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pdf.png 2010 - Oct - McCarthy - Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel Project : Preferred Station Locations

Adele McCarthy Deputy Project Leader, Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel Project

Victorian Department of Transport

The Victorian Government has a plan to move Melbourne's rail system from a suburban commuter network to a modern metro system. As the benefits of short-term actions on the rail network – such as new trains, new timetables, new stabling, improved maintenance and line extensions to South Morang and Sunbury – begin to take effect, planning work has begun on the first stage of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel project.

Size 3.09 MB
pdf.png 2010 - Oct - Lawrie - Next Generation Signalling Capacity

Michael Lawrie MIRSE, GradDip Signalling, Bach Elec/Elect, Bach Bus

Department of Transport Victoria

Next Generation Signalling is a generic term that is being used in Victoria to describe a new signalling system. It is used is to enable deliberation about the concepts and principles, not about the technology or the supplier systems. It has been adopted to remove any ambiguity that arises when industry specific terms are used.

Capacity is a key driver for a deployment of a Next Generation Signalling system. The existing signalling system imposes constraints on the capacity that can be delivered by the infrastructure. The Next Generation Signalling system seeks to address these constraints and enable a higher capacity railway whilst maintaining the high level of safety that the railway enjoys.

This paper describes the constraints the existing signalling system imposes on the capacity of the railway and explores how the Next Generation Signalling principles can address these constraints and enable operations at a higher capacity than that traditionally available.

Whilst the existing signalling system has served the railway well for almost a hundred years, Next Generation Signalling will offer Victoria significant benefits to capacity and bring Victorian signalling into the modern world.

Size 231.96 KB
pdf.png 2010 - Oct - Grady - Signalling Maintenance and Operations Experiences in a Fully Automated Modern Medtro System

Norm Grady Comp IRSE, FIE (Aust)

Manager, Network Planning & Development – Metro Trains Melbourne

The purpose of this paper is to recount the author's experiences in the operation and maintenance of fully automated relatively modern guided transit systems in Singapore and compare those experiences with the Melbourne system.

Size 2.06 MB
pdf.png 2010 - Oct - Barber - Metro Rail Solutions : Capability Development to Local Australian Needs

Matthew Barber Lead Systems Engineer

BE (Hons), BSci Siemens Ltd.

Increasing operational demands for higher performance and technological improvements have led to the development of increasingly complex metro rail solutions. The complexity and the challenge of implementing such solutions require significant attention to the methodologies applied to the development of these complex solutions. This is essential to ensure that the desired function and performance requirements are delivered. In Australia, railways have developed with special needs not necessarily aligned with their European counterparts. The geographic imperative of European railways has led to increased co-operation in the development of railway technologies and a resulting level of standardisation across solution deployments. This standardisation leads to cost-savings for European rail operators through reduced development and schedule risk, increased competition from suppliers and improved return on investment for railways investing in capability enhancements. Australian railway operators are able to see similar positive impacts by adopting technologies developed for their European counterparts and modifying them for the local Australian needs. Through the application of formal system engineering processes "commercial off the shelf" products can be tailored and deployed as Australian metro rail solutions. This provides the mixture of the benefits of reduced development risk, whilst aligning Australian metro rail solutions with the capability development framework employed in Europe. In turn, this positions Australian metro rail solutions for further cost effective capability enhancements into the future.

Size 843.69 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Symons - Design Acceptance - What About the People?

Peter Symons F.I.R.S.E.

Engineering and Design Manager, Novo Rail

Most safety management activities for say, signalling and control systems concentrate on measuring conformance to processes against standards and procedures plus demonstration through risk assessments, V&V activities, arguments and evidence that the system as designed is safe and meets the requirements.

During these processes there is usually some emphasis on the human contribution e.g. Human factors as affecting operations and maintenance. However, to achieve an accepted design against a set of requirements can be problematic due to the behaviours of some of the actors, both in the transmitting and in the receiving sides of the process.

This paper will describe the approach by the Novo Rail alliance to improve the processes relating to the delegation of Engineering Authority and achieving a better Design Acceptance process to support its extensive program of works.

Size 418.4 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Robinson - Growing a Good Safety Culture in Railway Signalling

Dr. Neil J Robinson, CEng, PhD, CITP, MBCS, BSc(Hons)

Head of Systems Assurance, Ansaldo STS.

Adjunct Professor, School of Information Technology & Electrical

Engineering, The University of Queensland.

An organisation's "Safety Culture" is generally defined as "the way we do things round here" with respect to safety. There are several human-factor driven frameworks [5,6,14], available for describing the Safety Culture concept in much more detail. Many of these frameworks define levels of Safety Culture that can be used by organisations as paths for an improvement program.

All the definitions of Safety Culture agree that a Safety Culture is more than just a safety management system. It emerges from the systems, practices and people that make up an organisation. But, if having a safety management system, even one that includes controls designed to encourage a good Safety Culture, is not enough to create a good Safety Culture, then what should an organisation do? And specifically, what should a railway signalling organisation do?

In this paper we briefly define what is meant by a Safety Culture, with reference to the literature. We review the work that has been done in the UK, Australia and elsewhere on reviewing and improving Safety Cultures in the railway industry, and comment on how that work relates to railway signalling. For example, many railway organisations in Australia have already used the UK RSSB railway Safety Culture toolkit [6] to conduct surveys and report on the maturity of their Safety Culture.

We consider how these Safety Culture models apply to engineering of safety-critical systems, and, more specifically, how they apply to railway signal engineering.

Size 60.91 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Neist - Keynote Address IRSE AGM & Technical Meeting Brisbane

Len Neist Chief Executive ITSRR

Thank you for the invitation and opportunity to present a paper at your Annual General Meeting. One of the most significant safety risks that require constant attention and investment in improvement is the risk of a wrong side failure. Signalling and communications are the key systems that provide controls and defences to assure railway operations avoid a wrong side failure risk.


Size 90.2 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Moving Towards Goal - Based Safety Management

Dr. Holger M Becht PhD, BInfTech(Hons)

Safety & RAM Manager; Ansaldo STS, Brisbane

In virtually all safety-critical industries the operators of systems have to demonstrate a systematic and thorough consideration of safety. This is generally done through the application of safety standards as part of the development of safety critical systems.

Many safety assurance standards (like EN50126 [1], IEC 61508 [8], DEF (Aust) 5679) [6] are very prescriptive. They require specific techniques, approaches or measures to be applied to achieve the safety objective without allowing the users to select a suite of techniques and measures best suited for their application and development environment. The application of prescriptive techniques can work well for some systems but can be a hindrance for others.

There has therefore been an increasing trend in many industries to demonstrate safety by assuring certain goals have been achieved, rather than simply following prescriptive standards.

Goal-based standards do not specify the means of achieving compliance but sets goals that allow for alternative ways of achieving compliance. Goal-based safety standards are now a reality and applied in the medical industry and defence; examples of such standards are the UK Defence Standard 00-56 [5], and the UK Railway Safety Standard The Yellow Book [11].

Size 132.19 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - McGregor - Using Six Sigma to Improve Track Circuit Reliability

Peter McGregor BEng(Elect) Grad Dip (Systems) MIRSE

Head of Signalling Design – Professional Services Division, RailCorp

Is Six Sigma just another management fad? Is it just another business opportunity for the consultancy industry? Yes, it could be if you let it. For RailCorp our six sigma journey has commenced with an initial number of projects in the Asset Management group focusing on reliability improvements which were being sought by the organisation.

In the first part of the paper I give a brief introduction to six sigma and what it is. I than go onto describe how we commenced using six sigma and how it was applied to our reliability improvement projects. In the third part of the paper I describe in more detail a project where we used some of the six sigma tools and methodology to improve the reliability of FS2500 jointless track circuits in a critical area of the RailCorp network and how using a simple clip on ferrite solved a problem with Receiver (RX) lockup.

Size 710.3 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Long - Managing Rail Operations Risks – A Simpler, More Effective Process

Chris Long MBA, B.Eng, Grad Dip IT


Despite widespread awareness of risk management techniques, there are frequently difficulties in turning that knowledge into safer railway operations. The risk process often breaks down not at the point of assessing risk values but in actively managing risks.


We are trialling a process based on a comprehensive and reliable block of data directed at showing the safety controls related to each risk. This gives personnel the information they need to properly review the safety risks which they have some responsibility for, the effectiveness of the controls, and how to best direct time and effort. Our experience so far has been promising and we believe that this may lead to better clarity, better allocation of resources, and improved safety.

Size 175.27 KB
pdf.png 2010 - March - Haskins - The Future Of Safety Systems Management: From Reactive to Proactive

Tom Haskins BSc Hons, PgDip, M.I.E.T, MSaRS, MCMI Australia

Parsons Brinckerhoff Pty Ltd

There is a challenge to be faced by railways: what is the future role of a safety management system in an industry that continues to evolve? This paper examines the paradigms for safety management which I believe should be the way forward, for the future of Safety Management Systems. In essence there needs to be a shift from reactive to proactive safety management, a change from top down to bottom up participation with the emphasis on sharing knowledge within a learning organisation/culture.

Size 59.51 KB
pdf.png 2010 - June - Weerakody - Upgrading of Level crossing protection on the Public Transport Authority Network

Don Weerakody BSc(Eng) MIRSE MIE(Aust)

Public Transport Authority WA

This paper discusses two PTA projects for upgrading of level crossing protection on the non electrified sections of the PTA network.
The first project is to upgrade the protection at six road level crossings on the Armadale to Mundijong line and three road level crossings on the Fremantle to Robb Jetty line. This project is being funded by the Federal government.
The second project is to upgrade the protection at three pedestrian crossings on the Fremantle to Robb Jetty line and upgrade a road crossing on the Armadale to Mundijong line to GCP operation. This project also includes providing a new pedestrian crossing on the Armadale to Mundijong line at Deerness Road. These projects are being funded by the Public Transport Authority.

It is also envisaged that a new road crossing may be provided in close proximity to the Fremantle boat harbour with boom gates and double pedestrian gates on either side of the road crossing. This crossing has been proposed by the organisers of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship (which is the qualification event for the 2012 London Olympic Games sailing events) as an alternative access to road and pedestrian traffic during the championship. This event will be held in December 2011.

This paper will discuss the reasons for upgrading the protection and details of the technology used at each crossing.

Size 298.5 KB
pdf.png 2010 - July - Taylor and van der Merwe - Protection of Track Maintenance Equipment Final Format

Barry Taylor and Henk van der Merwe

Rio Tinto

In the past 10 years, throughput on Rio Tinto's iron ore railways in the Pilbara has more than doubled. To address this rapid increase in traffic, the Integrated Control Signalling System (ICSS) with Automatic Train Protection (ATP) and in-cab signals that was introduced on the Hamersley Iron main line in 1998 now covers all main lines. This provides drivers with information on their route many kilometres ahead, with the confidence that their speed and authority limit will be supervised by ATP.

On most railways, movement authority information and protection afforded to rail mounted maintenance equipment falls well below this standard. This wide gap in the level of protection for different types of movements had become unacceptable. Therefore, Rio Tinto has recently upgraded its Train Control System to improve the protection for hi-rail (road/rail) vehicles and track maintenance equipment moving on the main line. While this has not yet achieved an equivalent standard of protection as for main line trains, it is a significant advance from previous practice. This paper examines the various steps involved in the development of this project, improvements that were found necessary along the way, and opportunities for further enhancements to provide a safe working environment for operators of track maintenance and inspection equipment.

Size 118.52 KB
pdf.png 2010 - July - Tan - Rapid Modernisation of Urban Passenger Rollingstock

Jason Tan Bach of Eng (Elec.), Bach of Com (Management, HRM)

Electrical Engineer (Public Transport Authority)

The availability of railcars and the ability to meet the growth in public transport patrons in Western Australia over the long term has been an important topic of discussion in the past few years. While the mechanical and even the traction systems of the railcars may live to their design life, the technology of the auxiliary control and communications equipment on board will become obsolete. This paper discusses the 'RAPID' project that the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia embarked on in order to completely overhaul the communications systems on board their existing 15 year old fleet of Electric Multiple Units. It demonstrates how the project was able to quickly modernise the aging look, feel and control of the railcars with state of the art technology and functionality, allowing the railcars to be available for use to the extent of, and even beyond, their design life.

Size 310.8 KB
pdf.png 2010 - July - Sanchez - ATP Update Transponder Positioning

Luis Sanchez Bach of Electronic Eng (HON), MIEAUST

Public Transport Authority of Western Australia

The PTAWA (Public Transport Authority of Western Australia) introduced the Ansaldo L10,000 ATP system (also known as ATC1 or EBICAB) into its rail network in 1990/1991.

From the beginning, a point of contention between the PTA and its contractors has been the positioning of ATP Update Transponders. The number and placement of transponders required to minimise the "delay effects" caused by the use of discrete information points as "infill", or the need for updates at all, will be examined.

This paper will demonstrate the different methods used by the PTAWA to determine the positioning and number of ATP Update Transponders between signals.

The use of Update Transponders as "Infill" seems also to be losing favour in the signalling world due to the perceived delay effects caused by intermittent systems. A new method of determining Update Transponder positioning is proposed which demonstrates that intermittent systems can provide good performance at a reasonable cost.

Most of this document and calculations assume the use of the Ansaldo L10,000 system as installed in the PTA. Many of the concepts and ideas may be directly translated to other intermittent ATP systems such as ETCS level 1.

Size 463.84 KB
pdf.png 2010 - July - Godber - Train Detection Principles

Tony Godber CEng, BSc(Eng) MIET, MIRSE

Rio Tinto

To perform its safety critical functions, a signalling system for a rail network needs to have timely information on the position of trains and the occupancy status of track sections. This is essential to perform its primary function of preventing collisions and derailments.

The fundamental requirements of train detection systems are described, including proof of train absence for setting of points and operation of signals, proof of train presence for additional controls and updating of train position for network management and customer information purposes.

Existing technologies for track based train detection, including track circuits and axle counters, are then discussed, including many limitations on their use and application and associated safety risks. The and complications arising from the interface with other engineering disciplines, in particular the permanent way and traction power supplies are briefly explored. Consideration of train and communications based alternatives is then covered, including a discussion of whether this is the future for train detection.

Size 143.42 KB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Wardrop & Sueess - Strategies to Increase Line Capacity and Reduce Travel Time in a Mixed Passenger and Freight Corridor

Alex Wardrop B Sc (Hons) UNSW, M Eng Sc (Traffic Engineering) UNSW, FCILT

Principal Engineer, Operations, WorleyParsons

Pascal Süess M Sc ETH

Engineer, Rail Operations and Planning, WorleyParsons

Many railway lines in Australia are used by a broad spectrum of train services including long distance passenger, interurban passenger, suburban passenger, intermodal freight, general freight and bulk freight. Whereas once there was a strict train service hierarchy so that the long distance passenger train had supremacy and freight came last, nowadays all rail traffics aspire to delay-free passage. This is driven by the need for passenger rail to carry more customers and for freight rail to win business in competitive markets, all with the aim of making Australia more economically efficient and more environmentally sound.

The purpose of signalling and track layouts should be to meet a particular rail traffic task from which should flow signalling system performance specifications. Line capacity is dependent upon relative sectional travel times and signal clearance times. This paper examines the differences between freight and passenger train performance, train lengths, braking capability and how these affect signalling clearances and, ultimately, line capacity. It then discusses which infrastructure solutions can suitably address the particular issues of a mixed-use corridor and provide not only more capacity, but also reduced freight train transit times.

Optimising mixed-use rail corridors requires a view of the railway as an integrated system. Upgrading, and therefore the associated funding, should thus flexibly embrace infrastructure, rolling stock and technology.

Size 1007.58 KB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Thompson - Implemenating Metro Signalling Systems to Conventional Urban Railways

Nick Thompson Signalling Operations Manager

Invensys Rail

This paper is attempting to answer the question of how to move towards a "Metro" style of rail operation, from the traditional state wide based urban systems of today.

Australia has a rapidly increasing population and current government projections suggest that by 2050, Australia could reach 33M people #1. This equates to over a 40% increase in population from today, and further Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane accounts for 45% of the total Australian population #1. This makes our "big brown land" one of the most major urbanised population spreads in the world. If the current trend is maintained, the need to have higher density public transport systems becomes an essential requirement. So, for rail passenger transport in the major cities of Australia, it is contended that there are only two realistic options: either build new rail lines with the associated timeframes which are typically 10 years+, not including land purchases and public consultations. In NSW for example the Parramatta – Chatswood rail project, took over 11 years to open and that was only ½ of the line, #2. The recent suspension of the Sydney metro project again highlights just how difficult it is to build new railways. The alternative and far more attractive option is to "sweat" more out of the existing rail network.

This paper attempts to deal with the "sweat" option and also explains how some other international railways have solved similar issues and the related implementation challenges. In essence there is no one single solution to this problem, just good sound system engineering practices. It is also recognised that new railways will still be required to service new areas of development and solve the ultimate rail capacity problem, but in the short term there is much engineers can do: and the writer believes its time for the IRSE and the rail community to properly debate the real issues of future rail passenger capacity.

A strategy for rail capacity improvements using modern signalling techniques could prove very cost effective and allow time to properly consider new rail lines and alternative public transport systems to meet the ever increasing demand, for what in reality is a four hour per weekday problem.

Size 3.96 MB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Palazzi -The Big Freight Bypass : Melbourne to Brisbane via the Inland

Bill Palazzi BEng (Elec) Hons, CEng, MIRSE

Rail Section Executive, Australia-Pacific, Parsons Brinckerhoff

study to determine the economic benefits and likely success of a new multi-billion dollar standard gauge inland railway between Melbourne and Brisbane.

At present, the only north-south rail corridor in eastern Australia runs along the coastline via Sydney. A view has been held by various parties that an inland route through the Central West of NSW has the potential to slash the time it takes to move freight from Melbourne to Brisbane by rail. This would then improve the competitive position of rail transport on this corridor, resulting in a shift of freight from road to rail.

This paper has set out the work thus far on the Inland Rail Alignment Study. An overview is provided of the study to date, including the technical and financial/economic aspects, and outlines some of the key considerations and issues.

Through a robust and thorough process, the study team has analysed a significant number of different alignments,  representing over 50,000 different alternatives between Melbourne and Brisbane, to select two options that represent the most promising alignments. These two options are currently being analysed and refined to determine, in conjunction with the economic and financial analysis, the optimum alignment for the corridor.

The final report of the study team will be submitted to the Federal Government in December 2009 and is likely to be published in early 2010.

Size 3.26 MB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Imrie - Freight in the City - Sharing Tracks

Ian Imrie F.I.E (Aust), F.A.I.C.D

Plateway Pty Limited

This paper considers the positive and negative forces influencing shared corridor freight traffic. Possible actions are proposed that would mitigate the negative forces and make the freight service attractive to customers, urban society and importantly, both passenger and freight operators.

Size 15.57 MB

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