive a long term approach to maintenance with benefits. One that is now allowing staff to do more with less whilst allowing them to improve the asset reliability, availability and system safety.

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Wimberley - Cyber Security in a Heavy Haul Railway

Jeff Wimberley BE, Associate Member IRSE

Aurizon PTY LTD

As technology changes, modern railway signalling systems are becoming more and more reliant on IP Data networks for both their day to day operation as well as for their supportability. For example we now have processor based interlockings at one end of a yard being connected to object controllers at the other end of the yard using IP based data networks. We also have a need to remotely access interlockings and associated systems such as axle counters as well as the data network elements from a central location or a location remote to the organisation to monitor and maintain service of these systems. Whilst all of this takes a level of discipline and rigour to implement, it can also provide a less than secure pathway for an unauthorised person to gain access to the systems if Cyber Security considerations are ignored. This paper will discuss Aurizon’s recognition of the Cyber Security threat to the company as a whole and the signalling system in particular and what has been done to reduce the risks for both.

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Jacek Mocki PhD, MSc, BEng CPEng MIRSE NPER


Shane Curtin MBA, BEng


Yulan Liu MSc, BEng MIRSE, RPEQ


This paper is focused on one of the strategies that could be undertaken when approaching innovative areas in rail engineering. It describes an adoption of developing rail standards e.g. EULYNX and railML. Authors aim to look into an example of engineering process, describing ways to improve the process by applying some predictable innovation (innovation that delivers an expected outcome) techniques. An improved outcome from such development could be applied more efficiently to the benefit of reducing uncertainty of a designer, optimising asset usage, reducing the operational cost and many more.

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Gash - An engineer’s journey to achieving conscious competence

Cassandra Gash MIRSE, MIEAust, MAIPM, BEng(Hons), GDSignalling & Telecommunications,

CPPM Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, Senior Signalling Project Manager

This paper highlights the requirements and likely challenges a graduate engineer will encounter in their professional formative years, and provides recommendations on how to fast-track a career in the rail signalling industry.

The gap in professional engineering competence is assessed through comparison of the competence of a graduate en- gineer from university compared to that required for the rail signalling industry. The commonly used 70:20:10 learning and development model is reviewed, in the context of the industry, so that graduate engineer learning, development, and experience can be tailored to address these gaps and support career advancement.

The paper concludes with an examination of competence related Australian legislation and Rail Transport Operator’s requirements that an engineer must comply with to progress from a state of unconscious incompetence to conscious competence. This paper draws upon numerous sources and highlights the commonalities and some of the inconsisten- cies in approach to achieving competence.

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Burns - Electronic virtual trainstops

Peter Burns MBA, BAppSci (Elect), FIRSE, CPEng, FIEAust

PYB Consulting

As signalling technology moves from the world of the fixed signal to the world of Communication Based systems, one major issue which arises is how to deal with the legacy unfitted train.
Traditionally, the available answers to that issue have been:
    •    Don’t allow non-fitted trains to run on the relevant part of the network (the captive fleet option); or 

    •    Build the Communications based System as an overlay on traditional signalling infrastructure including its 
fixed signals. 
This second option in particular denies the railway any of the cost benefits associated with the new technology and acts as a barrier to its use. 
This paper will explore the alternative – to make the signalling for the unfitted train an overlay on the underlying Communication Based Signalling, rather than the other way around. 
The method for doing this will be explored via the example of the Electronic Virtual Trainstop. We do not have one of these right now, but we are in a position to develop its specification.

In a world where the signal engineer has involvement in defining the train’s on-board systems, this paper will explore three specific subsystems and the interfaces between them needed to achieve operability. One subsystem is part of the infrastructure, associated with the communications based signalling itself. The second is conceptually portable, but operationally part of the equipment taken on board the train. The third is the electronic virtual trainstop itself – the core on-board system. 
The issue with defining an on-board system for an unfitted train seems apparent just looking at the terms. In reality, “lack of fitment” covers a range of possibilities, ranging from no fitment whatsoever, through a very basic system-independent facility (here we find the Electronic Virtual Trainstop) to a train fully fitted with somebody else’s Communication Based signalling. Each possibility will be discussed. 
By defining the intermediate system and some basic open interfaces, the paper will show how the issue of interoperability can be managed for the full range of possible trains.

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Banerjee - Monologue of a Byte by Byte traveller

Somnath Banerjee B. Tech, FIRSE, MIEEE, MIRSTE, RPEQ

The history of “Byte by Byte” Railway signalling is also the history of new technology for Railway Signalling.  Any discussion on this subject will remain incomplete unless we know how to manage new technology bite by bite.

The introduction of new technology in Railway Signalling systems, more often than not, is a challenging exercise. This assumes significant importance because compared to the investment and its physical visibility its impact is very high. This paper discusses how the challenges can be managed in a structured manner.

Some important steps can help reduce the labour pains of introduction of new technology in a Railway signalling system.
    .    a)  Clear understanding of the operator’s need for the new technology. 

    .    b)  Choosing the right technology to match the operator’s expectations . 

    .    c)  Structuring the development to match the operator requirements using several independent blocks. This is 
again an important step and if not thought out properly, it can make changes to the design difficult and costly. 

    .    d)  Designing the sub-systems with enough resilience to allow with minimum effects to other sub-systems. 

    .    e)  A strategy for testing the sub-systems to ensure minimum changes to it once the sub-systems are integrated into a single system

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Baker - Queensland Rail: AWS to ETCS


Queensland Rail

The principle form of train protection for the metropolitan rail region of Queensland has been the Automatic Warning system. In 1988 the ERICAB 700 Automatic Train Control system was introduced onto the regional North Coast Line of the Queensland Rail network. It was followed in 1994 by the WESTECT Automatic Train Protection system, which now provides train protection for over 2500 route kilometres on the regional rail network within Queensland. The Automatic Warning System remains the train protection system stalwart for the metropolitan rail network, ERICAB is no longer in use and the WESTECT Automatic Train Protection system is all but life-expired, so Queensland Rail now looks beyond these systems for the future application of train protection for the rail network – European Train Control System.

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pdf.png 2017 - July - Nardi and Revell - Migration methodologies for CBTC and ERTMS

Federico Nardi BCompE (Hons), RE(OIGenova)

Ansaldo STS Australia Pty Ltd

Howard Revell BA, CEng, RPE (Elec), RPEQ (Elec), HonFIRSE MIEEE

Ansaldo STS Australia Pty Ltd

This paper focuses on the differing aspects of the migration processes and methods involved in transforming existing legacy metro and mainline signalling systems over to CBTC or ERTMS based systems. Three of Ansaldo STS’s current European brownfield projects have been selected to provide scenarios, with each scenario offering a specific approach to a migration methodology that satisfies the particular nature of the project and the needs of the customer organisation funding the project.

The three scenarios relate to three different customer organisations:

  • Stockholm Metro Red Line - CBTC for Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) 

  • Haparandabanan, part of the ESTER Project - ERTMS L2 for Trafikverket 

  • Florence – Rome HSL upgrade - ERTMS L2 for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI.

These scenarios provide a useful background concerning the need for effective system planning to support efficient design and implementation tasks, without causing disruption to revenue service traffic. However, despite this approach being very well established and practiced in our industry, it is very costly in terms of time, effort and funds and perhaps there is an alternative migration mitigation approach that could be investigated and adopted. These scenarios raise a number of points that may be usefully heeded by others involved in similar migration projects.

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pdf.png 2016 - Sept - Cox - Level Crossings, When is enough, enough?

 Level crossings represent high risk exposure for railway operators.
 Obligation for engineers and railway operators is to ensure level crossing risks are seen to be reduced So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP).
 Grade separation is best solution but how can we ‘sweat’ level crossing assets?
 Once you have ‘lights, booms and gongs’ what then?
 Road complexity, number of cars, type of traffic, frequency of trains all increase risk
 What else can we do?

Size 1.7 MB

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