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pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Hawes & Magyla - Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network



Dr Tomas Magyla PhD, MSc(Hons), BSc, MIRSE, AIPM, APM, MIET, MAET


The paper describes the proposed solutions currently in development, to provide for the separation of signalling and control functionality of the Metropolitan Freight Network from RailCorp to ARTC – to be integrated as part of the existing Network Control Centre South, at Junee. The concept of operation is being revised with the introduction of dedicated 650 m shuttle trains that will operate between the ports and various freight yards in the outer Sydney suburbs. Trains will operate in ‘push-pull’ mode with a locomotive at each end. To facilitate this, the layouts at Botany Yard, Cooks River and Mascot are being remodelled and extensively re-signalled.

The paper explores the various options and associated technologies considered for the signalling of the revised layouts. The selection of the current preferred solution is detailed, including the control system link arrangements both to the ARTC and RailCorp systems. Key to implementation of the project is agreement with RailCorp on the interfaces between the two networks and cognisance of the operational issues and requirements associated with the two networks operating concurrently along the shared corridor between Marrickville and Campsie.

Size 3.74 MB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Formenton - Improving Operational Performance of Freight Trains using Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) Braking

Chris Formenton Bach of Eng (Mech.), Grad Dip Comp. Eng., RPEQ

Principal Brake Engineer, Queensland Rail

For nearly 140 years the mainstay of train braking has been the automatic air brake system invented by George Westinghouse. Although notable improvements have steadily increased the reliability, safety and effectiveness of the air brake there is only so much that can be done to a system that is reliant on compressed air as both the control and energy medium.

The last 15 years has seen a slow up-take in the use of a relatively new technology for controlling the brake system on freight trains. The new technology is Electronically Controlled Pneumatic braking commonly referred to as ECP braking.

This paper intends to detail the benefits of ECP braking. The main advantages of ECP include, but are not limited to: providing shorter stopping distances; improving train service cycle times; increasing network capacity; enhancing rail safety; fuel savings; as well as reducing wear and tear on rollingstock.

ECP braking can improve both train safety and operations by: reducing in-train forces, making train handling simpler, continuously recharging the train brake system, and providing shorter stopping distances independent of train length. This is because the ECP system communicates electronically with every vehicle in the train. It not only controls the simultaneous gradual application and release of brakes but also advises the driver of the status of each and every vehicle in the train. Combined with Wired Distributed Power (WDP) further improvements can be made to enhance the supply of compressed air through a train’s brake system, reducing in-train forces and bringing about new strategies for managing trains.

Size 1.71 MB
pdf.png 2009 - Nov - Burton - How many interlockings does it take to signal a freight train?

Noel Burton BSc MIRSE

Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia

The title of this technical paper may be a little misleading but like all good attention grabbing headlines has at least some connection with the story. The content of this paper details the re-interlocking of the Hornsby station area. As the layout at Hornsby is extremely complicated as well as compact, previously four Solid State Interlockings (SSIs) were required to control the area. To need so many of the relatively large SSI interlocking in an area small enough to be bridged by a single freight train, indicates that the original resignalling project was quite a challenge. The paper includes an overview of the original SSI implementation and the engineering journey to commission the new WESTLOCK interlocking to eventually reduce that number.

Size 18.21 MB
pdf.png 2009 - Michael Magney - Northern Sydney Freight Corridor

Michael Magney

Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation

The NSFC Program of works has the potential to transform east coast freight operations whilst also offering very significant improvements in Main North Line passenger capacity. Currently, rail is a small player in the east coast interstate general (containerised) freight market with about 13% of volumes overall. If the whole land transport network is to operate effectively, rail needs to do its share of the heavy lifting in the general freight market.

There has been significant investment in the east coast interstate network over the last 5 years and resolving Main North Line freight capacity restrictions (Strathfield – Broadmeadow) will complete the missing link, benefitting the whole network. Our forecasts suggest that over the next 10 years demand for freight train movements on the Main North Line Corridor will increase by between 1.7 and three times, driven by economic growth and a shift to rail as a result of increases in fuel and labour costs. A commitment to a long term investment strategy for this corridor will provide the necessary capacity for rail to lifts its mode share to between 35 – 40%

The NSW Government obtained $15 million funding under the Australian Government's Nation Building Program for the feasibility assessment, planning and scoping of works to meet long term freight requirements on the Main North Line. TIDC was commissioned in August 2008 to undertake this work. Inthe mo st recent budget, the Australian Government has committed $840 million through the Nation Building Program towards the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program of works.

Size 388.84 KB
pdf.png 2009 - July - Nellai and Lusty - Radio Link for use in Computer Based Interlocking - Microlok

Somasundaram Nellai B.S (Eng Tech), MS (IM), MIET, AMIRSE

Ansaldo STS Australia Pty Ltd

Anthony Stephen Lusty BE (Electrical), GDip Railway Signalling, MIRSE

Ansaldo STS Australia Pty Ltd

The introduction of Processor Based Interlockings (PBIs) to the railway network has led to the requirement for vital serial data communication between distributed PBIs.

Traditionally, vital serial data has been carried via closed/hardwired communication systems (eg copper  or Fibre Optic), which often involve significant installation costs. The Ansaldo STS developed Microlok Vital link over Radio (MVR) provides an efficient and cost effective alternative.

The MVR is a point to point, open transmission communication system, which transports vital serial data between distributed PBI applications in low to medium density railway networks. The MVR has been specifically developed to meet the requirements of conventional vital communication, addressing all the requirements for the safe communication of vital data.

The paper outlines the system concept, the development process, challenges, independent safety validation and successful implementation of new MVR systems in rail networks.

Size 548.43 KB
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

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