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COMPUTERS IN

RAILWAYS XII

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Papers presented at COMPRAIL 2010 are archived in the WIT elibrary in volume 114 of
WIT Transactions on The Built Environment (ISSN 1743-3509).
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TWELFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON


COMPUTER SYSTEM DESIGN AND OPERATION IN RAILWAYS
AND OTHER TRANSIT SYSTEMS

COMPRAIL XII
CONFERENCE CHAIRMEN
B. Ning
Beijing Jiaotong University, China
C.A. Brebbia
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

CONFERENCE CO-CHAIRMEN

NATIONAL PROGRAMME COMMITTEE

C. Roberts
University of Birmingham, UK
A.F. Rumsey
Delcan Corporation, Canada
G. Sciutto
Universit degli Studi di Genova, Italy
N. Tomii
Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan

J. Guo
Southwest Jiaotong University, China
Y. Ji
Tsinghua University, China
L. Jia
Beijing Jiaotong University, China
M. Li
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
T. Tao
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE


E. Arias
J.M. Mera
A. Radtke
R. Takagi
P. Tzieropoulos

Organised by
Beijing Jiaotong University, China
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
Sponsored by
WIT Transactions on the Built Environment

WIT Transactions
Transactions Editor
Carlos Brebbia
Wessex Institute of Technology
Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst
Southampton SO40 7AA, UK
Email: carlos@wessex.ac.uk

Editorial Board
B Abersek University of Maribor, Slovenia
Y N Abousleiman University of Oklahoma,

G Belingardi Politecnico di Torino, Italy


R Belmans Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,

P L Aguilar University of Extremadura, Spain


K S Al Jabri Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
E Alarcon Universidad Politecnica de Madrid,

C D Bertram The University of New South

USA

Spain

A Aldama IMTA, Mexico


C Alessandri Universita di Ferrara, Italy
D Almorza Gomar University of Cadiz,
Spain

B Alzahabi Kettering University, USA


J A C Ambrosio IDMEC, Portugal
A M Amer Cairo University, Egypt
S A Anagnostopoulos University of Patras,
Greece

M Andretta Montecatini, Italy


E Angelino A.R.P.A. Lombardia, Italy
H Antes Technische Universitat Braunschweig,
Germany

M A Atherton South Bank University, UK


A G Atkins University of Reading, UK
D Aubry Ecole Centrale de Paris, France
H Azegami Toyohashi University of
Technology, Japan

A F M Azevedo University of Porto, Portugal


J Baish Bucknell University, USA
J M Baldasano Universitat Politecnica de
Catalunya, Spain
J G Bartzis Institute of Nuclear Technology,
Greece
A Bejan Duke University, USA
M P Bekakos Democritus University of
Thrace, Greece

Belgium

Wales, Australia

D E Beskos University of Patras, Greece


S K Bhattacharyya Indian Institute of
Technology, India

E Blums Latvian Academy of Sciences, Latvia


J Boarder Cartref Consulting Systems, UK
B Bobee Institut National de la Recherche
Scientifique, Canada

H Boileau ESIGEC, France


J J Bommer Imperial College London, UK
M Bonnet Ecole Polytechnique, France
C A Borrego University of Aveiro, Portugal
A R Bretones University of Granada, Spain
J A Bryant University of Exeter, UK
F-G Buchholz Universitat Gesanthochschule
Paderborn, Germany

M B Bush The University of Western


Australia, Australia

F Butera Politecnico di Milano, Italy


J Byrne University of Portsmouth, UK
W Cantwell Liverpool University, UK
D J Cartwright Bucknell University, USA
P G Carydis National Technical University of
Athens, Greece

J J Casares Long Universidad de Santiago de


Compostela, Spain

M A Celia Princeton University, USA


A Chakrabarti Indian Institute of Science,
India

A H-D Cheng University of Mississippi, USA

J Chilton University of Lincoln, UK


C-L Chiu University of Pittsburgh, USA
H Choi Kangnung National University, Korea
A Cieslak Technical University of Lodz,
Poland

S Clement Transport System Centre, Australia


M W Collins Brunel University, UK
J J Connor Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, USA

M C Constantinou State University of New


York at Buffalo, USA

D E Cormack University of Toronto, Canada


M Costantino Royal Bank of Scotland, UK
D F Cutler Royal Botanic Gardens, UK
W Czyczula Krakow University of
Technology, Poland

M da Conceicao Cunha University of


Coimbra, Portugal

L Dvid Kroly Rbert College, Hungary


A Davies University of Hertfordshire, UK
M Davis Temple University, USA
A B de Almeida Instituto Superior Tecnico,
Portugal

E R de Arantes e Oliveira Instituto Superior


Tecnico, Portugal
L De Biase University of Milan, Italy
R de Borst Delft University of Technology,
Netherlands
G De Mey University of Ghent, Belgium
A De Montis Universita di Cagliari, Italy
A De Naeyer Universiteit Ghent, Belgium
W P De Wilde Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Belgium
L Debnath University of Texas-Pan American,
USA
N J Dedios Mimbela Universidad de
Cordoba, Spain
G Degrande Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,
Belgium
S del Giudice University of Udine, Italy
G Deplano Universita di Cagliari, Italy
I Doltsinis University of Stuttgart, Germany
M Domaszewski Universite de Technologie
de Belfort-Montbeliard, France
J Dominguez University of Seville, Spain
K Dorow Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, USA
W Dover University College London, UK

C Dowlen South Bank University, UK


J P du Plessis University of Stellenbosch,
South Africa

R Duffell University of Hertfordshire, UK


A Ebel University of Cologne, Germany
E E Edoutos Democritus University of
Thrace, Greece

G K Egan Monash University, Australia


K M Elawadly Alexandria University, Egypt
K-H Elmer Universitat Hannover, Germany
D Elms University of Canterbury, New Zealand
M E M El-Sayed Kettering University, USA
D M Elsom Oxford Brookes University, UK
A El-Zafrany Cranfield University, UK
F Erdogan Lehigh University, USA
F P Escrig University of Seville, Spain
D J Evans Nottingham Trent University, UK
J W Everett Rowan University, USA
M Faghri University of Rhode Island, USA
R A Falconer Cardiff University, UK
M N Fardis University of Patras, Greece
P Fedelinski Silesian Technical University,
Poland

H J S Fernando Arizona State University,


USA

S Finger Carnegie Mellon University, USA


J I Frankel University of Tennessee, USA
D M Fraser University of Cape Town, South
Africa

M J Fritzler University of Calgary, Canada


U Gabbert Otto-von-Guericke Universitat
Magdeburg, Germany

G Gambolati Universita di Padova, Italy


C J Gantes National Technical University of
Athens, Greece

L Gaul Universitat Stuttgart, Germany


A Genco University of Palermo, Italy
N Georgantzis Universitat Jaume I, Spain
P Giudici Universita di Pavia, Italy
F Gomez Universidad Politecnica de Valencia,
Spain

R Gomez Martin University of Granada,


Spain

D Goulias University of Maryland, USA


K G Goulias Pennsylvania State University,
USA

F Grandori Politecnico di Milano, Italy


W E Grant Texas A & M University, USA

S Grilli University of Rhode Island, USA


R H J Grimshaw Loughborough University,
D Gross Technische Hochschule Darmstadt,

D L Karabalis University of Patras, Greece


M Karlsson Linkoping University, Sweden
T Katayama Doshisha University, Japan
K L Katsifarakis Aristotle University of

R Grundmann Technische Universitat

J T Katsikadelis National Technical

A Gualtierotti IDHEAP, Switzerland


R C Gupta National University of Singapore,

E Kausel Massachusetts Institute of

UK

Germany

Dresden, Germany

Singapore
J M Hale University of Newcastle, UK
K Hameyer Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,
Belgium
C Hanke Danish Technical University,
Denmark
K Hayami National Institute of Informatics,
Japan
Y Hayashi Nagoya University, Japan
L Haydock Newage International Limited, UK
A H Hendrickx Free University of Brussels,
Belgium
C Herman John Hopkins University, USA
S Heslop University of Bristol, UK
I Hideaki Nagoya University, Japan
D A Hills University of Oxford, UK
W F Huebner Southwest Research Institute,
USA
J A C Humphrey Bucknell University, USA
M Y Hussaini Florida State University, USA
W Hutchinson Edith Cowan University,
Australia
T H Hyde University of Nottingham, UK
M Iguchi Science University of Tokyo, Japan
D B Ingham University of Leeds, UK
L Int Panis VITO Expertisecentrum IMS,
Belgium
N Ishikawa National Defence Academy, Japan
J Jaafar UiTm, Malaysia
W Jager Technical University of Dresden,
Germany
Y Jaluria Rutgers University, USA
C M Jefferson University of the West of
England, UK
P R Johnston Griffith University, Australia
D R H Jones University of Cambridge, UK
N Jones University of Liverpool, UK
D Kaliampakos National Technical
University of Athens, Greece
N Kamiya Nagoya University, Japan

Thessaloniki, Greece

University of Athens, Greece


Technology, USA

H Kawashima The University of Tokyo,


Japan

B A Kazimee Washington State University,


USA

S Kim University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


D Kirkland Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners
Ltd, UK

E Kita Nagoya University, Japan


A S Kobayashi University of Washington,
USA

T Kobayashi University of Tokyo, Japan


D Koga Saga University, Japan
S Kotake University of Tokyo, Japan
A N Kounadis National Technical University
of Athens, Greece

W B Kratzig Ruhr Universitat Bochum,


Germany

T Krauthammer Penn State University, USA


C-H Lai University of Greenwich, UK
M Langseth Norwegian University of Science
and Technology, Norway

B S Larsen Technical University of Denmark,


Denmark

F Lattarulo Politecnico di Bari, Italy


A Lebedev Moscow State University, Russia
L J Leon University of Montreal, Canada
D Lewis Mississippi State University, USA
S lghobashi University of California Irvine,
USA

K-C Lin University of New Brunswick,


Canada

A A Liolios Democritus University of Thrace,


Greece

S Lomov Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,


Belgium

J W S Longhurst University of the West of


England, UK

G Loo The University of Auckland, New


Zealand

J Lourenco Universidade do Minho, Portugal


J E Luco University of California at San
Diego, USA

H Lui State Seismological Bureau Harbin,


China

C J Lumsden University of Toronto, Canada


L Lundqvist Division of Transport and

Location Analysis, Sweden


T Lyons Murdoch University, Australia
Y-W Mai University of Sydney, Australia
M Majowiecki University of Bologna, Italy
D Malerba Universit degli Studi di Bari, Italy
G Manara University of Pisa, Italy
B N Mandal Indian Statistical Institute, India
Mander University of Tartu, Estonia
H A Mang Technische Universitat Wien,
Austria
G D Manolis Aristotle University of
Thessaloniki, Greece
W J Mansur COPPE/UFRJ, Brazil
N Marchettini University of Siena, Italy
J D M Marsh Griffith University, Australia
J F Martin-Duque Universidad Complutense,
Spain
T Matsui Nagoya University, Japan
G Mattrisch DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany
F M Mazzolani University of Naples
Federico II, Italy
K McManis University of New Orleans, USA
A C Mendes Universidade de Beira Interior,
Portugal
R A Meric Research Institute for Basic
Sciences, Turkey
J Mikielewicz Polish Academy of Sciences,
Poland
N Milic-Frayling Microsoft Research Ltd,
UK
R A W Mines University of Liverpool, UK
C A Mitchell University of Sydney, Australia
K Miura Kajima Corporation, Japan
A Miyamoto Yamaguchi University, Japan
T Miyoshi Kobe University, Japan
G Molinari University of Genoa, Italy
T B Moodie University of Alberta, Canada
D B Murray Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
G Nakhaeizadeh DaimlerChrysler AG,
Germany
M B Neace Mercer University, USA

D Necsulescu University of Ottawa, Canada


F Neumann University of Vienna, Austria
S-I Nishida Saga University, Japan
H Nisitani Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan
B Notaros University of Massachusetts, USA
P ODonoghue University College Dublin,
Ireland

R O ONeill Oak Ridge National Laboratory,


USA

M Ohkusu Kyushu University, Japan


G Oliveto Universit di Catania, Italy
R Olsen Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., USA
E Oate Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya,
Spain

K Onishi Ibaraki University, Japan


P H Oosthuizen Queens University, Canada
E L Ortiz Imperial College London, UK
E Outa Waseda University, Japan
A S Papageorgiou Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, USA

J Park Seoul National University, Korea


G Passerini Universita delle Marche, Italy
B C Patten University of Georgia, USA
G Pelosi University of Florence, Italy
G G Penelis Aristotle University of
Thessaloniki, Greece

W Perrie Bedford Institute of Oceanography,


Canada

R Pietrabissa Politecnico di Milano, Italy


H Pina Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal
M F Platzer Naval Postgraduate School, USA
D Poljak University of Split, Croatia
V Popov Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
H Power University of Nottingham, UK
D Prandle Proudman Oceanographic
Laboratory, UK

M Predeleanu University Paris VI, France


M R I Purvis University of Portsmouth, UK
I S Putra Institute of Technology Bandung,
Indonesia

Y A Pykh Russian Academy of Sciences,


Russia

F Rachidi EMC Group, Switzerland


M Rahman Dalhousie University, Canada
K R Rajagopal Texas A & M University, USA
T Rang Tallinn Technical University, Estonia
J Rao Case Western Reserve University, USA

A M Reinhorn State University of New York

at Buffalo, USA
A D Rey McGill University, Canada
D N Riahi University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, USA
B Ribas Spanish National Centre for
Environmental Health, Spain
K Richter Graz University of Technology,
Austria
S Rinaldi Politecnico di Milano, Italy
F Robuste Universitat Politecnica de
Catalunya, Spain
J Roddick Flinders University, Australia
A C Rodrigues Universidade Nova de Lisboa,
Portugal
F Rodrigues Poly Institute of Porto, Portugal
C W Roeder University of Washington, USA
J M Roesset Texas A & M University, USA
W Roetzel Universitaet der Bundeswehr
Hamburg, Germany
V Roje University of Split, Croatia
R Rosset Laboratoire dAerologie, France
J L Rubio Centro de Investigaciones sobre
Desertificacion, Spain
T J Rudolphi Iowa State University, USA
S Russenchuck Magnet Group, Switzerland
H Ryssel Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte
Schaltungen, Germany
S G Saad American University in Cairo, Egypt
M Saiidi University of Nevada-Reno, USA
R San Jose Technical University of Madrid,
Spain
F J Sanchez-Sesma Instituto Mexicano del
Petroleo, Mexico
B Sarler Nova Gorica Polytechnic, Slovenia
S A Savidis Technische Universitat Berlin,
Germany
A Savini Universita de Pavia, Italy
G Schmid Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany
R Schmidt RWTH Aachen, Germany
B Scholtes Universitaet of Kassel, Germany
W Schreiber University of Alabama, USA
A P S Selvadurai McGill University, Canada
J J Sendra University of Seville, Spain
J J Sharp Memorial University of
Newfoundland, Canada
Q Shen Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
USA
X Shixiong Fudan University, China

G C Sih Lehigh University, USA


L C Simoes University of Coimbra, Portugal
A C Singhal Arizona State University, USA
P Skerget University of Maribor, Slovenia
J Sladek Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Slovakia

V Sladek Slovak Academy of Sciences,


Slovakia

A C M Sousa University of New Brunswick,


Canada

H Sozer Illinois Institute of Technology, USA


D B Spalding CHAM, UK
P D Spanos Rice University, USA
T Speck Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg,
Germany

C C Spyrakos National Technical University


of Athens, Greece

I V Stangeeva St Petersburg University,


Russia

J Stasiek Technical University of Gdansk,


Poland

G E Swaters University of Alberta, Canada


S Syngellakis University of Southampton, UK
J Szmyd University of Mining and Metallurgy,
Poland

S T Tadano Hokkaido University, Japan


H Takemiya Okayama University, Japan
I Takewaki Kyoto University, Japan
C-L Tan Carleton University, Canada
M Tanaka Shinshu University, Japan
E Taniguchi Kyoto University, Japan
S Tanimura Aichi University of Technology,
Japan

J L Tassoulas University of Texas at Austin,


USA

M A P Taylor University of South Australia,


Australia

A Terranova Politecnico di Milano, Italy


A G Tijhuis Technische Universiteit
Eindhoven, Netherlands

T Tirabassi Institute FISBAT-CNR, Italy


S Tkachenko Otto-von-Guericke-University,
Germany

N Tosaka Nihon University, Japan


T Tran-Cong University of Southern
Queensland, Australia

R Tremblay Ecole Polytechnique, Canada


I Tsukrov University of New Hampshire, USA

R Turra CINECA Interuniversity Computing

H Westphal University of Magdeburg,

S G Tushinski Moscow State University,

J R Whiteman Brunel University, UK


Z-Y Yan Peking University, China
S Yanniotis Agricultural University of Athens,

Centre, Italy

Russia

J-L Uso Universitat Jaume I, Spain


E Van den Bulck Katholieke Universiteit

Leuven, Belgium
D Van den Poel Ghent University, Belgium
R van der Heijden Radboud University,
Netherlands
R van Duin Delft University of Technology,
Netherlands
P Vas University of Aberdeen, UK
W S Venturini University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
R Verhoeven Ghent University, Belgium
A Viguri Universitat Jaume I, Spain
Y Villacampa Esteve Universidad de
Alicante, Spain
F F V Vincent University of Bath, UK
S Walker Imperial College, UK
G Walters University of Exeter, UK
B Weiss University of Vienna, Austria

Germany

Greece

A Yeh University of Hong Kong, China


J Yoon Old Dominion University, USA
K Yoshizato Hiroshima University, Japan
T X Yu Hong Kong University of Science &
Technology, Hong Kong

M Zador Technical University of Budapest,


Hungary

K Zakrzewski Politechnika Lodzka, Poland


M Zamir University of Western Ontario,
Canada

R Zarnic University of Ljubljana, Slovenia


G Zharkova Institute of Theoretical and
Applied Mechanics, Russia

N Zhong Maebashi Institute of Technology,


Japan

H G Zimmermann Siemens AG, Germany

COMPUTERS IN
RAILWAYS XII
COMPUTER SYSTEM DESIGN AND OPERATION
AND OTHER TRANSIT SYSTEMS

Editors
B. Ning
Beijing Jiaotong University, China
C.A. Brebbia
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

IN

RAILWAYS

B. Ning
Beijing Jiaotong University, China
C.A. Brebbia
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK

Published by
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Tel: 44 (0) 238 029 3223; Fax: 44 (0) 238 029 2853
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For USA, Canada and Mexico
Computational Mechanics Inc
25 Bridge Street, Billerica, MA 01821, USA
Tel: 978 667 5841; Fax: 978 667 7582
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http://www.witpress.com
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A Catalogue record for this book is available
from the British Library
ISBN: 978-1-84564-468-0
ISSN: 1746-4498 (print)
ISSN: 1743-3509 (on-line)
The texts of the papers in this volume were set individually by the authors or under their
supervision. Only minor corrections to the text may have been carried out by the publisher.
No responsibility is assumed by the Publisher, the Editors and Authors for any injury and/or
damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or
from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the
material herein. The Publisher does not necessarily endorse the ideas held, or views expressed
by the Editors or Authors of the material contained in its publications.
WIT Press 2010
Printed in Great Britain by MPG Books Group, Bodmin and Kings Lynn.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publisher.

Preface

The International Conference on System Design and Operation in Railways and


other Transit Systems (COMPRAIL) has become the most successful conference
in its field since it started in 1987. This book contains papers accepted for
presentation at the 12th meeting in the series, held in Beijing, China in 2010.
The book reflects the new achievements and applications of computer based
technologies in management, design and operation of passenger and freight transit
systems.
Rail transport has many advantages over other systems in terms of capacity,
punctuality, being weather resistant, savings in fuel and land, and fairly low pollution.
It is a low-carbon emission transport mode and ought to be the backbone of any
regional and city comprehensive travel system.
Safety is one of the central topics of rail systems, together with efficiency. Computer
based technologies have always played an important role in the safety and efficiency
of transit systems. Many countries have recently become interested in using high
speed railways, resulting in up to now, more than 10,000 km of high speed track in
the world. By 2020, the total length of high speed railways will reach 18,000 km in
China alone. These topics are discussed in this book and it is expected that they
will become even more important in future COMPRAIL meetings.
The above are just some of the themes presented in this volume, which contains a
substantial number of sections covering topics such as: Advanced train control;
Traffic control and safety of high-speed railways in Asia; Computer techniques;
Planning; Maglev and high speed railways; Metro and other transit systems; Energy
supply and consumption; Dynamics and wheel/rail interface; Operations quality;
Monitoring and maintenance; Safety and security; Timetable planning.

The Editors are grateful to all the authors for their excellent papers as well as to the
members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee who participated in
the review process. They all contributed to the success of the Conference and the
publication of this book. Their help will ensure the continued success of
COMPRAIL.
The Editors
Beijing Jiaotong University, China, 2010

Contents
Section 1: Advanced train control
Design, development, application, safety assessment and simulation
of the railway signaling system
B. Ning, T. Tang, C. Gao & J. Xun...................................................................... 3
Research on the simulation of an Automatic Train over speed
Protection driver-machine interface based on
Model Driven Architecture
B. Y. Guo, W. Du & Y. J. Mao ........................................................................... 13
A framework for modeling train control systems based on agent and
cellular automata
J. Xun, B. Ning & T. Tang ................................................................................. 23
A new train GPS positioning algorithm in satellite incomplete
condition based on optimization and the digital track map
X. Jia, D. Chen & H. Wang ............................................................................... 35
Simulation of a high-speed train control system based on
High Level Architecture and its credibility analysis
Wei ShangGuan, J.-Q. Chen, B. Li, L.-N. Guo, M. Li & L.-Y. Chen ................. 45
Research on a hybrid map matching algorithm for Global Navigation
Satellite System based train positioning
J. Liu, B. Cai, T. Tang, J. Wang & Wei ShangGuan.......................................... 59
Automated system testing of an automatic train protection system
B. Friman & T. Andreiouk................................................................................. 71
Design and implementation of a distributed railway
signalling simulator
X. Hei, W. Ma, L. Wang & N. Ouyang............................................................... 81

Train tracking problem using a hybrid system model


Y. Wang, R. Luo, F. Cao & B. Ning................................................................... 89
Latent energy savings due to the innovative use of advisory speeds
to avoid occupation conflicts
F. Mehta, C. Riger & M. Montigel ................................................................ 99
Section 2: Traffic control and safety of high-speed railways in Asia
Special session organised by N. Tomii
How the punctuality of the Shinkansen has been achieved
N. Tomii ........................................................................................................... 111
Linkage of a conventional line dispatch system with the
Shinkansen dispatch system
Y. Yoshino ........................................................................................................ 121
Train scheduling of Shinkansen and relationship to reliable
train operation
S. Sone & Y. Zhongping................................................................................... 133
Rescue operations on dedicated high speed railway lines
R. Takagi.......................................................................................................... 141
Track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen cars in
commercial service
H. Moritaka & T. Matsumoto .......................................................................... 147
Development of a high-speed overhead contact line measurement
device for the Kyushu Shinkansen
N. Kinoshita, Y. Himeno & R. Igata ................................................................ 155
The analysis of train reliability for the Taiwan High Speed Rail
J.-C. Jong, T.-H. Lin, C.-K. Lee & H.-L. Hu ................................................... 169
Section 3: Communications
Development of a railway signaling device based on mixed digital
and analog signals using digital signal processors
R. Ishikawa, D. Koshino, H. Mochizuki, S. Takahashi,
H. Nakamura, S. Nishida & M. Sano............................................................... 183
A multi scalable model based on a connexity graph representation
L. Gly, G. Dessagne, P. Pesneau & F. Vanderbeck....................................... 193

Universal communication infrastructure for locomotives


U. Lieske .......................................................................................................... 205
Section 4: Computer techniques
Research on a novel train positioning method with a single image
B. Guo, T. Tang & Z. Yu .................................................................................. 213
Software redundancy design for a Human-Machine Interface in
railway vehicles
G. Zheng & J. Chen ......................................................................................... 221
Study on the method of traction motor load simulation on
railway vehicles
F. Lu, S. Li, L. Xu & Z. Yang ........................................................................... 233
Formalizing train control language: automating analysis of
train stations
A. Svendsen, B. Mller-Pedersen, . Haugen, J. Endresen
& E. Carlson.................................................................................................... 245
Design and operation assessment of railway stations using
passenger simulation
D. Li & B. Han................................................................................................. 257
Modeling of an interoperability test bench for the on-board system
of a train control system based on Colored Petri Nets
L. Yuan, T. Tang, K. Li & Y. Liu...................................................................... 271
Section 5: Planning
How regular is a regular-interval timetable? From theory
to application
P. Tzieropoulos, D. Emery & D. Tron ............................................................. 283
Port Hinterland traffic: modern planning IT methods
A. Radtke.......................................................................................................... 295
Generating optimal signal positions
E. A. G. Weits & D. van de Weijenberg........................................................... 307

A method for the improvement need definition of large, single-track


rail network analysis and infrastructure using
Rail Traffic System Analysis
T. Kosonen ....................................................................................................... 319
Automatic location-finding of train crew using GSM technology
F. Makkinga & B. Sturm.................................................................................. 327
Alignment analysis of urban railways based on passenger
travel demand
J. L. E. Andersen & A. Landex......................................................................... 337
Maintenance plan optimization for a train fleet
K. Doganay & M. Bohlin................................................................................. 349
SAT.engine: automated planning and validation tools for modern
train control systems
B. Wenzel, J. Schuette & S. Jurtz ..................................................................... 359
Case studies in planning crew members
J. P. Martins & E. Morgado ............................................................................ 371
Generating and optimizing strategies for the migration of the
European Train Control System
C. Lackhove, B. Jaeger & K. Lemmer ............................................................. 383
Synthesis of railway infrastructure
J. Spnemann & E. Wendler............................................................................ 395
Dimensioning of a railway station for unknown operation
O. Lindfeldt & A.-I. Lundberg ......................................................................... 407
The simulation of passengers time-space characteristics using ticket
sales records with insufficient data
J.-C. Jong & E.-F. Chang................................................................................ 419
Headway generation with ROBERTO
A. D. Middelkoop............................................................................................. 431
Development and implementation of new principles and systems for
train traffic control in Sweden
B. Sandblad, A. W. Andersson, A. Kauppi & G. Isaksson-Lutteman.................. 441

Section 6: Maglev and high speed railways


A model for the coordination between high-speed railway lines and
conventional rail lines in a railway passenger transportation corridor
Y. Bao .............................................................................................................. 453
Derivation of the safety requirements for control systems based on
the interoperability property of the Maglev train
W. Zheng, J. R. Meller & K. Li ...................................................................... 467
Dynamic characteristics modelling and adaptability research of the
balise transmission module in high speed railways
H. Zhao, S. Sun & W. Li .................................................................................. 475
Section 7: Metro and other transit systems
CBTC test simulation bench
J. M. Mera, I. Gmez-Rey & E. Rodrigo ......................................................... 485
Development of the new CBTC system simulation and
performance analysis
R. Chen & J. Guo............................................................................................. 497
Efficient design of Automatic Train Operation speed profiles with
on board energy storage devices
M. Domnguez, A. Fernndez, A. P. Cucala & J. Blanquer ............................ 509
Research on the load spectrum distribution and structure optimization
of locomotive traction seats
W. Wang, M. Wang & Z. Liu ........................................................................... 521
Generation of emergency scheme for urban rail transit by
case-based reasoning
F. Li, R. Xu & W. Zhu ...................................................................................... 529
Application and perspectives for interoperable systems in Italy
and Europe
R. Bozzo, R. Genova & F. Ballini .................................................................... 537

Section 8: Energy supply and consumption


A method to optimise train energy consumption combining manual
energy efficient driving and scheduling
C. Sicre, P. Cucala, A. Fernndez, J. A. Jimnez, I. Ribera
& A. Serrano.................................................................................................... 549
Driving equipment with three-phase inverters and asynchronous
traction motors for trolleys and trams
V. Radulescu, I. Strainescu, L. Moroianu, S. Gheorghe, E. Tudor,
V. Lupu, F. Bozas, A. Dascalu, G. Mitroi & D. Braslasu ................................ 561
Development, testing and implementation of the pantograph damage
assessment system (PANDAS)
A. Daadbin & J. Rosinski ................................................................................ 573
Section 9: Dynamics and wheel/rail interface
Strategies for less motion sickness on tilting trains
R. Persson & B. Kufver.................................................................................... 581
Railway vehicle and bridge interaction:
some approaches and applications
G. Mikheev, E. Krugovova & R. Kovalev ........................................................ 593
Certain aspects of the CEN standard for the evaluation of ride
comfort for rail passengers
B. Kufver, R. Persson & J. Wingren ................................................................ 605
Latest development on the simulation of rolling contact fatigue
crack growth in rails
L. Zhang, S. Mellings, J. Baynham & R. Adey................................................. 615
Section 10: Operations quality
Disruption handling in large railway networks
F. Corman, A. DAriano & I. A. Hansen ......................................................... 629
A multi-stage linear prediction model for the irregularity of the
longitudinallevel over unit railway sections
H. Chang, R. Liu & Q. Li................................................................................. 641
Systematic analyses of train run deviations from the timetable
T. Richter ......................................................................................................... 651

A novel peak power demand reduction strategy under a moving


block signalling system
Q. Gu, L. Pei, F. Cao & T. Tang ..................................................................... 663
Section 11: Monitoring and maintenance
Development of an ES2-type point machine
(monitoring of point machine)
N. Obata, T. Ichikura, H. Narita & H. Tanaka................................................ 677
A heuristic approach to railway track maintenance scheduling
L. M. Quiroga & E. Schnieder......................................................................... 687
Track test monitoring system using a multipurpose experimental train
H. Matsuda, M. Takikawa, T. Nanmoku & E. Yazawa .................................... 701
Section 12: Safety and security
Verification of quantitative requirements for GNSS-based
railway applications
H. Mocek, A. Filip & L. Baant ....................................................................... 711
Modelling and design of the formal approach for generating test
sequences of ETCS level 2 based on the CPN
X. Zhao, Y. Zhang, W. Zheng, T. Tang & R. Mu.............................................. 723
The experimental evaluation of the EGNOS safety-of-life services
for railway signalling
A. Filip, L. Baant & H. Mocek ....................................................................... 735
System safety property-oriented test sequences generating method
based on model checking
Y. Zhang, X. Q. Zhao, W. Zheng & T. Tang ..................................................... 747
Scenario-based modeling and verification of system requirement
specification for the European Train Control System
W. Tang, B. Ning, T. Xu & L. Zhao ................................................................. 759
ROSA a computer based safety model for European railways
J. Schtte & M. Geisler.................................................................................... 771

An IP network-based signal control system for automatic block signal


and its functional enhancement
K. Hayakawa, T. Miura, R. Ishima, H. Soutome, H. Tanuma
& Y. Yoshida .................................................................................................... 783
The improvement of the safety-case process in practice:
from problems and a promising approach to highly automated
safety case guidance
J. R. Meller, W. Zheng & E. Schnieder.......................................................... 795
State-based risk frequency estimation of a rail traffic signal system
Y. Zhang, J. Guo & L. Liu................................................................................ 805
Use of model transformation for the formal analysis of railway
interlocking models
T. Xu, O. M. Santos, X. Ge & J. Woodcock ..................................................... 815
A model-based framework for the safety analysis of
computer-based railway signalling systems
R. Niu & T. Tang ............................................................................................. 827
A scenario-based safety argumentation for CBTC safety
case architecture
C. Liu, X. Sha, F. Yan & T. Tang..................................................................... 839
The cost benefit analysis of level crossing safety measures
R. Ben Aoun, E.-M. El Koursi & E. Lemaire ................................................... 851
Proposal of the standard-based method for communication
safety enhancement in railway signalling systems
H.-J. Jo, J.-G. Hwang, B.-H. Kim, K.-M. Lee & Y.-K. Kim ............................. 863
Section 13: Timetable planning
A heuristic algorithm for the circulation plan of railway
electrical motor units
J. Miao, Y. Yu & Y. Wang ................................................................................ 877
Working out an incomplete cyclic train timetable for high-speed
railways by computer
D. Yang, L. Nie, Y. Tan, Z. He & Y. Zhang...................................................... 889
A novel research on the relation between the number of passengers
and the braking distance of a metro
L. Wang, Y. Li & X. Hei................................................................................... 901

Computation and evaluation of scheduled waiting time for


railway networks
A. Landex......................................................................................................... 911
Computation of a suburban night train timetable based on key
performance indicators
B. Schittenhelm & A. Landex ........................................................................... 923
A cooperative strategy framework of train rescheduling for portal
junctions leading into bottleneck sections
L. Chen, F. Schmid, B. Ning, C. Roberts & T. Tang........................................ 935
Circle rail transit line timetable scheduling using Rail TPM
J. Zhibin, G. Jia & X. Ruihua .......................................................................... 945
A simulation analysis of train rescheduling strategies on Chinese
passenger dedicated lines
Z. He, L. Meng, H. Li & L. Nie ........................................................................ 953
An efficient MIP model for locomotive routing and scheduling
M. Aronsson, P. Kreuger & J. Gjerdrum......................................................... 963
Timetable attractiveness parameters
B. Schittenhelm ................................................................................................ 975
Author Index .................................................................................................. 985

Section 1
Advanced train control

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Computers in Railways XII

Design, development, application,


safety assessment and simulation of
the railway signaling system
B. Ning, T. Tang, C. Gao & J. Xun
The State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
Beijing Jiaotong University, P.R. China

Abstract
The railway signaling system is one of the key subsystems in railway systems to
ensure the train operation efficiency and safety. It is a complicated system.
However, the railway signaling system is not independent in railway systems. In
this paper, five parts of the railway signaling system with their features and the
relationship are described in detail. Firstly, the core system of the railway
signaling system is designed and developed. Re-design is carried out for the
application of the core system for the specified rolling stocks and lines. The
safety of the core system and the applied system needs to be assessed. Finally, a
complete simulation system should be built for testing, installation, maintenance
and the technique upgrading of the systems. This paper helps people to get a
deep understanding about the functions, design and development, applications
and simulation of railway signaling systems.
Keywords: railway signaling system, system design, safety assessment,
simulation.

1 Introduction
The railway signaling system is the brain and nerve system of railway systems,
which ensures the safety and efficiency of the train operation. However,
compared with civil engineering, such as lines, bridges, tunnels, and rolling
stock, the cost for a signaling system is relatively low. Generally speaking, it is
less than 10% of the whole cost for a railway system. Little attention has been
paid give to it, either for the main line railway systems or the underground ones.
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4 Computers in Railways XII


With the quick development of railway systems, especially in the high-speed
railways and high-density urban transit systems, the importance of the signaling
system has been realized by more and more people. In order to get a better
understanding of the railway signaling system, we divide it into the core system,
the minimal system and the application system, according to their functions and
applications. Meanwhile, design, re-design, simulation, and safety assessment of
the railway signaling system in particular are also introduced.
There are two typical railway control systems in the world, which have been
developed into standardizations. One is the ETCS (European Train Control
System) for the railway signaling system in Europe, the other is the CTCS
(Chinese Train Control System) for the railway signaling system in China. In this
paper, the two systems are taken as examples to show how the signaling systems
are designed, developed, re-designed, assessed and simulated. The core systems
of a railway signaling system are defined. According to the requirements of the
application, the task of the core systems is described. The railway signaling
system is a requirements-tailored product for different lines and different rolling
stocks. Furthermore, the railway signaling system must be fail-safe and reliable.
In the design of the core system and the re-design of an applicable system, some
of the special principles must be considered. Therefore, safety assessment must
be carried out for the signaling system. In addition, the simulation system has
become one of the necessary tools for the design, application and maintenance of
the signaling system.
Much knowledge is accumulated during the whole cycle of the signaling
system, while it is relatively simple from the view of the function points. With
the introduction in the following sections, people will understand why the
railway signaling system is important, special and high cost.

2 Definition of railway control systems and their core systems


The railway system can generally be divided into three parts shown in Fig. 1.

lines, bridges
and tunnels

Figure 1:

Rolling Stock

The railway system.

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Computers in Railways XII

One part is the infrastructure, which includes the lines, bridges, and tunnels. It
is called the fixed part of railway Fsystem. The second part is the rolling stock,
which is called as the movement part of railway system. The third part is the
signaling system, which is called the brain and the nerve system of railway
system.
As shown in Fig. 1, trains run on the lines controlled by the signaling system
in any railway systems. Therefore, the signaling system ensures trains to operate
safely and efficiently. The roles and functions of the signaling system in railway
systems are clearly stated in Fig. 1. It is obvious the signaling system is the brain
and the nerve system of railway system. Without signaling system, railway
systems cannot operate efficiently and safely. It also can be seen that the
signaling system has close relationship with rolling stocks and infrastructures.
The configuration of the signaling system is given in Fig. 2. Usually, there are
four parts included in the signaling system: (1) On-board control system, (2)
Station control system and wayside system, (3) Central control system, (4)
Communication network including mobile telecommunication.
The core systems of the signaling system are consisted by the above four
parts in Fig. 2. The interlocking system and RBC (Radio Block Control) belong
to the station control systems. The on-board control system, control center and
the communication system are also one of the core systems for signaling system.
In more details, the vital computer for interlocking system, on-board system and
RBC system, and the basic software for the four parts are also belong to the core
part of the signaling system. In the paper, the core systems are the foundation of
the signaling system, and are called as the basic models of the signaling system.
Up to now, the functions of the signaling system in railway system, and the
relationship between the core systems and the signaling system are explained.
When ETCS or CTCS is analyzed, the four parts, or the core systems can be seen
easily. In the ETCS, there are Euro-cab, Euro-radio (GSM-R) and Eurointerlocking, etc. In the CTCS, there are Chinese on-board system (Universal cab
signaling), GSM-R and Chinese interlocking systems (four kinds of interlocking
systems), etc. as in Ning et al. [3].

Figure 2:

Configuration of railway signaling.

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6 Computers in Railways XII

3 Design and development of the core systems


Interlocking system is one of the core systems for the signaling system. An
interlocking system for a typical station layout is firstly designed and developed
to ensure a right route establishment. In the interlocking system, the basic
interlocking logic relationship among the routes, switches, and signaling must be
strictly ensured for the typical station layout. Usually, strict algorithms are used
in the core systems to guarantee that conflicting routes can never been
established in the same system.
After an interlocking system is designed, it must be tested thoroughly. Based
on the station layout, a complete test set should be built. Possibly, a simulation
system for the interlocking system is designed to test its logic functions. The test
will ensure the correctness and the safety of the system.
Before an interlocking system is designed, the specifications of the system
requirements and the system functions should be finalized. The specifications are
the basic files of the design and the test. Of course, the typical station layout
must be defined to ensure the functions of the interlocking system to be
complete.
As the core system, ATP system (one of the on-board system), RBC system,
the central control system, and the communication network connecting the core
systems should be designed and developed. The processes are the same as the
design and development of the interlocking systems. The classification and
process can be found in the files of ETCS and CTCS in Ning et al. [3].
In order to design and develop the core system, the prototype for the core
system should be designed and developed. Design and development of the
prototypes for the core system of the signaling system must obey the design
principles of the software engineering. It is divided into the three levels. The first
level is the system management level to operate the whole system management
including the safety requirement in the vital computer. The second level is to deal
with the logic requirements of the systems, i.e. the function rules. The third level
is the application level to match function requirements and an application
database. Fig. 3 shows the relation of the three levels.
The core systems of a signaling system should include six units based on the
four parts. They are the central control unit, the station control unit, the RBC
control unit, the on-board control unit, the communication network unit and the
wayside unit with radio unit. The six units consist into a minimal signaling

Figure 3:

Configuration of the software system for a core system.

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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Configuration of a minimal signaling system.

system shown in Fig. 4. The minimal signaling system is the foundation of an


application signaling system, and meets all the function requirements of a
signaling system. Usually, only the prototype of the minimal signaling system
can be found in laboratory.

4 Re-design of application of the core system for the


specified lines
After development of the core systems for the signaling system, there we have
the prototype of the minimal signaling system. Before the application of real
signaling system, redesign must be carried out for an applied line based on the
core systems and the minimal signaling system. The main task of the redesign is
to match the database of a real line and the minimal signaling system with the
core systems. The redesign turns the minimal signaling system into a real
application signaling system. It needs experts with good skills, while the
importance of the step is often ignored. The designers need to know both the
core systems and all the requirements of the application line. That is why the
signaling system is called as requirements-tailed system, and it costs.
During the redesign, the database for the line and rolling stock must be
established. For example, some parameters such as curves and slopes of the line,
the parameters for rolling stock, traction features and braking features of rolling
stock are needed for the on-board system (ATP or ATO). An interlocking system
needs the data for the layout of each station along the lines. There is different
number of routes for different station. At each station, the number of switches
and the positions of switches are different. For the central control system, all the
data from the lines and the requirements are needed to general a train plan and a
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8 Computers in Railways XII


train operation graph. At the same time, the disposition of communication
network units and wayside units such as position of design for radio units and
balises must be carried out.
In order to simplify the redesign without reducing the correctness, a
computer-aid design (CAD) tool is developed. Different CAD tools are designed
for the different units, such as Interlocking CAD tool and RBC CAD tool etc in
Mitchell [5].
After the redesign of an application signaling system is finished, the whole
system is test to verify the functions and safety. To test the signaling system, a
simulation system and environments should be built. Test set and test dictionary
for a line should been accumulated and established to ensure the test.

5 Safety assessment
The signaling system is a system to ensure train operation safety. Therefore, it
must be self-safety in its whole life cycle. Fail-safe concept was put forward for
the railway signaling system in the early 1900s. Safety assessment for the
railway signaling system begins with the start of the system design. From the
core system design to redesign of an application signaling system, from the
prototype of the core systems to the minimal system, from manufacturing to
installation, from operation to maintenance, safety assessment must be taken
during the whole life cycle. This is the main reason why a signaling system is
complicated and high cost.
There are always two groups of persons in this area. One is to implement the
signaling system. Safety assessment is done by another group to ensure the
systems implementing to be monitored. Moreover, the second group should
involve from the beginning of the system design. In other word, the whole
process of the signaling system design, manufacturing, installation and operation
must be monitored and assessed. Methods and principles for software
engineering must be used for the files management and flow management to do
safety assessments of the signaling system. For a big project of railway
signaling, the third professional company is invited to do the safety assessment
for the project.
What is the meaning for RAMS? The RAMS means Reliability, Availability,
Maintainability and Safety of the system. According to EN50126 (CENELEC
1999), the definition of RAMS can be found easily in Theeg and Vlasenko [6].
System reliability is defined as the probability that the system can perform a
required function under given conditions for a given time interval. System
availability is defined as the ability of a system to be in a state to perform the
required function under given conditions over a given time interval, assuming
that the required external sources of help is provided. System maintainability is
defined as the probability that a given active maintenance action, for a system
under given conditions of use, can be carried out within a stated time interval
when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions and using stated
procedures and resources. System safety is defined as fail-safe requirements that
system cannot give dangerous output when a given fault occurs. Reliability and
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Computers in Railways XII

maintainability are both probability values which lead to failure and maintenance
rate respectively, related to a defined time period. The signaling system is
required to be with high availability, i.e. low failure rate and high maintenance
rate. System safety is the system quality requirement, and different with
reliability. When the concept, as reliability and safety of railway signaling
system, is discussed, there are still some of different views as in Ning et al. [2].
In order to ensure the requirements of RAMS for the signaling system to be
satisfied, fault-tolerant design, fault-diagnosis and fault test are applied in the
design and redesigned for signaling system development. Comparer is often used
in the design of signaling system to fulfill the fail-safe requirement of the
system. The comparer can be implemented both by hardware and software.
In the safety assessment, a simulation system can also be used to testify if
RAMS requirement of the signaling system is performed. It can be used for
safety assessment of the core system, the minimal system and the application
system of signaling system. Fault set and fault models of signaling system are
analyzed and built.

6 Simulation systems
Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine how to design and develop a signaling
system based on computers without simulation system tools. Simulation systems
for the core system and an application system of the railway signaling system
have become an important tool for its development, application and
maintenance. As far as the functions of the simulation system are concerned,
there are many kinds of simulation systems for the signaling system. Some of
them have been mentioned in the paper.
Simulation models construction and simulation platforms selection are the
first step for development of simulation systems for signaling systems as in Xun
et al. [1]. There are numbers of different models and algorithms for the different
applications. There are also many kinds of simulation platforms to be selected
for development of simulation systems. The above two issues are not addressed
in detains here since the limit of the paper contents.
As development tool, a simulation system is developed for the design of core
signaling systems and the minimal signaling system. By use of the simulation
system, the core signaling systems are designed, and their functions, safety and
reliability etc. are tested and proved.
As design tool, a simulation system is developed for redesigning an
application signaling system based on the minimal signaling system. The task of
the simulation system is to redesign the application signaling system according
to the database of the application line. By use of the simulation system, the
requirements and configuration of the application system are satisfied,
established, and proved.
Usually, a simulation system should be established for an application
signaling system. Before the application signaling system is put into operation,
the task of the simulation system is to test the functions, safety and fault-tolerant
features of the application signaling system and to ensure the correct connection
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10 Computers in Railways XII


among the core signaling systems based on the database of the application line.
After the application signaling system is put into operation, the task of the
simulation system is to monitor the operation of the application system by
sharing the real-time data with the operating system. Meanwhile, as maintenance
tool, the simulation system plays an important role in diagnosing a fault and
maintaining the system when the fault occurs during the operation of the
application system. Moreover, when some of the parts in the application system
are revised or upgraded technically, the parts should be tested firstly in the
simulation system before be put into the real system.
It can be seen from the above description that the simulation systems have the
different classifications and functions. A common databases, test sets and
function models should be established and accumulated. The different simulation
systems could use the same database, the same test set and the same function
models. Interlocking system can be taken as an example. Interlocking function
test are the same at the core system development and an application signaling
system. As a design tool during the redesign for an application system, it uses the
same database with the simulation system of an application signaling system.
One of the difficult tasks is to establish a perfect test sets by use of accumulating.

7 Conclusion
To get a better understand on the railway signaling system, in the paper, its
design and development are defined as the two periods: core system design and
application system design, as shown in Fig. 5. It is also introduced in details how
simulation systems and safety assessment play an important role in the whole life
cycle of a signaling system. The relationship between the phases and systems is

Figure 5:

The phases of the signaling system.

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Computers in Railways XII

11

explained. The key points at each phase are described. This paper gives an
overall picture and the whole process of railway signaling system. It shows the
importance of the railway signaling system.

Acknowledgement
The research is supported by the National Science foundation: Basic theories and
key technologies of train control and organization (60634010).

References
[1] Xun, J., Ning, B. & Li, K., Multi-objective optimization method for the
ATO system using Cellular Automata. Computers in Railways XI -Computer
System Design and Operation in the Railway and Other Transit Systems.
vol. 103, eds. Allan, J., Arias, E., Brebbia, C. A., Goodman, C. J., Rumsey,
A. F., Sciutto, G. & Tomii, N., WIT Press: Toledo, pp. 173-182, 2008.
[2] Ning, B., Tang, T., Qiu, K. & Gao, C., CBTC (Communication Based Train
Control): system and development, Computers in Railways X-Computer
System Design and Operation in the Railway and Other Transit Systems.
vol. 103, eds. Allan, J., Brebbia, C. A., Rumsey, A. F., Sciutto, G., Sone, S.
& Goodman, C. J., WIT Press: Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 413-420, 2006.
[3] Ning, B., Tang, T., Qiu, K., Gao, C. & Wang, Q., CTCS-Chinese Train
Control System, Computers in Railways IX-Computer System Design and
Operation in the Railway and Other Transit Systems. vol. 103, eds. Allan, J.,
Brebbia, C. A., Hill, R. J., Sciutto, G., & Sone, S., WIT Press: Dresden,
Germany, pp. 262-272, 2004.
[4] Rail Safety and Standards Board, Engineering safety Management (the
Yellow Book).
[5] Mitchell, L., The Sustainable Railway Use of Advisory Systems for Energy
Savings, IRSE NEWS 151, pp. 2-7, 2009.
[6] Theeg, G. & Vlasenko, S., Railway Signalling and Interlocking, Eurail
Press, pp. 17-21 and pp. 30- 36, 2009.

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Computers in Railways XII

13

Research on the simulation of an Automatic


Train over speed Protection driver-machine
interface based on Model Driven Architecture
B. Y. Guo, W. Du & Y. J. Mao
State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
The principle of Model Driven Architecture (MDA) was drawn into the
emulation research of an Automatic Train over speed Protection (ATP) drivermachine interface (DMI). To realize the functions of the DMI, a new method
based on the MDA principle was raised. Specific to the requirement of the DMI,
the ICV (Core Interface-Frame Controller-View) model was proposed. This is
the Platform Independent Model of the ATP driver-machine interface. ICV is a
View-centred GUI model that includes a Core Interface and a Frame Controller.
The View was used for the description of interface visualization. The Frame
Controller accomplished the communication between the driver and the on-board
vital computer (VC) by the display of different views. The Core Interface
provided the information bridge among View, the driver and VC. Then the
detailed transform rules from the Platform Independent Model to the Platform
Specific Model were drawn up. The transform rules were separated into two
parts. One part realized the core communication function to ensure the accuracy
of the system communication interface by the auto-transform method and,
according to the definition of the Platform Independent Model, the other part
built each module of the ICV model using manual mode. The ultimate complete
ATP driver-machine interface system satisfied the emulation requirements, and
has been used for the research of the evaluation and testing on the CTCS-3.
Keywords: ATP driver-machine interface, MDA, GUI model, simulation.

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14 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
The control of operation signalling for Railway China has developed from
manual operation by drivers, who follow the traffic command of ground signals,
to automatic speed control by the Train Controlling System, which receives the
information sent from the ground [1]. The ATP (Automatic Train over speed
Protection) driver-machine interface is displayed at the centre of a LCD monitor,
which is configured with a speaker and a keyboard. Drivers are notified with all
kinds of information about the train and status of the ATP by sound and
graphical information, and then are able to change its working mode and status
by input through the keyboard. As a media of displaying the train information
and speed command, the human-machine interface is the only interface to
communicate with the backend train running control system; it plays an
important role in the running process of the train as its normal display affects the
arrival time and safety of the train.
The CTCS-3 simulation and testing platform is a research platform hosted by
the National Key Laboratory of Rail traffic Control and Security, Beijing
Jiaotong University, in order to make researches on systems and solutions, and
evaluate the equipment testing for the CTCS-3. This system includes the train
security computer, track information receiving unit, transponder information
receiving unit, speed sensor, human-machine interface and 3D scene, to simulate
the train running environment to be as real as possible. The simulation of the
ATP driver-machine interface has a great significance in the implementation of a
simulation platform of the entire train control system.
The principle of Model Driven Architecture (MDA) was drawn into the
emulation research of the ATP driver-machine interface (DMI). To realize the
functions of the DMI, a new method based on the MDA principle was raised.
Specific to the requirements of the DMI, the ICV (Core Interface-Frame
Controller-View) model was proposed. Then the detailed transform rules from
the Platform Independent Model to the Platform Specific Model were drawn up.
The ultimate complete ATP driver-machine interface system satisfied the
emulation requirements, and has been used for the research of the evaluation and
testing on the CTCS-3.

2 Simulation method of the ATP driver-machine interface


based on MDA
MDA is the collection of a series of Standards (MOF, UML, CWM and XMI)
and Technology (CORBA, Java, C++, etc.), which are the basis for supporting
MDA [2]. The core idea of MDA is to form a CIM (Computation Independent
Model) based on users needs, including the development purposes, performance
and requirements of the software to be developed in the system development
process [3]. According to the CIM model, using the above standards and
technology, the platform-independent, highly summarized models are abstracted
and concrete, which are called PIMs (Platform Independent Models). Then, the

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Computers in Railways XII


Requirement
Requirement
Capture
Analysis
Computation
Independent
Models

Figure 1:

Design
PIM

Coding
PSM

Testing
Code

15

Release
Code

MDA development process, using PIM as driven.

MDA software development cycle.

transform rules are defined based on the specific implementing technology


platform. The PIM is transformed to the PSM through the defined transformation
rules and tools, and the PSM will be converted into executable code
automatically.
The development process of the MDA-based system is shown in Fig. 1.
Using MDA, the system development process is detached from the building
process of two models: one is the establishment of the PIM; the other is the
establishment of the PSM, and the key technology is the conversion between
the PIM and the PSM. In the beginning of the system development, the PIM
should be established, which is independent of the specific implementation
technology and platform and is the high-level abstraction of the system. Then,
according to the transformation definition, the PIM is converted into the PSM,
which is closely related with the specific implementation technology and
platform. The framework of the MDA includes the PIM, PIM description
language, transformation rules, PSM, PSM description language and several
other elements [4]. In traditional software development processes, the model
represents not only the demand, but also the realization of specific
technologies. Using MDA, models are classified into PIM, representing
demand, and PSM, representing the realization of specific technologies, and
therefore, the demand and technologies are related.
To develop an ATP driver-machine interface simulation system, the
requirement must be analyzed above all, and the function of the ATP drivermachine interface could be described using UML. On top of this, the PIM was
established, which did not contain any platform-related details. In the description
of the PIM, the demand should be summarized and summed up; restraint
describing language should be used to achieve the transformation. After the
completion of the PIM description, the PIM was mapped to a particular
simulation development platform, and then the PSM was obtained. The PIM-toPSM transformation rules were divided into two parts. One part is to carry out
the communication function, since the core function of the ATP driver-machine
interface is to accomplish communication with the Vehicle Computer [5, 6]. In
order to ensure the accuracy of communication, the automatic conversion mode
was used in this part [7]. The other part is to complete the construction of the
modules and interaction among the modules according to the definition of the
ICV model. The manual mode was used in this part. The PSM was generated by
a combination of these two conversion methods and then the ultimate simulation
system was completed.
The comparison between the MMI development framework and the MDA
development framework is shown below.
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16 Computers in Railways XII


MDA Development
Framework

ATP Driver-machine Interface


Simulation Framework

CIM

Requirement Analysis of ATP


Driver-machine Interface

PIM

PIM of ATP Drivermachine Interface

PSM

Code

Figure 2:

Communication Function of
ATP Driver-machine
Interface

Construction and Interaction


of Modules of ATP Drivermachine Interface

Simulation Code

Development framework of the DMI simulation system.

3 Requirement analysis of the ATP driver-machine


interface simulation
The Vehicle Computer sent information to the ATP driver-machine interface at a
fixed frequency. The ATP translated the information to a readable data,
according to the prior agreed rules, and showed the data on the interface as
certain rules. The ATP followed multi-level hierarchical design ideas and was
decomposed into various views in its logic functions. Each view could be
divided into multiple sub-views and each sub-view was a further decomposition
of its parent view. Drivers may make driving operations based on the
information displayed in all levels of views, including entering data, such as
Driver ID, train number, train length and so on, controlling the train
independently for functions such as mitigation and change the running status,
and responding to the information sent by the vehicle security computer, such as
the need for confirmation of the driver when transforming from CTCS-2 to
CTCS-3. The information would be sent back to the Vehicle Computer by the
ATP after the driver finishes the operation and then responses were sent back to
the ATP after being confirmed by the Vehicle Computer, which formed a closed
loop for the information communication.
The train initial data, such as Driver ID, train number, train length and so on,
are input at the first step when the driver started to drive. Then the start button
was pressed. The driver should drive in accordance with the interface display.
During driving, the information transmitted from the Vehicle Computer was
responded to by the driver and the driver could control the train independently.

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The main responding operations are confirmation of operation level and the
status of the front track.
From the workflow, the functions and use case of the system were confirmed,
including: 1. data display; 2. data input; 3. mode selection; 4. carrier frequency
mode selection; 5. selection and confirmation of operating level; 6. release
selection; 7. departure selection; 8. driver response. The ATP driver-machine
interface shows the information sent by the Vehicle Computer and contacts the
Vehicle Computer and the train driver. Therefore, it can be determined that the
driver and Vehicle Computer are system participants. The system use case
diagram is shown in Fig. 3.

4 Establishment of the PIM for the ATP driver-machine


interface
The ATP driver-machine interface is a graphical user interface. To build the PIM
of the ATP driver-machine interface based on MDA is to design graphical user
interface models at the system point of view. In this research, combined with an

Figure 3:

Diagram of the ATP driver-machine interface.

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18 Computers in Railways XII

Presentation
Communication

Driver
Communication
Communication

VC

Core
Interface
Message

Figure 4:

Message

View
Frame
Controller

Message

ICV model.

important GUI model, the Seeheim model [8], a kind of PIM for the ATP drivermachine interface was presented. That was the ICV, the Core Interface-Frame
Controller-View model. The ICV was a kind of GUI model whose centre was
View, including the Core Interface and Frame Controller. The visible part of the
user interface was described by View, and the tasks from the driver and vehicle
computer were accomplished by the frame controller through each view. The
core interface was used to offer an information exchanging interface for train the
driver and the Vehicle Computer. The model is illustrated in Fig 4.
Since multi-level hierarchical design ideas were used in the ATP drivermachine interface, the View decomposed the interface into various views in its
logic functions. Each view could be divided into multiple sub-views and each
sub-view was a further decomposition of its parent view, but the sub-views did
not have to be called by parent views, while some shortcut keys were set. Those
frequently used sub-views would be called by shortcut keys rather than by parent
views, and this facilitated the drivers operation. The static characteristics of the
View included size, location and its own form of property, while the dynamic
behaviours of the View included the internal action and communication between
the View and Vehicle Computer. The View is the core of the ICV model. The
View of each level could fulfil its specific function. The hierarchical and
modular description of the complex ATP driver-machine interface could be
actualized by the use of the View module.
The information response was as a core in modelling the View mode. The
View dealt with the messages from the Vehicle Computer and driver by the
information response process, for example, the current speed display and calling
the sub-views. The sub-views of each level in the View mode interacted inhouse. Several Views of level 2 and Views of level 3 had the ability of sending
information. According to the incoming control information, the corresponding
information was sent to the Vehicle Computer.
The button information collection process in the model was integrated into
the driver module. Since its primary role was to capture the drivers button
information and send it to the ATP driver-computer interface by the way of
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Computers in Railways XII

19

communication, this part was dissociated in the periphery of the ATP drivercomputer interface model and it was not necessary to build a separate module for
this part. The Driver would be representing this process instead in the model.
The Core Interface module had a dual mission. One part was to receive the
information from the Vehicle Computer and the other was to receive the drivers
button information. It provided an interface between the vehicle equipment and
the train driver and established a buffer zone. As a result, the efficiency and
maintainability of the code have improved.
The main function of the Frame Controller was to receive control information
from the Core Interface, which is responsible for switch scheduling among each
view and to control the operation of each view. This module was divided into
two parts. One part was used to receive the control information from driver and
open the appropriate view according to the drivers manipulation. The other part
was used to receive the control information from the Vehicle Computer and open
the appropriate view according to the incoming message.

5 PSM construction of the ATP driver-computer interface


When the PIM was constructed, the transformation work from the PIM to the
PSM could be launched. Because the current transformation tools can only
accurately converse the elements of the PIM into the PSM elements, it was
necessary to manually complete the construction of the PSM to achieve specific
functionality. According to the past practice, the research was divided into two
parts and each part of work is as follows.
The first part was to mainly complete the communication function, including
the following aspects.
1. The elements in the ATPInterface Class of Core Interface, which is the core
one in the PIM, should be converted into the corresponding functions elements
of the PSM.
2. The operations in the ATPInterface Class of Core Interface, which is the
core one in the PIM, should be converted into the corresponding operations of
the PSM.
3. The elements in the SendInformation Class of the View in the PIM, which
need to communicate with the Vehicle Computer, should be converted into the
corresponding functions elements of the PSM.
4. The operations in the SendInformation Class of the View class in the PIM,
which need to communicate with the Vehicle Computer, should be converted
into the corresponding operations of the PSM.
This part is the emphasis of the ATP driver-machine interface simulation,
using Rational Rose to automatically generate codes to complete communication
between the Vehicle Computer and the ATP driver-computer interface.
The tasks to be done in the other part are as follows.
1. Construct the PSM according to each divided class in the PIM.
There were three parts of the PIM: the Core Interface, Frame Controller
and View. The Core Interface contained two sub-modules: one is in charge
of receiving information from the Vehicle Computer; the other is in charge of
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20 Computers in Railways XII


receiving information from the driver. There are also two sub-modules in the
Frame Controller. One is responsible for accomplishing the control on the View
from the Vehicle Computer, and the other is to accomplish the control on the
View from the rail driver. The View module was divided into several submodules according to its interface and all these sub-modules were classified in
accordance with different view parts. Each sub-module should be described
while the PSM is constructed.
2. Information exchange among the PSMs should be completed according to
the interaction among the various modules in the PIM.
Information exchange is the top priority of the ATP driver-machine interface
simulation. After the construction of the PSM, interaction among the various
models should be accomplished. The Core Interface module had to achieve the
interaction between the Vehicle Computer and the ATP driver- machine interface
and interaction between the driver and the ATP driver-machine interface. Then
the information coming from these two areas were divided into two parts: one
was the data message, which would be sent to the View module to display; the
other was the controlling information, which will be sent to the Frame Controller
to complete the task of calling for the View. The View received data information
from the Core Interface and controlling information from the Frame Controller to
display the view.
The graphical programming language called G language was used in this part.
The PSM description was carried through in the LabVIEW platform. Finally, the
simulation system would be finished.

6 ATP driver-machine interface running a typical example


The simulation platform of the ATP driver- machine interface is part of the Rail
Control System Simulation Platform in the lab, and has been used for system
research, program research and equipment testing and evaluation on the CTCS-3.
Fig. 5 shows the ATP driver-machine interface operation chart. In the picture,
it can be seen that the ATP driver-machine interface was shown in the centre of
the driving devices LCD screen. Speakers and keypad are around the screen,

Figure 5:

ATP driver-machine interface operation chart.

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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 6:

21

ATP driver-machine interface operation status and the transforming


confirmation menu to the CTCS-3.

and the driver can input some relevant information through the keyboard to
change the mode of the ATP system and work status. The ATP driver-machine
interface can correctly display various status images. This is shown in Fig. 6.

7 Conclusion
The first step of this method was to do a requirement analysis, following which
the PIM can be established. Combined with the GUI model, a new model called
the ICV (Core Interface-Frame Controller-View) model was proposed as the
PIM of the ATP driver-machine interface simulation. The process of
transforming from the PIM to the PSM was divided into two parts. One part is to
finish the most important section of the ATP driver-machine interface,
communication, especially the communication between the Vehicle Computer
and the ATP driver-machine interface. The other part was used to establish the
PSM according to each module of the PIM and the interaction among the
modules. Then the system simulation would be completed. It has been proven
that this method saves development time and enhances the portability and
accuracy of the system. The ATP driver-machine interface simulation system has
been used for the research of evaluation and testing on the CTCS-3.

Acknowledgement
This work is supported by the Key Science and Technology Research Project of
the Chinese Ministry of Education (No. 109010).

References
[1] Wang Xi, Tang Tao. Design and Realization of Train Operation Control
System Onboard MMI Based on UML. Journal of System Simulation, 18(2),
pp. 338-361, 2006.
[2] Heng Xiangan. Research on the Modeling and Simulation Method based on
MDA. Changsha: National University of Defense Technology. 2005.
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22 Computers in Railways XII


[3] Jishnu Mukerji. Model Driven Architecture-A Technical Perspective.
www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc/ormsc/2001-07-01.
[4] Jiang Chun. MDA Method and MDA Modeling Based on UML. Journal of
Shenyang Institute of Engineering: natural Science, 4(1), pp. 67-93, 2008.
[5] Gronbaek, J, Madsen, T.K, Schwefel H.P. Safe Wireless Communication
Solution for Driver Machine Interface for Train Control Systems. System, 4,
pp. 208-213, 2008.
[6] Ceccarelli A., Majzik I., Lovino D. A Resilient SIL 2 Driver Machine
Interface for Train Control Systems. Dependability of Computer, 6, pp. 365374, 2008.
[7] Deuk Kyu Kum, Soo Dong Kim. A Method to Generate C# Code from
MDA/PSM for Enterprise Architecture. Computer and Information Science,
6, pp. 238-243, 2006.
[8] Sun Xiaoping, GUO Tengchong, WEI Mingzhu, etc. A UML-Based ObjectOriented Graphic User Interface Design Model. Computer Science, 30(5),
pp. 108-112, 2003.

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Computers in Railways XII

23

A framework for modeling train control


systems based on agent and cellular automata
J. Xun, B. Ning & T. Tang
The State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
Beijing Jiaotong University, P.R. China

Abstract
A train control system is a system that is geographically and functionally
distributed. Its subsystems have a high degree of autonomy. Because of these
characteristics, this paper describes a two-layer framework for modeling train
control systems. The upper-layer is defined by agents. The lower-layer is the
cellular automata (CA) traffic model to simulate the train following dynamic.
The CA model delivers the knowledge needed by the agents to make decisions.
The interaction between agents can describe the decision-making processes of
train control systems to achieve its functions. Its functions are classified into
three levels: Service Control Functionality, Signaling Functionalities and Train
Operation Functionality. A case study is used to illustrate the applicability of the
proposed framework. The study results show that the proposed framework can
be successfully used to analyze the influence on traffic flow, which is caused by
the train control system.
Keywords: modeling, train control system, agent, Cellular Automata (CA).

1 Introduction
A train control system model is an important tool to research train control
systems. The previous models are based on the equipments that are used in the
practical train control system. For different train control systems, they may have
different equipments. In other word, the equipments that constitute the train
control system can be tailored towards requirements. This leads to different
systems having different system configurations. It is possible to accept the nonuniformity of the configurations in practical projects; however, it is not
conducive to understanding the train control system.
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24 Computers in Railways XII


This problem can be solved by modeling the train control system based on its
functions. Its functions are achieved through the equipments in the system.
Although the equipments are various and their configurations are distinct, the
functions are the same for the different train control systems. It is fundamental to
railway control systems that they should be concerned with the positional control
of trains [1]. Therefore, the essential purposes of the functions for any train
control system are [2, 3]:

To maintain a safe distance between following trains on the same track;

To safeguard the movement of trains at junctions and where crossing a path


that could be taken by another train;

To control train movement between and at stations;

To regulate the passage of trains according to the service density and speed
required, accounting for the planned schedule.
This places the train control system at the heart of the railway [4].

2 The function-oriented model of train control systems


According to these essential purposes, the functionality of the train control
system can be summarized in three levels:

Service Control Functionality: The functionality in this level is to maintain


the quality of transportation service, both in normal and abnormal
situations. It will compare the real-time traffic status with the schedule and
reschedule in order to reduce the delay.

Signaling Functionality: The functionality in this level is to ensure


the safety of the train movement. It will collect the information related to
the movement of trains first. Then, based on the information, it will allocate
the movement authority (MA) for each train. Moreover, it will send the
corresponding signal information to the Train Operation Functionality and
the Service Control Functionality respectively.

Train Operation Functionality: The functionality in this level is to operate


trains in an effective way. The operation will consider energy saving and
comfort as the object of train operation.
Next we will introduce the above three kinds of functionality in details.
2.1 Service Control Functionality (SCF)
The Service Control Functionality is enforced through the train control system.
Where more serious service abnormalities occur, it is necessary to manage the
service in real time to ensure that train destinations are appropriately balanced,
that bunching/conflicts are minimized, and that staff and stock resources are
available when and where required. This function is referred to as Service
Control [4].
Service Control Functionality includes the Centralized Manual Control
function, Local Manual Control function, Platform Management function and
Automatic Train Supervision function.

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The Centralized Manual Control function manages the service on the whole
railway line. Normally it will not control the service directly. The control order
will be transmitted to the Local Manual Control function first and then it will be
transferred to other functions. In particular, the temporary speed restriction order
will be sent to other safety critical functions in order to ensure its consistency,
completeness and validity.
The Local Manual Control function manages the service around one or
several stations on the railway line generally. It is not only a transfer station for
exchanging information between the Centralized Manual Control function and
other functions, but also a commander to control the local service. The local
service includes the management of the platform.
The Platform Management function is to reduce the dwell time at stations.
Dwell times result from a number of delays associated with train and platform
design, service regularity, operating practice and passenger behavior. Their
effects can be limited by implementing systems and techniques for platform
management. The systems and techniques can be found in [4].
The Automatic Train Supervision function takes on the automation of the
signalers and controllers roles. It is therefore responsible for the monitoring
and co-ordination of individual train movements in line with the schedule and
route assignments [2]. Its function is accomplished through the cooperation
among the functions of Automatic Train Regulation, Automatic Route Setting
and Automatic Traffic Monitoring. Currently these functions are usually used to
operate an alarm to draw a human operators attention to the need for action and,
subsequently to provide information to support decisions by that operator.
2.2 Signaling Functionality (SF)
The movement of trains is in accordance with the signaling information in
railway system. The signaling information includes the aspect of signal, slope,
curve, the status of points (lock or unlock, normal position and reverse position),
train position, train integrity, train route information, and so on. The information
should be collected by the SF. In some ways, SF is a set of functions that gather
the information related to the movement of trains, select and send to the
destination functions who will act upon the information. Among the information,
the aspect of signal, slope, curve and the status of points will be collected by the
Line Information Collection function; train position will be collected by the
Train Location function; train integrity will be collected by the Train Integrity
Check function; train route information will be collected by the Interlocking
function.
First, all of the collected information is the input of other sub-functions in SF,
such as the In Cab Signaling, the MA Allocation, the Interlocking and the
Automatic Train Protection.
The In Cab Signaling function will receive the track-side signal and display it
in the cab. That will benefit driver to drive, especially when trains run at highspeed. The MA Allocation function needs the trains position and route
information. The trains position and route information is necessary for the MA
allocation function. The Interlocking function needs the aspect of signal, status
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26 Computers in Railways XII


of points and MA information so that it can evaluate this information and permits
movements via the signals. The Automatic Train Protection (ATP) function is a
safety critical function. It will intervene in real time to slow, even stop a train
when the train runs over the permitted speed restriction. In order to decide the
permitted speed restriction, the ATP requires the following information [57]:

Dynamic data: the current train location and speed (detected by the
Speed Measurement function), and master controller position;

Train data: the class, length, acceleration performance, braking


performance (for service and emergency braking) and maximum
permitted speed of the train;

Route data: gradients, current maximum line speed, the line speed
profile ahead (relevant to the particular class of train) including the
start and finish points of temporary speed restrictions, the distance to
the next signal/marker/data transmission point, the distance to go
before the train must slow down or stop (the movement authority).
Besides supplying information to the sub-functions in SF, it will provide
information for other two functionalities. The Automatic Train Operation
function or driver (Manual Driving function) needs the signaling information to
guide the operation of train. Automatic Train Supervision, Centralized and Local
Manual Control needs to know the actual traffic condition.
All information is transmitted in a dedicated data communication network,
which can be classified into wired and wireless communication. The wireless
communication is used between train and trackside, hand signaling equipment
and control center respectively. In other conditions it is wired communication.
No matter it is wired or wireless communication, it is safety critical if it transmit
safety related information.
2.3 Train Operation Functionality (TOF)
In addition to the above two kinds of functionality, the Train Operation
Functionality is also a key functionality in train control system.
Most of trains on railway lines are operated manually. As technology
continues to advance, the Automatic Train Operation function became feasible. It
has to operate trains in a comfortable and energy-saving way, depending on the
information collected from other functions. The information includes the current
train location and speed, train length, acceleration performance, braking
performance (for service and emergency braking) and maximum permitted speed
of the train, gradients, current maximum line speed, the delay of the front train
and so on.
It is not safety critical because it only represents the movement control
aspects of the driving function. It cannot therefore exist without the Automatic
Train Protection (ATP) function, since it relies upon ATP to provide the
movement safety functions [8, 9].
At last, the movement control is implemented through the Train
Traction/Brake Control function.

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Centralized Manual Control


Temporary speed limit order release and cancel

Local Manual Control

Automatic Traffic Monitoring

Platform
Management

Automatic Train Supervision


Automatic Train Regulation

Hand
Signaling

MA
Allocation

Automatic Route setting

Management of the Line and Wayside Unit


signals, track circuit, points, balisesLEU
Line Information Collection
(status of points, slope, curve, route information

Train Location

Interlocking
(to ensure the interlocking logic)
In Cab Signaling

Wireless Communication

Speed Measurement

Automatic Train Operation

Wired
Communication

Train Integrity Check


Automatic Train Protection

Movement Control

Manual Driving

Train Traction/Brake Control


Key

Safety Critical Function

Data Flow

Figure 1:

Non-Safety Critical Function

Function-oriented model of a train control system.

As mentioned above, the three functionalities have the principal task of


ensuring the safe separation of trains. Meanwhile, they affect the performance of
train control system in aspect of capacity. The train control system should
provide a means of improving the performance. So, the train control system has
competing requirements placed upon it: those of safety (safety critical functions)
and those of operational capacity (capacity related functions). Based on the
aforementioned functions, a function-oriented model of train control system is
shown in fig. 1. It is a generic model because no special equipment is involved.

Two-layer framework for modeling train control systems

3.1 Two-layer framework


According to the study in [10], the NaSch model(one of cellular automaton
models) has been proposed to simulate the railway traffic. Some complicated
traffic conditions, such as mixed traffic, overtaking, can be generated. These
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28 Computers in Railways XII


studies demonstrate NaSch model is applicable to simulate the dynamic of the
railway traffic.
However, there is a problem in the NaSch model. Since it is too complex to
achieve full functions of train control system by using rules, it uses some basic
rules to describe the functions of train control system in a relative simple way.
This leads the decrease of the accuracy of the model, and that will have bad
influence on the study of the train control system when using the NaSch model.
Actually, these functions are generally achieved through the interactions
between the units, which are distributed in the railway system. So it is doable to
model the functions of the train control system through the interaction between
agents in multi-agents system (MAS).
So, we proposed a two-layer framework for modeling train control system:

The upper-layer is designed by the agent technology based on the


function-oriented model of train control system. The interaction
between agents can achieve the functions of train control system.

The lower-layer is the cellular automata (CA) railway model to


simulate train following dynamic. The CA model provides the
knowledge needed by the agents to make decisions and react upon the
decisions.

Figure 2:

Sketch of the two-layer framework.

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3.2 Design of train control systems by agents


In general, the railway traffic system consists of many autonomous, intelligent
units, which are distributed over a large area and interact with each other to
achieve certain goals. These units may be completely different: drivers, trains,
signals, but all of them have a high degree of autonomy, actively perceive the
environment and act upon that environment. Owing to these characteristics,
many systems in this domain are developed based on an agent approach [11, 12].
Vernazza and Zunino [13] proposed a methodology which is to use
Distributed Artificial Intelligence techniques to overcome the limitation of the
centralized methodologies. It exhibits an upper bound on the size of the
controlled area because of the requirement of real-time processing.
Intelligent agents have successfully solved the train pathing problem on a
small portion of railway network [14]. Next, based on this research, Blum and
Eskandarian [15] introduced a method to enhance the collaboration of the agents.
A protocol is proposed that makes the agents operate as efficiently as possible.
One of the most recent references about multi-agent railway system [16],
presents a multi-agent system for communication based train traffic control. The
system infrastructure has an architecture composed of two independent layers:
Control and Learning. Control layer includes three agent types:
Supervisor, Train and Station.
In order to design a system by agents, several components have to be defined
precisely: the agents, the interactions and the environment.
3.2.1 Agents
In our generic model, we propose three categories of agents:

SCF agents that achieve service control functionality. They detect conflicts
and find a solution to minimize delay time. To find a solution, many
intelligent technologies, such as expert system, compute intelligence,
machine learning and searching, can be used.

SF agents that achieve signaling functionality. These agents includes the


signaling-related information which is the aspect of signal, slope, curve, the
status of points (lock or unlock, normal position and reverse position), train
position, train integrity, train route information.

TOF agents that achieve train operation functionality. Each TOF agent is
the abstract model of an actual train running on the railway network and its
dynamic status can be collected by SF agents.
3.2.2 Choice of interaction method: the environment modeling approach
Interactions between agents through message exchange are an important part of a
multi-agent system. Our interaction model is based on EASI model
(Environment as Active Support of Interaction) [17]. In this model, agents share
a common communication media, the environment, which is used to support
interactions. The environment contains description of messages and agents,
which is represented by a set of entities, 1 ,..., m . An entity i is
related to a component of the MAS and has a description given by observable
properties. In order to find these properties that it is interested in, the agents have
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30 Computers in Railways XII


the ability to put filter in the environment. A filter

f j is the description of the

constrains on the observable properties of the entities that are related to the
connection j .In other words, a filter is a reification of a connection, by which a

message transmitted. Let P p1 ,..., pn be the set of the n observable

properties of the MAS. An observable property pl is a function that gives for an


entity

value

that

can

be

used

for

the

connect,

pl P, pl : d l unknown, null , with dl the description domain


of pl . dl can be quantitative, qualitative or a finite data set.

Figure 3 shows an illustration of our environment modeling for a scenario in


railway. Here are four entities, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 that are respectively the
description of the train operation agent TOA1 and TOA2 , of the service control
agent SCA1 and of the message m1 . The train operation agents have three
properties called pos , speed and connectionObject , which is for position,
speed and its connection object respectively. The value pos 1 is the position

of a train who is represented by TOA1 ; the value pos 3 is unknown

because the value has not been given; the value pos 4 is null because 4
does not have this property in its description. The value of a property can be
modified by the agent in real-time.
According to the Definition of Filter in [17], three types of filter can be
defined and put into the environment: reception, emission and interception filter.

1 id , "TOA1" , class, " CBTC / ATP " , pos, val _ pos _ 1 , speed , " val _ speed _ 1 ,
connectionObject, " SCA1"

3 id , " SCA1" , pos , unknown , pos _ start _ management , " val _ pos _ 3" ,
pos _ end _ management , " val _ pos _ 4" , rank , " local "

4 sub, " delay" sender, "TOA1" , receiver, " SCA1"


2 id , "TOA2" , class, " CBTC / ATP" , pos, val _ pos _ 2 , speed, " val _ speed _ 2 ,
connectionObject, " SCA1"

Figure 3:

Example of EASI interaction model.

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31

Reception filters: to search the value of a specified property for the


agent to decide the receiver. For instance, if the agent has an id
property, the filter that enables interaction based on the value of this
property is a reception filter.
env
f reception
[id (a) " SCA1" ],[ sub(4 ) " delay" ]

, " reception",0, environment

This type of filter is put by the environment generally.


Emission filters: to match the potential receivers of a message. For
instance, the delay message should inform to not only the local service
control agent SCA1 but also the central service control agent SCA2 .
TOA1
f emission
[rank (a ) " central" ] [ sons (a ) " SCA1" ],

[ sub(4 ) " delay" ], " emission",0, TOA1


This type of filter is put by TOA1 generally.

Interception filters: to allow the agent to receive a message that has


not been sent to it directly, but it is interested in. For instance, the
delay message from TOA1 may be useful to the control of TOA2 .

TOA2 is the following train of TOA1 . Hence, TOA2 can put an


interception filter to overhear the delay message from TOA1 .
TOA 2
fintercepti
on [id ( a ) "TOA2" ],[ sub(4 ) " delay" ]

[ sender (4 ) "TOA1" ], "int erception",0, TOA2


The example of the three types of filter is illustrated in Figure 4.

env
reception

TOA
emission

TOA
f intercepti
on
2

Figure 4:

Transmission scenario of a train delay message.

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32 Computers in Railways XII


3.3 CA model for rail traffic dynamic simulation
The lower-layer extends the model in [18]. The state of a cell is not only a
symbol of if there is a train but also used to represent other information of
infrastructure on the track-side. The information possibly includes the status of
signal and point, slope, curve, and so on. More details can be found in [18].

Simulation

In this section, we apply the proposed framework in our simulation. The


simulation is based on a 8000 m long line, which has three stations A, B and
C. The stations A, B and C are located at 1 m , 4000 m and 8000 m
respectively. Trains depart from station A successively with interval I under a
moving block system and stop at station B for a dwell time Tdw , then leave and
run to station C. Finally, they move out of this system after staying at station C
for Tdw . The length of the computational time is taken as T 1000 s . The
other parameters used in the simulation are as follows:
(1) Train acceleration and deceleration is a 1 m / s and b 1 m / s ;
2

(2) Train length LT 100 m ;


(3) Safe distance Ls 60 m ;
(4) Maximum speed of train Vmax 20 m / s ;
(5) Speed limit of line SLi 20 m / s, i ( 1, L) ;
(6) Interval of the trains departure time at station A I 60 s ( I is a
variable when we calculate the minimum time headway);
(7) Dwelling time at the station B and C Tdw 30 s , and for the delayed
train 106 the dwelling time is Tdw 60 s .
Based on the proposed framework, a train delay scenario is simulated and the
simulation results are shown in Figure 5. The Train 106 is delayed at station B in
Figure 5(a). If the following train 107 does not percept the delayed information,
it results that the following train 107 has to stop outside of station B (The dotted
line in Figure 5(a)). After rescheduling, the Train 106 will have a new departure
time. In our model, the message of the new departure time (or the delay of the
train 106) can be overheard by the following train 107 by an interception filter,
which it put in the environment. With this information, it could brake earlier and
run with a slow speed as shown by the dotted line in Figure 5(b). The
optimization of their speed profile will avoid stop and benefit their energy-saving
and comfortable object.

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30

30
Train 106
Train 107

Train 106
Train 107

25

25

20
Velocity(m/s)

Velocity(m/s)

20

15

15

10

10

5
station B
0
3300

3400

3500

3600

3700 3800 3900


Postition(m)

4000

4100

station B

4200

4300

0
3000

3200

3400

(a)

3600
3800
Position(m)

4000

4200

(b)
Figure 5:

33

Results of simulation.

Conclusions and future research

In this paper we present a two-layer framework for modeling train control


system. The upper layer describes a function-oriented model of train control
system by using an agent-based approach. The agents in the proposed framework
are classified into three types: SCF, SF and TOF agents. The interaction between
agents is based on a model called EASI. The model defines an interaction in a
generic way to achieve some functions of train control system. The lower layer is
a CA model that describes the perception and reaction of agents in upper layer. It
represents the actual dynamic of railway traffic.
The preliminary simulation result demonstrates the availability of the model.
Until now this has been a framework. Through the proposed framework, the
agents in the system can get more information. The use of the available
information is not discussed in this paper. The future research should focus on
how to optimize the performance of the train control system by using the
available information.

Acknowledgement
The project is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China under
Grant No. 60634010 and Major Program of Beijing Municipal Science &
Technology Commission "Comprehensive research and core technology
development to improve the urban rail transportation efficiency".

References
[1] Short, R.C., Fundamentals of Signalling and Train Control
Systems,presented at the IEE Power Division Sixth Vacation School on
Railway Signalling & Control Systems, 1996.

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34 Computers in Railways XII


[2] Khessib, M., Improved energy exchange by central train control, University
of Birmingham, 1989.
[3] Nock, O., Railway signalling, A & C Black, London, 1980.
[4] Woodland, D., Optimisation of Automatic Train Protection Systems,
Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University
of Sheffield, Sheffield, 2004.
[5] Barnard, R., SELCAB Automatic Train Protection for British Rail's
Chiltern Lines, presented at the Aspect'91 International Conference
Proceedings 1991.
[6] Dapre, S., Introduction to Signalling - Automatic Train Control, Institution
of Railway Signal Engineers, 1999.
[7] Rose, J. & Fisher, A., Flexible Automatic Train Control: IRSE, 1989.
[8] Taskin, T. & Allan, J., Overview of Signalling and Train Control Systems,
presented at the IEE Power Division Third Vacation School on Electric
Traction Systems, 1995.
[9] Waller, J., Control Concepts in Automatic Rapid Transit Systems, in Rail
Engineering The Way Ahead, London, 1975.
[10] Li, K.P., Gao, Z. & Ning, B., Cellular automaton model for railway traffic.
Journal of Computational Physics, 209(1), pp. 179-192, 2005.
[11] Lind, J., Fischer, K., Bocker, J. & Zirkler, B., Transportation scheduling
and simulation in a railroad scenario: A multi-agent approach. Logistik
Manage, eds. Kopfer, H. & Jou, R.C., Springer: Berlin, 1999.
[12] Bcke, J., Lind, J. & Zirkler, B., Using a multi-agent approach to optimise
the train coupling and sharing system. European Journal of Operational
Research, 131(2), pp. 242-252, 2001.
[13] Vernazza, G. & Zunino, R., A distributed intelligence methodology for
railway traffic control. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, 39(3),
pp. 263-270, 1990.
[14] Tsen, C. K., solving train scheduling problems using A-teams, Ph.D.,
Carnegie Mellon University, USA, 1995.
[15] Blum, J. & Eskandarian, A., Enhancing intelligent agent collaboration for
flow optimization of railroad traffic. Transportation Research Part A, 36,
pp. 919-930, 2002.
[16] Proenca, H. & Oliveira, E., MARCS Multi-agent Railway Control System,
Lecture notes in computer science, pp. 12-21, 2004.
[17] Saunier, J. & Balbo, F., Regulated multi-party communications and context
awareness through the environment. Multiagent and Grid Systems, 5(1), pp.
75-91, 2009.
[18] Xun, J., Ning, B. & Li, K., Multi-objective optimization method for the
ATO system using Cellular Automata. Computers in Railways XI Computer System Design and Operation in the Railway and Other Transit
Systems. vol. 103, eds. Allan, J., Arias, E., Brebbia, C. A., Goodman, C. J.,
Rumsey, A. F., Sciutto, G. & Tomii, N., WIT Press: Toledo, pp. 173-182,
2008.

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Computers in Railways XII

35

A new train GPS positioning algorithm in


satellite incomplete condition based on
optimization and the digital track map
X. Jia1,2, D. Chen1 & H. Wang2
1

State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,


Beijing Jiaotong University, China
2
School of Electronics and Information Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
The train positioning plays a key role in the train control system. The current
train positioning is determined by the track circuit or balise, which cost a lot to
build and maintain. GPS (Global Positioning System), one kind of GNSS
(Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning technology, provides a cheap
and real-time option. However, the inherent defect of GPS positioning is the socalled incomplete condition of GPS when less than four satellites are effective.
This paper presents a new train GPS positioning algorithm based on the digital
track map and optimization method for the incomplete condition of GPS. First,
the track piece where the train is located is identified at the moment when the
GPS satellite signals become incomplete. Then, a straight-line equation
constrained by the pseudo-range equation is deduced. Finally, the estimated train
position is obtained by minimizing the sum of the squared errors, which is solved
by the gradient descent method and compared with the actual location in the
digital track map. After the experiments were carried out in Sanjia dian Station,
Beijing Railway Station, to get the field GPS positioning data, the performance
of the proposed algorithm was evaluated and analyzed. The results demonstrated
that the accuracy and stability of train positioning employing the proposed
method were improved in GPS satellite incomplete condition (SIC).
Keywords: railway, GPS, incomplete condition, digital track map, optimization
method.

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36 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
With the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, railway transportation plays a
more and more important role in the national social and economical
development. In the train control system, the train positioning is one of the key
techniques. Obtaining accurate train position data is a prerequisite for the train
safety and control. The present train positioning mainly depends on ground
equipments, such as track circuits, balise and so on. However, ground
equipments cost a lot to build and their security and the maintainability are not
easy, which has greatly increased railroad worker's labor intensity. Furthermore,
it is obviously advantageous to use GPS positioning for the train control system
in reducing cost in infrastructure and maintenance, especially for low-density
railways [1].
GPS is one kind of modern navigation technology whose applications are
getting more and more widespread in transportation, surveys, geodetic and so on.
However, GPS positioning also has its flaws: GPS receivers cannot work in
satellite incomplete condition (SIC). When vehicles travel in some areas, such as
urban tall building areas, tunnels and multi-level crossing bridges, some GPS
satellite signals are often covered. In this case, the number of satellites is less
than four or the geometric distribution received from satellite is non-uniform [2].
In particular, when GPS is applied in the train integrity inspection, the GPS
antenna installed in the vehicle hook in the train rear part is easily occluded by
the compartment [3].
Lin studied the problem of ground emitter positioning by a satellite cluster
composed of three satellites and proposed an iterative algorithm based on a
digital map for the urban traffic application [4]. Zou proposed a DR (Dead
reckoning) positioning algorithm using Doppler and range data as the
complementary information when the number of effective satellites was three.
[5]. Liu proposed a positioning algorithm using a virtual satellite when the
satellite number is three for train integrity inspection, checking with the GPS
receivers in the head and tail of a train [6]. In a certain moment when the
receiver in the tail of a train only receives three satellites signal because of
carriage occlusion, the fourth constraint equation is added by making the height
in the head and in the tail the same, which is called the virtual satellite assisted
positioning method. Then, the three satellites with visual simultaneous equations
can obtain the position solution of the rear. This method is easy to understand
with few errors, but still needs three satellites and employs the four-star location
model restrictions. Li proposed a GPS autonomous integrity detection method
and a train-positioning algorithm assisted by a digital track map [7]. However,
the algorithm was also in accordance with the four-star positioning mode. The
linearized pseudo-range equation and track map data were used as the fourth
constraint. However, these algorithms must be given an initial value, which has a
deep influence on the results. The process assumed zero elevation changes,
which cannot apply to larger areas of undulating terrain.
In this paper, we propose a solution for this GPS positioning incomplete
condition, which combines the digital track map information and the
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37

optimization method [8]. As the train is running on a fixed track, there are some
strict regulations: Tracks approximately approach straight lines or curves with
big curvature radius; any track has lots of nodes, such as turnouts, signals,
insulation sections, kilometer marks and so on. All of this makes digital track
maps easily described. In practice, a large number of low-cost GPS track data
and a small number of high-precision nodes (turnout generally, signals and other
properties points) can be used to describe the digital track map. Track straight
lines can be fitted into the equivalent linear equations; curved tracks can be
divided into several sections of line segments for approximate description and
each track section of the endpoint nodes are high-precision [9].
In SIC, the results of position resolution equations due to the lack of
conditions cannot be solved. However, we can use the digital track map as a
constraint to achieve satellite positioning in the SIC according to the features of
the digital track map. In this way, we not only use characteristic of the digital
track map, which is not easily affected by outside influences and has high
stability, but also use the optimization method to decrease the positioning error.

Positioning model in the satellite incomplete condition

When the number of available satellites is more than four, it is defined as the
satellite complete condition (SCC), where the trains position is calculated by the
traditional pseudo position method, as shown in Fig. 1.
The distance between satellites and a GPS receiver can be calculated by
equation (1).
(1)
t c

c : The velocity of light;


t : The signal propagation time.
Then, the trains position can be calculated by equation (2):

j ( x j xu ) 2 ( y j y u ) 2 ( z j z u ) 2

j
j
c d tr d tsj d ion
d trop

(x2,y2,z2)

(x1,y1,z1)

Figure 1:

( j 1,2,3,4 )

(x3,y3,z3)

(x4,y4,z4)

Schematic diagram of positioning theory.

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(2)

38 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 2:

Schematic diagram of the track segment.

j : The geometric distance between the satellite position by satellite


broadcast ephemeris and receiver;

x j , y j , z j : The three-dimensional coordinates of satellite J;


d tr : Receiver clock error;
d tsj : Clock error of satellite J;

xu , yu , zu : The three-dimensional coordinates of the receiver;


j
: The distance deviation by the ionospheres effects of satellite J;
dion

j
dtrop
: The distance deviation by the tropospheres effects of satellite J.

When the number of available satellites is less than four, which is defined as
the SIC, the trains position is calculated with the help of the digital track map.
First, the track segment that the train belonged to is judged, as illustrated in
Fig. 2.

xu X 1 yu Y1 zu Z1
k

X1 X 2 Y1 Y2 Z1 Z 2

(3)

k [0,1]
From equation (2) and equation (3), we can get equation (4).

f j
(x j (k(X2 X1) X1))2 ( y j (k(Y2 Y1) Y1))2 (z j (k(Z2 Z1) Z1))2 (4)

j
j
c dtr dtsj dion
dtrop
j

( j 1,2,3)
Then the train positioning can be achieved by using the gradient descent
method, which calculates k by minimizing the E ( E ( pfi )2 ). Assuming that

the initial value of k is 0.5, we get the updated value of k as follows:

k i 1 k i

E
k

k ki

k i 2 * pf i
i

pf
k

(5)
k ki

where is the learning rate, we set it as 0.1 in the beginning of the algorithm. A
heuristic rule is applied to assure the stability of the optimization method. If the
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39

E decreases two times continuously, we increase at 10%. However, if E


decreases and increases alternately twice, we decrease it also at 10%.

3 The proposed positioning algorithm


According to the model, the steps of the proposed positioning algorithm are as
follows:
Step 1; Judge the number of satellites received. If the number is more than
four, use the traditional pseudo positioning method; if the number is less than
four, go to step 2.
Step 2; Judge the number of segments the train belongs to and then load the
coordinates of the nodes of the segment.
Step 3; Using the node coordinates and the satellite information to calculate
the position of the train by the descent gradient method.
The flow chart of the algorithm is shown in figure 3.

4 Results and analysis


The data collection and experimental validation was conducted in Sanjia dian
Station, Beijing Railway Station. Experimental equipments were the Novatel
(DL-4) GPS Receiver and the cart especially designed for track measurement, as
shown in fig. 4.

Figure 3:

The flow chart of the algorithm.

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40 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Figure 5:

Measurement cart and Novatel (DL-4) GPS receiver.

Digital track map model on the plane coordinate system.

The experimental steps were as follows:


Step 1: Select the track section and turnout section in the track map database
as the experimental section;
Step 2: Collect GPS satellite ephemeris and pseudo-distance and other data
using the Novatel (DL-4) GPS Receiver;
Step 3: Data extraction and processing;
Step 4: In the SCC, calculate the position using the algorithm. The satellite
incomplete condition was created by deleting some satellite signals to make the
number of satellites be two and three;
Step 5: Results comparison and analysis.
Track 16 of the station was chosen as the map model to test the proposed
algorithm, then its coordinates were transferred from Gauss coordinates into
plane coordinates, as shown in figure 5. In this model, "" means the map nodes
where signals or turnouts are placed. The line between two nodes indicates the
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41

fragment. From the mathematical point of view, the head node and the
corresponding tail node constructed a space straight-line equation. In SCC, the
position can directly be calculated by equation 2. As in figure 6, the dots on the
line in the figure are the true values; the star dots around the line are the value of
point locations obtained by a GPS receiver. The positioning error is shown in
figure 7, which means that the positioning error is less than 3.5m.

Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Result of positioning in SCC.

Positioning errors in SCC.

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42 Computers in Railways XII


In the experiment, the satellite condition was very good and about 10
satellites signals were received. To construct the satellite incomplete condition,
we deliberately chose two or three satellite signal data to validate the proposed
algorithm. Of course, the positioning errors are different with the different
satellite selection. There are many methods in satellite selection, which we do
not want to overemphasize due to the page limits.
In SIC, the result of three satellites is shown in figure 8 and the positioning
error is shown in figure 9, which means that the positioning error is less than
3 m, even less than the positioning error in SCC without using the digital track
map.

Figure 8:

Positioning result for three satellites.

Figure 9:

Positioning errors for three satellites.

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Figure 10:

43

The positioning errors for two satellites.

In SIC, the positioning errors of two satellites are obviously influenced by the
geometric distribution between the GPS receiver and satellites. The positioning
errors are shown in figure 10, which means that the positioning error is greater
than 11m. It can be found that the positioning error is much greater than that in
the three satellites condition.

5 Conclusions
In this paper, we propose a positioning algorithm using the digital track map and
optimization method in the SIC. The algorithm broke through the limit that GPS
positioning must need four or more satellites. The experimental results show that
the positioning accuracy obtained by the algorithm proposed in this paper can
meet the positioning requirements if three satellites are available. In addition, the
algorithm provides a valuable supplement and improvement for the application
of GPS technology in the railway.
Due to the limited experimental conditions, we did not do large-scale
experimental tests. Only some simulation experiments were carried out, but the
results have some reference value. In addition, the positioning error of two
satellites is still large, so how to improve the algorithm to make it work better for
two satellites or even one satellite still needs further research.

Acknowledgements
This research is partly supported by a National Natural Science Foundation of
China (NSFC) under grant number 60776833 and by the State Key Laboratory of
Rail Traffic Control and Safety (Contract No. RCS2008ZZ001,
RCS2009ZT004), Beijing Jiaotong University.

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44 Computers in Railways XII

References
[1] J. Liu, W. Wu, Train Positioning Technology of Railway and Mass Transit,
Urban Mass Transit, 4(1), 2004.
[2] X. Sang, S. Li, Study of GPS Positioning in Incomplete Condition,
Computer Engineering and Applications, 42(24), 2006.
[3] X. Chen, J. Wang & B. Cai, Research of GPS Application in Train Integrity
Monitoring, Journal of Beijing Jiaotong University, 30(2), 2006.
[4] X. Lin, Y. He, Location Method and Error Analysis for Three-Star TimeDifference System Using Digital Map, Journal of University of Electronic
Science and Technology of China, 36(4),2007.
[5] B. Zou, N. Zhang, Study on 3D Satellite Positioning Algorithm, High
Technology Letters, 10(2), 2000.
[6] H. Liu, Research and Implementation of GPS Aided Train Integrity
Monitoring Algorithm, Master thesis of Beijing Jiaotong University, 2008.
[7] C. Li, Research on Train Positioning Method Aided by Track Digital Map,
Master thesis of Beijing Jiaotong University, 2008.
[8] JSR Jang, CT Sun, Neuro-Fuzzy and Soft Computing, Pretence Hall, 2000.
[9] Y. Zhang, J. Wang & B. Cai, Research of Virtual Balise Based on GNSS,
Journal of the China Railway Society, 30(1),2008.
[10] R. Glaus, G. Peels & U. Muller, Precise Rail Track Surveying, GPS World,
2004.

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45

Simulation of a high-speed train control system


based on High Level Architecture and its
credibility analysis
Wei ShangGuan, J.-Q. Chen, B. Li, L.-N. Guo, M. Li & L.-Y. Chen
State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
School of Electronic and Information Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
The study of the simulation of a high-speed train control system has great
significance for the realization of a train control system. This paper studied the
basic theory of a high-speed train control system in China. Based on the theory
and structure of HLA (High Level Architecture), multi-resolution modelling,
simulation real-time management methods and the system architecture of a highspeed train control system simulation was studied systematically, and the
simulation result of the on-board vehicle and field centre equipment was shown.
With the aim of establishing the credibility of simulation, the methods of
VV&A, qualitative and quantitative RAMS analysis and system fault injection
were studied, which improved the credibility of high-speed train control system
simulation.
Keywords: high-speed train control system, HLA, high level architecture,
credibility analysis, multi-resolution modelling, fault injection.

1 High-speed train control system


The Chinese railway department makes a set of CTCS standards that are fit for
Chinese actual conditions by referring to the ERTMS/ETCS standards .The
CTCS standards have made an overall technical program and master plan for the
great-leap-forward development of Chinas railway signalling system. CTCS is
classified into five grades, from CTCS-0 to CTCS-4. Its structure is made up of
the railway transport management layer, the network transport layer, the ground
equipment layer and the on-board equipment layer [1, 2].
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46 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 1:

The federal structure of the high-speed train control systems


simulation platform.

CTCS is a technical specification classified into grades for different transport


requirements to be used to ensure the trains operational safety. We have
determined the need to adopt the CTCS-3 train control system, with high
reliability and high safety, as the general technical platform to be consulted for
the passenger specific line and the Beijing-Shanghai express railway.

2 High Level Architecture for modelling


High Level Architecture is a new framework for distributed simulation, which
was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to meet the needs of
interconnection and interoperability problems of a variety of simulation systems
with multiple-models, which were developed in various fields. In a HLA
simulation system, the federate is a distributed simulation system used to achieve
a particular simulation purpose. It consists of several interactive federal
members. All the applications participating federal running can be called federal
members [3, 4].
According to the functional analysis of the Simulation Integration Platform
for the Train Control System, we built the Simulation systems Federation based
on HLA. Federation members are shown in Fig 1.

3 High-speed train control system simulation system based


HLA
3.1 Multi-resolution Modelling
Multi-resolution Modelling is a modelling method that uses multi-precision and
multi-level approaches to model a system. A high-speed train control systems
Multi-resolution Modelling is defined as: in the process of modelling and
simulation, making the details of interaction with different levels of information
as the criteria, we use the method with different precision and different levels to
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descript every function of the train control system to improve simulation fidelity
or improve simulation efficiency. These precision and levels are defined as the
high-speed train control systems modelling resolution [5].
After understanding the basic structure of the high-speed train control system
and the division of the train members, to be directed against a different persons
focus on different sides of train equipment, such as ground equipment and trainground information exchange processes, we research the establishment of the
high-speed train control systems multi-resolution model on the basis of existing
research. In this paper, the high-speed train control system is divided into three
types of resolution, using details of interaction with different levels of
information as the criteria, as shown in Fig 2.
Low-resolution information (the top) is embodied by the train moving,
obtaining the speed and location information generally. Medium-resolution
information is embodied by exchanging information among members. The
establishment of this model is favoured to check whether the information
channel is established. Because this model does not involve computing
information and access, it does not only effectively reflect the interaction of
information, but does easily grasp the overall message. The high-resolution
model is embodied by the calculation of the various members of the internal
information and access, and this model can be used to test the accuracy of the
information.
3.2 Simulation of real-time management
How do we realize the data exchange between the model points? We process
data exchange with the RTI of the HLA to ensure real-time and reliability. The
RTI is assistant software system of the HLA. The basic way to improve network
trial-time is to advance the RTI performance [6].

Figure 2:

Instantiation of multi-resolution in the high-speed train control


system.

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1) With Multithread
In HLA, the process mode decides the ways that the application process
(member) calls the RTI and the RTI call callback function. At the same time, it
decides members share the CPU clock with the RTI.
There are three process modes for the RTI: single thread, asynchronous mode
and multithread. For single thread mode, the member must use the RTI and call
tick() function to complete the callback in a thread. For the synchronous mode, it
assists the multithread reentrant. It calls the RTI service with a thread and
continuous calls tick() with another thread. Its performance is better than single
thread. For the multithread mode, the member does not need to call tick().
Message process and callback could auto complete in the RTI. There is no
message starvation state and message obstruction state. Because this makes full
use of the CPU clock, it effectively improves network real-time.
2) Further Improvement to the Data Filtering Mechanism
Net data excess leads to network obstruction and delay. HLA provides a data
filtering mechanism based on class and value to limit redundant data in the
system and reduce system source pressure. The communication mechanism that
points to multipoint in distributed interactive simulation applies multicast
communication well in a distributed interactive simulation environment,
especially combined with the data filtering mechanism, leading to reduced
network traffic and simulator point communication load. As a result, it improves
the systems scalability.
3) Improve Time Management Algorithm
Data manage (DM) and time manage (TM) are the focus and difficulty points of
HLA/RTI. The RTIs time management algorithm used for reference Parallel
Discrete Event Simulation (PDES). Its important key is Lower Bound of Time
Stab (LBTS). Based on the test data of the network delay aforementioned, we
can establish that there is a message transfer delay between nodes, which is
caused by time advance. When a member requires the RTI to provide a Time
Advance Request (TAR), the RTI provides LBTS to the members who ask for a
TAR, according to members TM mode (time limit and time limited) and their
logic time and time lookahead, and reacts to the request. Improving the time
management algorithms key improves the time advance requests reaction. In
other words, it is a LBTS algorithm.
4) Improve System Real-time from the Application Level
Considering that the time-delay of the RTI responding to the time advance
request from the federate is the main factor in affecting the real time of the
system, we can reduce the times taken to request, even coordinating the time
advance request without the RTI. In that case, the real-time performance of the
system will be significantly improved. Based on such consideration, a new
improved strategy is researched in this paper. Experimental studies show that the
strategy can effectively reduce the time-delay caused by the RTI and improve the
real-time performance of the system.
Time management service is an important aspect that the HLA distinguishes
with the DIS system. In addition, it is the problem of bottleneck that affects the
real-time performance of HLA. With the problem of bottleneck unsolved, we can
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coordinate the time synchronization between the federate by an application layer


without the time management service, and the other services that the RTI
provides are still valid.
Fig. 3 shows that the time management mentioned above integrates into the
simulation of the high-speed train control system. Through reducing the number
of time advances in the application layer, it can save time. The time advance
strategy of the RTI itself is achieved by improving the data filtering mechanism,
using multi-thread, improving time management algorithms according to the data
needs of the application layer.
3.3 Architecture of high-speed train control system simulation
Because of the problem that using simulation becomes more and more
complicated, it is meaningful to improve the authenticity, timeliness, usability,
reusability and interoperability of the simulation of the high-speed train control
system with using High Level Architecture (HLA) [7].
The high-speed train control simulation system is divided into the simulation
management subsystem and simulation equipment modules, which are put
together into the HLA/RTI environment as federations. Fig. 4 shows the
architecture of the system.
The simulation management subsystem includes a line database, verify and
analysis module and simulation management module. Before the simulation, it
can complete the data preparation and configure other federations by the
HLA/RTI underlying environment. During the simulation process, it can start the
simulation and issue orders. After simulation, it can verify and analyze the data
and evaluate the entire platform.
Simulation equipment modules include the interlocking module, CTC
module, train control centre, etc. As a result of HLA, we can separate the bottom
environment and the application layer, and each simulation module can be
individually designed according to different needs and concerns with different
algorithm models.

Figure 3:

Time management module plan.

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50 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Architecture of the high-speed train control system simulation


based on HLA.

Figure 5:

On-board equipment speed control modelling.

3.4 Simulations
The on-board equipment and ground equipment are achieved based on the HLA
multi-resolution modelling method and time management strategies in this paper.
Fig. 5 shows the simulation of vehicle equipment. Fig. 6 shows the simulation of
the 3D view and the DMI module simulation. Fig. 7 shows the ground
equipment, CTC module and interlocking module simulation.

4 Analysis of credibility for simulation


After the high-speed train control system simulation is built, the analysis of
credibility for the simulation system is needed based on the simulation
environment.
4.1 Loop simulation model and analysis of VV&A
At present, there are two categories for train control system simulation, one is
total digital simulation, and the other is loop simulation. In the design and
assessment of a complex train control system, the latter is more beneficial, which
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can not only descript the process of train running, but also can put the real
equipments into the simulation. In order to ensure the credibility of the train
control system, the VV&A workflow is used, as shown in Fig. 8.

Figure 6:

Figure 7:

On-board view and DMI.

Simulation of CTC and interlocking.

Concept

model

Figure 8:

check

results

VV&A flowchart of simulation.

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For the problems of the credibility of complex system, such as the high-speed
train control system, after analysis, synthesis, determination and formation of
function modules related to the credibility problems, and according to the
relationship and importance, the function structure is shown in Fig.9.
There is only one factor in the highest layer of the complex simulation
system that is credible for the purpose of solving problems, which is also
the overall goal, so this layer is also called the target layer.
The middle layer represents the intermediate links that adopt and implement
the programs used to achieve the overall goal, which is generally called the
strategy layer, constraint layer or rule layer. Through the analogy,
according to the characteristics of the simulation system, the middle layer is
designed to the subsystems credibility and function modules credibility,
such as the subsystems credibility (1,2,,m) and function credibility
(1,2,,n), which can be further broken down based on the actual system.
The bottom layer is the credibility of the sub-function modules. These subfunction modules are characterized as being more independent and credible
and they are easily measured, providing more detail than the middle layer.
4.2 High-speed train control system for qualitative and quantitative
analysis of RAMS
RAMS is the reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety of the short.
RAMS in the train control system is subject to the following aspects: fault
source triggered within the system, failure source introduced in the system
operation phase, failure source introduced in system maintenance activities.
RAMS and their interrelations in the train control system are shown in Fig.10.
In order to achieve quantitative analysis of the RAMS in the train control
system, they need to define a quantitative expression. The tandem structure of

Figure 9:

Simulation system function structures chart.

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Figure 10:

53

RAMS and their interrelations.

the train control system usually use means time between failures (MTBF) to
measure each subsystem and the entire subsystem reliability [8].
(1)
1
MTBFSystem

q
i

i 1

The train control systems maintainability is expressed by the average time


required to identify the failure and return to normal state and maintenance
convenience. Usually we use mean time to repair (MTTR) to measure this,
expressed by the formula:
(2)
q MTTR
n

MTTRSystem

i 1

q
j 1

where qi is the number for

i device and i is the failure rate for i device.

In the quantitative analysis of the system RAMS, the Markov method has
powerful functions. It can fully reflect impact from the system testing and
maintenance and the time-varying characteristics of real-time response systems.
The Markov method can also be calculated using a number of different RAMS
indicators, such as the system reliability within a certain time period, the
availability of a moment and the MTTF.
For the general mathematical model of the Markov chain, suppose
{ X ( n), n 0,1,2,......} is a value in the E {0,1,2,......} or E {0,1,2,......, N } on a
random process, the former expressed as an unlimited number of states. In the
latter case, it is expressed as a limited number of state spaces. The following
formula will be used for the definition of Markov chains.
Suppose { X (n), n 0,1,2,......} random sequence of discrete state space for E .
If for any m non-negative integer n1 , n2 ,......, nm (0 n1 n2 ...... nm ) and any
natural number k , and arbitrary T, to satisfy:
P{ X (nm k ) j | X ( n1 ) i1 , X (n2 ) i2 , X (nm ) im }
(3)
P{ X (nm k ) j | X (nm ) im }
This illustrates an important property of the Markov process: it has a no aftereffect nature, which is also known as non-memory. The RAMS analysis
flowchart based on the Markov chain is shown in Fig. 11.
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Start

End

To understand system function


and structure ,To determine the
meaning of failure

Solve the model, obtain


Analysis results

Carry out FMEA

Simplified model

Divide into Safety And


Dangerous Fault, Calculate
Failure Rate

Establishment Model

Determine the failure


detection and commoncause failure the details ,
divide the corresponding
failure rate further

Figure 11:

RAMS analysis flowchart based on the Markov chain.


F a u lt p a tte rn b a s e
F a u lt
case

C ase
c o m b in a tio n
In te rfa c e

In je c t
a lg ris m

DMI

C3 simulation system

In te rfa c e
In te rface

In te rfa c e
In te rfa c e
D a ta
O b ta in
a n a ly z e
re s u lts
E v a lu a tio n m o d u le

Figure 12:

General structure of the software fault injection system.

Through the merger of the state, the Markov model can be greatly simplified.
In addition, there are a number of other Markov model simplification techniques,
for example, the system decomposition and model compression. In the case that
the system is relatively large and complex, one can use these technologies.
4.3 Realization of the fault injection system
The general structure of the software fault injection system is shown in Fig. 12.
This system has three modules, a fault injection module, fault pattern base and
evaluation module [9].
The fault pattern base plays an important part in fault injection. A good fault
pattern base could improve fault injection quality efficiently. The fault patter
base is composed of the fault case coding module, fault tree module, automatic
evaluation module and evaluation result module, as shown in Fig. 13.
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Fault Pattern Base

Fault case coding


module

Fault case coding


Data base storage
Tree-view model
Edit/delete

Automatic
evaluation module

Fault tree module

Obtain fault tree


Data base storage
Component attribute
edition

Figure 13:

Obtain the minimal cut


sets, the probability of
the occurrence of the
top event,etc.

Evaluation result
module
Fault tree figure
Minimal cut sets
...

Fault pattern base function module.


Obtain T
Read and store system
information

Is there new
fault pattern?

Y
Update structural
body FAULT[T]

Is there any
injected fault?

Y
Inject fault

Figure 14:

Injection algorism.

The fault injection module finishes one round of fault injection in the
following steps: monitor simulation system, collect and transmit operation data,
read fault pattern, inject fault, stop injection. The injection algorism injects the
structural body, which is coded already, into the simulation system [10]. The
process of this algorism is: as soon as the simulation system time is obtained,
update the fault pattern structural body; according to the structural body, the fault
inject place and fault data are obtained; intercept transmission data and inject
fault data.
The fault injection module finishes one round of fault injections in the
following steps: monitor the simulation system, collect and transmit operation
data, read the fault pattern, inject the fault, stop the injection. The injection
algorism injects the structural body, which is coded already, into the simulation
system. The process of this algorism is: as soon as the simulation system time is
obtained, update the fault pattern structural body; according to the structural
body, the fault inject place and fault data are obtained; intercept transmission
data and inject the fault data. A flowchart of the injection algorism is shown in
Fig. 14.
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5 Conclusion
This paper has made a design of a high-speed train control system from a multiresolution model to reliability, analyzing step by step the needs of the high-speed
train control system, and HLA is used as the simulation supporting environment.
The HLA environment can meet the distributed requirement of the high-speed
train control system; Improved RTI time management can meet the requirement
of real-time. The high level architecture can show the interaction between
modules and the data interfaces, while the multi-resolution can build the modules
based on the different concerns. Making use of the advantages of the software
simulation system, fault injection is used to inject to the system to get the
information caused by the fault; the Markov chain method is used to achieve the
qualitative and quantitative analysis of RAMS, while the analysis of VV&A
provides the basis for performance to improve and optimize the system design
and confirm the system capability. Furthermore, the methods researched in this
paper can be used to analyze effectively the high-speed train control system.

Acknowledgements
This research work was supported by the Key Program of the National Natural
Science Foundation of China (No.60736047, 60870016), Independence Research
Task of State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety
(RCS2009ZT013), Technological Research and Development Programs of the
Ministry of Railways (No. Z2009-059), Science and Technology Foundation of
BJTU (No.2008RC023) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central
Universities (No. 2009JBM005).
R.B.G. thanks Pro. Cai and Dr. Wang who had devoted their attention to my
study and guided the right research direction; thanks for my team partners, they
have given me a great deal of instructive advice on my research; and thanks for
my family, my familys self-giving love is my most important power; thanks for
everybody who has ever helped me.

References
[1] Beijing Railway Administration. CTC-2 train control system used in
maintenance [M]. Beijing: Chinese Railway Press. 2007.
[2] Xu Xiaoming, Yuan Xiange, Li Ping. Train operation control system
controlling ground equipment books column [M]. Beijing: Chinese Railway
Press. 2007.
[3] Zhang Xuguang. CTCS-3 Train Control System Technology Innovation
[M] Program of Transportation. 2008.3
[4] Qin Jiandong, Yan Changfeng, Wangdi. Collaborative ship defense
simulation system based HLA and UML [J]. Journal of Wuhan University
of Technology,2008,30(2):261-264
[5] Liu Baohong. Multi-resolution Modelling Research and development [J].
System Simulation, 2004, 16(6):1150-1154
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[6] Rachel F.M, Cuganasca P.S. Objected-oriented approach for automatic


train operation control systems [C]. Computers in Railways IX
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[7] Pataricza I, Majzik G, Huszerl Gy. Vrna. UML-based Design and Formal
Analysis of a Safety-Critical Railway Control Software Module In G.
Tarnai and E. Schnieder (eds.): Formal Methods for Railway Operation and
Control Systems (Proceedings of Symposium FORMS-2003, Budapest,
Hungary, May 15-16), L. Harmattan, Budapest, 2003:125-132.
[8] Decknatel G, Slovak R, Schnieder E. Definition of a Type of ContinuousDiscrete High-Level Petri Nets and Its Application to the Performance
Analysis of Train Protection Systems. In Engell S, Frehse, G, Schnieder E,
Hrsg. Modelling, Analysis, and Design of Hybrid Systems, Springer,
Berlin, 2002:355-367
[9] Decknatel G. Modelling Train Movement with Hybrid Petri Nets. FME
Rail Workshop, Stockholm, 1999, 99(5):11-12.
[10] Adelantado M., Bonnet S. and Siron P. Multi-resolution Modelling and
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European Simulation Symposium, 2000:1-6

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Computers in Railways XII

59

Research on a hybrid map matching algorithm


for Global Navigation Satellite System based
train positioning
J. Liu1,2, B. Cai1, T. Tang2, J. Wang1,2 & Wei ShangGuan1,2
1

School of Electronics and Information Engineering,


Beijing Jiaotong University, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
GNSS has been proved to have great potential for Safety-of-Life critical rail
applications, particularly the train control technique and railway signalling. In
the GNSS based train positioning scheme, although with the aid of inertial
sensors (e.g. the odometer, gyro, accelerator and Doppler radar) some systematic
and random errors could be reduced or limited by an appropriate measuring
method and data fusion filtering, it is significant to improve and guarantee the
positioning precision and integrity performance by using the map matching
(MM) technique in a cost effective way. In this paper, the structure of an
electrical track map database is designed according to the requirements of
precision and efficiency, the architecture of a GNSS based train positioning
system integrating INS sensors is introduced, and a novel hybrid map matching
algorithm is proposed, in which the determined train position is the integration of
the position solution from multi-sensor fusion, the identification of the similarity
or matching probability, and heading validation, with different track map levels.
As the point-to-curve and point-to-point matching strategy are adopted with
the provided feature of track map data, the adaptive performance and
completeness of the map matching algorithm is guaranteed and improved. A
field test in the Qinghai-Tibet line demonstrates that the proposed algorithm
earns high position decision accuracy and integrity with simple implementation,
which is of great practical value to precise train control and railway signalling.
Keywords: map-matching, train positioning, integrated positioning, GNSS, INS,
track map database, similarity, train control.
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60 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
The fast developing GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), including U.S.
GPS, European Galileo, Russian GLONASS and Compass in China, will play a
more important role in railway transport, especially the signalling and traffic
control. The integration of satellite navigation systems and the ERTMS/ETCS
will bring great benefits to both corridor and regional low density lines. Within
recent years, a number of R&D determination projects based on GNSS have
been carried out world-wide, such as ATCS, ARES, PTS and NAJPTC in North
America and APOLO, ECORAIL, LOCOPROL/LOCOLOC, RUNE and
GADEROS in Europe [1, 2].
China has been developing the modern train control system, named CTCS
(China Train Control System), and has reached the CTCS level 3 [3]. With the
implementation of the next generation satellite system Compass, there will be a
high demand for the GNSS technique for safety related railway applications in
China.
The position of the train is the core function of all the railway operations.
Quite different demands on an on-board GNSS based train positioning system
are required by safety related applications, mainly those concerning signalling
and train control, and one important aspect of them is to develop the positioning
system as precisely and cost-effectively as possible [46].
Due to the disadvantages of single sensor configuration for train positioning
systems, a multi-sensor based structure has been an inevitable trend to improve
the performance of accuracy, reliability and integrity. In the position sensing and
measuring process, there must be some systematic and random noise to increase
the deviation between the real train position in the Map Set Space and the
practical measurements in Measuring Space, in which the final measuring error
is the combination of sensor behaving error and the stochastic interference
(Fig. 1).
With the analysis of train position sensing, then the train positioning process,
which is aiming at the integrity, accuracy and reliability, could be divided into

Figure 1:

Architecture of the train positioning process.

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three main steps to return to the original position state constrained by the rail
track map. The three steps, integrity assurance, multi-sensor fusion and map
matching, are designed to solve the systematic, random and errors in position
decisions.
Among the three steps, the map matching calculation, which provides a link
by integrating positioning data with spatial track map data to identify the correct
geographical position and the track that the train is moving on, is the key
component to improve and realize the required performance index. In recent
years, there have been a lot of map matching algorithms developed for GNSS
based transport applications, and those approaches can be categorised into four
groups: geometric, topological, probabilistic and other advanced techniques,
which have been introduced and detailed in [7]. For the one-dimensional
character of rail trains and the switch based topological structure of rail tracks,
the geometric way is most direct approach to realize the matching process, such
as the vertical projection from the positioning fix to the connection between
candidate track points [8], correlating the angular rate extracted from the map
database to the corresponding measurements [9]. In order to be capable of
supporting the requirements of various operation conditions, the integrity,
adaptive ability and computational efficiency should be concerned in the design
of the map matching algorithm. In this paper, based on the analysis of rail track
map structure and multi sensor integration, a hybrid map matching algorithm is
proposed with similarity extraction, point matching and the heading validation in
different map levels, and the algorithm can be implemented into various train
positioning solutions.

2 Track map database for train positioning


Map-matching not only enables the physical location of the train to be identified,
but also improves the positioning accuracy, if precise track map data is available.
There must be some kind of error on the track map for the inadequate measuring
means and uncertainties derived from the generation process. So the precision of
track map is a crucial factor to the map matching approaches.
The railway track map is composed of rail track lines and the rail equipments
along the lines. Measurements of the track map are always obtained by static
measurement in a long period at the key points (such as the switch and signal
controller) and dynamic operation along the centre of track lines. With post
processing of track position measuring data and corresponding completeness, the
map could be expressed or described by the track map database, combining
discrete track line points and the attribute data.
As the cost of the track map database depends on the accuracy it holds (i.e.
higher track database accuracy leads to high complexity and expense), according
to different operation conditions, the map is generated at three levels separately,
which is as shown in Fig. 2.
For level 1, there are only position and attribute data of points of interesting
collected, which describe the most significant information of the track lines, with
high accuracy measuring, such as switch, signal controller and insulation section.
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62 Computers in Railways XII


However, the description of the rail track in this level is a low resolution
strategy, and the precision performance could be compensated by the cost
effectiveness.
For level 2, except the key track points in level 1, some characteristic points
of track curve are extracted from raw GNSS track measurements by certain curve
feature extraction and data reducing algorithm (i.e. Douglas-Peucker algorithm),
then the precision of the track description will be improved to fulfil the matching
requirements.
For level 3, regardless of the cost of track map building, the detailed curve
feature information of rail tracks are introduced by interpolating the key points
and characteristic points in level 1 and 2 as the cubic B-spline principle. A factor
of precision is employed to constrain the uniform interpolation and evaluate the
point matching performance which will be presented in following chapters.

3 GNSS based integrated train positioning


Train positioning system could get lots of benefit (i.e. lower cost, better precision
and time-space coverage) from the application of GNSS, hence GNSS technique
has been integrated into some current train control and positioning systems in the
form of core position sensor or the virtual balise. But there are still some safety
risks for the satellite based system, such as the limited SIS availability, multipath
effect, Signal-In-Space verification and the electromagnetic interference, so the
GNSS-only strategy for train positioning cannot cover the performance indices
completely, then the multi-sensor integration is found an effective approach.

Figure 2:

Structure of the track map for train positioning.

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63

It is evident that railway GNSS / INS (Inertial Navigation System) based


safety of life applications acquire highly reliable and accurate data provided by
onboard sensors. The core function of position (include the geographic location,
velocity and headings of a train, in a broader sense) could be realized by fusion
of data from GNSS receiver and INS sensors, which can be simply described as
follows: odometer, accelerometer and Doppler radar for distance calculation and
validation, and gyroscope for gyro-odometry for routing detection on switch
[11].
As an important component of train control system, multi-sensor integrated
positioning system could be introduced to current train control systems in many
ways, depending on the application level, interoperation capability and operation
context (high speed lines, low density lines, etc). With current odometer based
scheme in train control, two main integration approaches are as follow:
I. GNSS/INS enhances the odometer, in which the GNSS/INS based system is
taken as a complement to enhance the position determination function of the
current existing position sensors (the odometer with calibration from balise), thus
the integration could be realized without breaking the current configuration and
interoperation of the train control system.
II. GNSS/INS substitutes the odometer, in which GNSS/INS based system is
employed to realize the whole function of position determination, replacing the
current odometer based positioning solution, then that will be more independent
and flexible for the integration to innovate the train control architecture.
In practical implementation, approach I is more feasible for configuration
compatibility. The architecture of GNSS based integrated positioning system in
approach I is as Fig. 3.
On-board unit calculate the train position with position sensor data and the
cubature Kalman filter, which has been proved an efficient nonlinear data fusion
algorithm. The final position is determined and calibrated to the track map which
is taken as the absolute reference. In this map matching process, track map is
used as another virtual sensor in the form of a database, with the architecture
as described in former chapter.

Figure 3:

Architecture of GNSS based integrated train positioning.

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64 Computers in Railways XII

4 Hybrid map matching for position determination


Map matching is a software algorithm that is used to integrate various position
sensors data with map data to give a better position estimate of trains. It plays an
important role in the positioning system as it employs digital track map database
to improve the accuracy and reliable of positioning system, with the principle
that trains can only move along the fixed track lines.
In practical application, based on the discussion of the structure of track map
database, map in level 2 and level 3 are feasible in most conditions. As for the
different feature of the map levels, the map matching algorithm is designed and
tested separately.
To map matching in level 2, as the medium precision map data are provided,
the point-to-curve strategy is adopted for matching algorithm; the similarity
maximization principle is used to obtain the optimal matched position. Assume
p f (k ) x f (k )

y f (k ) l f (k )

is the output of multi-sensor integration at

time k , where x f (k ) and y f (k ) are train position in east and north direction,

and l f (k ) is the travelling distance. V j are track line data in level 2, including
T

the key track points and curve characteristic points, and V j x j y j l j .


The aim of map matching is to determine the matched position pm (k ) for the
calculated p f (k ) with maximal probability and similarity. The hybrid matching
algorithm combines the CKF based data fusion with the similarity identification
and heading validation. The algorithm could be divided into three key
operations:
(1) Obtain the data fusion position.
The cubature Kalman filter (CKF) is a Gaussian approximation to Bayesian
filter, with more accurate filtering performance than traditional method and less
computational cost [13]. As some inertial sensors measurements have nonlinear
relation with filtering state, the CKF approach is adopted to estimate the position
error and compensate the inertial calculation, which is the foundation to match
the map database.
(2) Acquire the candidate map segment.
Use the distance between fusion output p f (k ) and map position V j

iN
j i

to

compute the probability of the candidate segment, with a fixed length window
of N points. The Gaussian function based probability is
pca (k , j )

p f (k ) V j
exp

h
2 c

(1)

The most probable extreme point can be determined by


M f (k ) arg max pca (k , j )
j

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65

Then the other endpoint of the candidate segment M e (k ) could be selected


by the nearest strategy with train travelling distance. The curve segment M f M e
as candidate will be the map data set for matching.
(3) Similarity calculation and identification.
In order to find the matching position Pm (k ) from segment M f M e , the
similarity is employed to be the decisive factor for the point-to-curve solution.
Firstly, initialize the target model with the fusion position and candidate map
segment from step (1) and (2). The distance between p f (k ) , M f (k ) and M e (k )
in east and north are taken as the feature factors, and the initial target model can
be given as

x (k ) xmf
q1 C exp f

h0

y f (k ) ymf

q3 C exp

h0

x f (k ) xme
q2 C exp

h0

y (k ) yme
, q4 C exp f

h0

(3)

where C is the normalization factor, h0 is the bandwidth.


Then the candidate target model could be described with the same parameters.
For a candidate element P (n) M f M e , the model could be

x (n) xmf
p1 C p exp p

h0

y p (n) ymf

p 3 C p exp

h0

x p (n) xme
p 2 C p exp

h0

y p (n) yme
p 4 C p exp

h0

(4)

Finally, combine the target model and the candidate, the similarity function is
proposed for evaluation, which is defined as
4

(n) [ p (n), q ] p i (n)qi

(5)

i 1

where the similarity [0,1] , and the larger is, the more similar features are
identified between fusion position and the candidate model P (n) . The matched
position can be
Pm (k ) arg max (n)
n

(6)

The similarity based map matching process in level 2 could be described as


the upper graph of Fig 4.
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66 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Principle of the map matching algorithm.

(4) Heading validation.


For the validation of Pm (k ) to be the final matched output, an independent
testing method is adopted with the heading of the train. Under the ideal
condition, the heading variation of the train trajectory should be the same as that
with map matching. In practical train operation environment, interferences and
errors lead to some differences to a certain extent. Given a reasonable error
threshold, then the map matched position could be validated and the positioning
precision and integrity monitoring will be realized simultaneously.
Assume the error threshold is , and then the validation could be defined as

h(k ) h f (k ) hm (k )

(7)

where the h f (k ) and hm (k ) are heading at fusion position and the map matched
respectively.
To map matching in level 3, where the interpolation map data are available, as
the high precision map data are provided with predefined precision factor d ,
which is usually at decimetre level, in order to keep a balance between efficiency
of map storage and matching computation, the point-to-point strategy is used
to realize the map matching.
Map matching process in level 3 has the same step (1), (2) and (4) as that in
level 2. Here in the step (3), candidate segment M f M e provide corresponding

interpolation data set C j | M f M e

for the determination which point would

be chosen as the matching result.


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67

Similar to the acquisition of the most probable extreme point of candidate


segment, the matching operation is based on the maximum probability principle,
which is as shown in lower graph of Fig 4, where Pm (k ) satisfies

Pf ( k ) C j
Pm (k ) arg max exp
j

(8)

From the detailed analysis of the map matching in different map levels, the
whole hybrid map matching process could be unified into one flow diagram,
which is as shown in Fig 5.
In the unified process, the judgement of Interpolation data available is the
key step to vary the different map level based matching strategies. Only when
the heading validation is successful, the calculated matching position would be
used for output, and evaluation of the positioning precision and integrity.

Figure 5:

Flow of the hybrid map matching process.

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68 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 6:

Map matching compared with sensors and track map.

5 Field test and validation


In order to validate the performance of proposed hybrid map matching algorithm
in this paper, field tests have been conducted with electrical track map generated
from Qinghai-Tibet rail line in June 2009.
A high precision GNSS receiver is employed to collect position
measurements along practical tracks or at the points of interest, and then the
track map levels 13 are generated with strict criteria. Extensive map validation
collections are also taken to test and validate the proposed map matching
algorithm.
Fig 6 shows the map matching results compared with the positioning sensor
fusion and track map data from a station, where all the position coordinates have
been shifting transformed. As is shown in the elliptical area, actually the position
from sensors are even close to the track lines, however, the map matching isolate
the error and further improves the positioning accuracy.
Take travelling distance as the one-dimensional map description, Fig 7 shows
how the similarity distributes and varies in the map matching process with 193
frame sensor measurements.
The maximum similarity of every epoch indicates the matched position from
the hybrid map matching algorithm, and from the similarity based determination
process. It can be concluded that the hybrid algorithm preserves the advantages
of both the geometric and probabilistic characters. With the point-to-curve or
point-to-point strategy, the longitude-latitude-altitude-similarity /probability
character space architecture is constructed and applied to every received sensor
data frame, and then the position matching is the dynamic form of the space. As
the results of the field test and validation shown, the proposed hybrid algorithm
earns a high adaptive ability for the track map level to achieve high precision,
reliability and completeness in GNSS based train positioning.
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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 7:

69

Similarity variety in the map matching process.

6 Conclusion
In this paper, an approach for train position determination with an electronic rail
track map is demonstrated, with a novel map matching algorithm proposed for
GNSS based train positioning. Based on the architecture analysis of track map
database and the GNSS based train positioning system, a hybrid map matching
algorithm is proposed with four key steps, where the judgement for map
interpolation data is used to distinguish matching strategies in different map
level, and the heading validation for correction assurance. The proposed
approach holds high precision and computational efficiency, and field tests
validated the conclusions, including that the accurate sensor integration and
precise track map data are also crucial for realization of GNSS based train
positioning and train control.

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China
(No.60736047, 60634010, 60870016), and the Fundamental Research Funds for
the Central Universities (No.2009YJS020).

References
[1] Filip A., Bazant L., Taufer J., Maixner V., Mocek H., Train-borne position
integrity monitoring for GNSS/INS based signalling, International
Symposium on Speed-up and Service Technology for Railway and Maglev
Systems 2003, Tokyo, Japan, 2003, pp. 88-93.

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70 Computers in Railways XII


[2] Polivka A., Filip A., Satellite-Based Positioning for CBTC, the 2nd
international conference "Reliability, safety and diagnostics of transport
structures and means 2005", Pardubice, Czech Republic, 2005.
[3] Cai B., Shangguan W., Li X., Wang J., Research on supporting technology
for simulation CTCS-3 based on multi-resolution modelling, Journal of
Beijing Jiaotong University, vol. 34, no. 2, 2010, pp. 5-10.
[4] Simsky A., Wilms F., Franckart J-P., GNSS-based failsafe train positioning
system for low-density traffic lines based on one-dimensional positioning
algorithm, 2nd ESA Workshop on Satellite Navigation User Equipment
Technologies, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 2004, pp. 1-8.
[5] Filip A., Bazant L., Mocek H., Taufer J., Maixner V., Dynamic properties
of GNSS/ INS based train position locator for signalling applications,
COMPRAIL 2002, Lemnos, Greece, 2002, pp.1021-1030.
[6] Filip A., Train real-time position monitoring trials at Czech railways,
Structural Integrity and Passenger Safety, WIT press, Great Britain, 1999,
pp. 152-166.
[7] Quddus M., Ochieng W., Noland R., Current map-matching algorithms for
transport applications: State-of-the art and future research directions,
Transportation Research Part C 15, 2007, pp. 312-318.
[8] Jana H., GNSS train position integrity monitoring by the help of discrete
PIM algorithms, Journal of Applied Mathematics, vol. 2, no. 3, 2009, pp.
73-79
[9] Saab S., A Map Matching Approach for Train Positioning Part I:
Development and Analysis, IEEE Trans. Vehicular Technology, vol. 49, no.
2, 2000, pp. 467-475.
[10] Noronha V., Goodchild M., Map accuracy and location expression in
transportation - reality and prospects, Transportation Research Part C 8,
2000, pp. 53-69.
[11] Maixner V., Mocek H., Taufer J., Bazant L., Filip A., The Simulator of
Train Position Locator, COMPRAIL 2004, Dresden, Germany, 2004, pp.
477-486.
[12] Meng Y., Chen W., Li Z., Chen Y., Chao J., A Simplified Map Matching
Algorithm for In-Vehicle Navigation Unit, Geographic Information
Sciences, vol. 8, no. 1, 2002, pp. 24-30.
[13] Arasaratnam I., Haykin S., Cubature Kalman Filters, IEEE Trans.
Automatic Control, vol. 54, no. 6, 2009, pp. 1254-1269.

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71

Automated system testing of an automatic train


protection system
B. Friman & T. Andreiouk
Ansaldo-STS Sweden AB, Sweden

Abstract
The testing of safety critical software is becoming more and more automated.
Automated testing has the advantage that the tests can be carried out much more
frequently and with more numerous test cases. For low level unit testing, there
are several good tools available, such as Aunit. For system testing, however, the
test framework normally has to be specifically tailored for each project, since it
has to deal with external interfaces, e.g. man-machine-interfaces, and sensor and
control interfaces. For efficient operation, it is desirable that an automated
framework for system testing shall be able to serve both in a pure software setup, where most of the development is done, and in a hardware set-up, which is as
close as possible to the environment where the product shall operate. This paper
describes an automated system testing framework for a SIL 4 safety critical train
protection system. The testing framework can be used both in the pure SW setup and in the HW set-up, and is able to extract its test cases from readable Test
Specification documents and also produce high quality Test Protocol documents.
Approximately 98% of the system tests have been automated in this project.
The project in question is the development of STMs (Specific Transmission
Modules) for Sweden, Norway and Finland. The STMs carry out train
protection on national equipped lines lines that are not equipped with the
ERTMS (European Rail Transport Management System). A total of
approximately 1300 test scenarios are executed by the automated testing
framework.
Keywords: automated testing, system testing, ETCS, ERTMS, ATP.

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72 Computers in Railways XII

1 Testing of safety critical software


Safety critical software is normally tested in detail both on module level, and on
system level. A special requirement for SIL 4 software is that the tests must
cover all details of the system, and that this coverage has to be documented all
the way from the code and to the requirement specification. It must also be
proved that the documented tests are valid for the delivered system, meaning that
if changes have been done after the tests, then either all tests must be rerun, or
part of the tests rerun and a proof being presented that the other parts are
unaffected by the changes.
In order to limit the costs of rerunning old tests, many providers of safety
critical systems have started using tools to automate the unit tests. There are
different approaches on how to do this you can for example develop a second
implementation of each module (n-version programming) and make a set-up that
runs the twin modules in parallel and compares the outputs. You can also use
software tools which support writing of test cases and testing the expected results
automatically. There are several tools available for this kind of testing. Some of
them are script based. Other, such as A-Unit (for Ada software), use test cases
that are written in the form of Ada programs.
For system testing however, the test framework normally has to be
specifically tailored for each project, since it has to deal with external interfaces,
such as e.g. man-machine-interfaces, and sensor and control interfaces. When
you are testing on system level, the object you are testing remembers earlier
inputs and it is the sequence of inputs and outputs that defines the system
behaviour. This means that system testing has to be scenario based. You build a
scenario from the world where the system is supposed to operate. For a train
protection system, the scenario is a train that runs along a track. It starts and
stops, accelerates and brakes, runs forward and backward, and it picks up signal
information along the track, information which is used to prevent the train from
entering a dangerous area or running at a dangerous speed. When you test a
system in the laboratory, you have to build a simulated environment around it.
The environment for a train protection system consists of a train, a track and a
driver. This environment typically consists of several specially developed
hardware systems, and one or more PC computers. Once you have this
environment ready and running, you can test the train protection system
manually in the lab. During the testing, you operate the different hardware
systems, and monitor the result from various displays, PC windows, and logging
devices. To automate the system testing, you must:
1. find a way to control and monitor all the equipment from a single program
2. find a way to write the test cases that enables them to be automatically
executed and evaluated by this program
3. find a way to automatically create humanly readable test reports.
For efficient operation, it is desirable that an automated framework for system
testing shall be able to serve both in a hardware set-up as described above, which
is as close as possible to the environment where the product shall operate, and in
a pure software set-up, where most of the development is done.
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This paper describes how we have done this in the STM projects, at Ansaldo
STS Sweden, in Stockholm. STM = Specific Transmission Module, in practice
an Automated Train Protection system that runs alongside and in co-operation
with ETCS (European Train Control System) onboard systems, in order to
provide continued protection on lines equipped with local (national) signalling
systems. See ERTMS Subsets 035 [1] and 058 [2] for more information about
STM.

2 Manual system testing


Manual system testing will still be the primary method for the developers to test
new functions and bug fixes in the software in their daily work. It means that the
test environment shall both support the manual tests by the developers and the
automatic tests by the validation team. The natural way to implement automatic
system testing is thus to build it on top of the manual test environment.
The following figure shows a typical system test environment:

3 Controlling and monitoring the test equipment from a


single program
In order to control and monitor the test equipment, we first must find a way to
communicate with the PC software associated with the different devices. We

Figure 1:

The photo shows a substantial number of different hardware


devices connected to each other and to one or more PC computers.

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STM (device to be tested)

PC

Recorder
Log

S/W

Log

S/W

Test
program

track

Figure 2:

S/W

Vital computer

Sniffer
DMI

ETCS

EVC

BTM

Train and track simulator

The test system overview, now with the controlling and monitoring
connections included.

asked the developers of the different software to implement TCP/IP server ports
which we could connect to, send control directives to and read logged data from.
We must also find a way to push buttons on the DMI (Driver Machine Interface)
and to register the information shown on it. To our luck, the ETCS DMI already
had a serial port dedicated to testing, which enabled us to send simulated button
pushes using an RS 232 connection. Automatic pushing of buttons is absolutely
indispensable for automated testing. Had it been required, we have even
considered building a device with electrically controlled fingers for this
purpose. The registering of information shown on the DMI was no problem,
since we can pick it up from the high speed bus between the STM vital computer
and the ETCS EVC (European Vital computer), with the sniffer.

4 Writing test cases so they can be automatically executed


and evaluated
As mentioned earlier, system test cases normally are built as scenarios. In a
scenario for a train protection system, you describe each event along the track,
from the time when the equipment is powered-on, to the time when the test is
finished. A common way to do this is in the form of a table, where inputs are
specified on the left side, and expected outputs on the right. For automatic
testing, all inputs and outputs must be machine readable, but they must also be
humanly readable, so that the meaning of the test is comprehensible. For this

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Group

Pos.

---

+10

10

+290
(500)

11

+200

---

+1295

---

+142

Figure 3:

75

Information
Acceptance criterion
Accelerate to 70
--km/h
(Preset speed increase exists = No)
Si 160/130,
(Linking distance = 1,2*5000 + 100 = 6100 m)
5000m
(Linking margin = 0,2*5000 + 100 = 1100 m)
(Reference location = 500 m)
(Linking distance = 700 - 500 + 1,2*1000 + 100 = 1500 m)
SH 100, 1000m
(Linking margin = 0,2*1000 + 100 = 300 m)
(Linking distance will be updated because current point <
primary target point: 1500 < 6100)
(Reference location + Linking distance was passed)
(Balise erasing = SIG)
MR ceiling speed = 80 km/h
DMI indications:
--Indicator C5 = Balise failure 2/Fixed_Yellow
Text Message = 7UU Signal missing
Service brake = Yes
(Brake is
autoreleased)
Service brake = No
Accelerate to 70
km/h

An excerpt from a test case for automatic execution. Parentheses


are used for comments.

purpose, we have created a symbolic language for signal information and driving
commands, that both shall be easy to understand, and possible to compile to
binary data.
The test case scenarios have four columns Transponder id (group), position
(m), Information, and Acceptance criterion. The information column can contain
both trackside signalling information (transponder data) and driving commands.
As you can see, the scenario positions (Pos.) are relative, which makes it easier
to later insert or remove lines in the scenario. The absolute locations will be
automatically calculated by the script.

5 Distilling test cases from the test case database


In order to automatically distil the files needed to run the tests, from the test case
database, we must first export it into a public format. We chose to export it to
html, since our database tool DOORS had the possibility to export to html.
XML would have worked too, if DOORS had been equipped with an XML
exporting facility.
Below we have used the command <filtersvs> to distil all the test cases in the
database. Only the end of the summary is visible in the figure:
The test base database is approximately 1000 pages long, when printed out.
The distilling script requires approximately 45 seconds to convert the htmlversion of the database to the files needed for running the tests. If you want to
test not the entire test database, but only a chapter, it is also possible to extract a
single chapter or a single test case.
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76 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

After running the distilling script, we get a list of all files generated,
and a summary of the number and length of the scenarios.

The distilling script also checks the syntax of all the scenario information,
including position information, trackside data, train running commands and
acceptance criteria, example of output when a fault is found. Example:
*** UpdatePos: Unable to understand: "stop-pos. +70". Chapter = 3.1.4.3.1.2: a.
File="out.htm", line=30434.
The distilling function also contains a trackside data compiling function. For
the ATP-systems we are designing, the trackside data consists of telegrams from
transponders which are placed on the rail, and from which the train collect
information about signals and fixed speed restrictions along the track. In this
example you can see both the symbolic notation and the compiled binary data.
51 400 4 8 9 9 2 12 /Si 130/160, 500m
It says: At position with id 51, located 400 m after the start of the test case,
there are two transponders, one with the telegram 4 8 9 and one with the
telegram 9 2 12, and the tell that the train has passed a signal with main signal
speed 130 km/h, distant signal speed 160 km/h, and distance to next signal
500m. The amount of binary data is very small in this example, since Sweden
was first in the world with ATP systems, and the transponders at that time could
only host 12 information bits each. Modern transponders can host up to 800
information bits, thanks to better coding and CRC-technology. Here is an
example from Finland which use 180-bit balises, in this case the complete
telegrams, also the CRC-code is included:
2 200 /Si 200/200, 2500m -0,8% Sw: 80, 263m -1% +150m Sw: 35, 4900m +90m
|2211 3111 1EEE EEED 3D3D 855E EEEE 1865 2845 EE2A 153E E62C 76D5 66BE
EF47 BD74
|3211 3111 1EEE EEED 3D3D 855E EEEE 1865 2845 EE2A 153E E371 6304 CF9E
570E 39DE

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It says that, there is a transponder group at position 200m after the start of the
test case, in which there is a signal with id=2, main signal speed 200 km/h,
distant signal speed 200km/h, plus information of distance to next signal, and
two switches which reduce the allowed speed of the train.

6 Running the test cases in a PC environment


At earlier stages of development, most tests are run in a PC environment. All the
equipment that the tested ATP needs to communicate is then simulated by PC
programs. Some of these simulators are written in Ada, others are written in a
script language (X). In our case, we need simulators for the following
equipment:
ETCS (European Train Control System) the European standard ATP
system. Written in Ada. Brake curve algorithm by Friman [3] is used.
The train, including acceleration, braking, driving forward, reversing,
changing cabin, measuring brake pressure, etcetera. Written in Ada.
The track, including transponders which shall send data when the train
passes them. Written in Ada.
A profibus sniffer, which in the real test will be connected to the physical
profibus connection between the STM (national ATP) and the ETCS
(European standard ATP). Written in script language.
A recorder, which is part of the STM to be developed, and will play a role in
extracting test results in the real tests. Written in script language.
ETCS DMI, which in the real test set-up is an LCD device with pressure
sense surface to enable pushing buttons. The DMI has an input interface
(RS232) that enables automatic pushing of buttons. Written in Ada.
The driver. For automatic testing, also the driver is simulated. Written in
script language (X).
For all these simulators to work together, there is a script which co-ordinates
the entire tests. In this script you can order the test of a separate chapter, or the
entire test database. Example: <test 3.1.5+>. The + means that all the
subchapters shall also be included in the test.
The test is started by specifying which chapter in the test database shall be
tested. If the chapter is on high level, example chapter 3, then a large number of
scenarios will be run before the tests ends. If a low level chapter, e.g. 3.1.4.3.1.3
is specified, then a single scenario is run, but also a single scenario can take long
time to run, e.g. one hour. A single scenario is separated into several test cases, a,
b, c etcetera, which test different requirements belonging to the same chapter. If
a single test case is specified (e.g. <test 3.1.4.3.1.3_g>, then the test coordination script will first run the common initialisation part of the scenario, then
jump to test case g.
During the test, all output data are saved in an output data file. Here follows
an excerpt from an output data file:
20547
20586
20586
20586

(70
(70
(70
(70

km/h)
km/h)
km/h)
km/h)

Service brake = Yes


MR ceiling speed = 150 km/h
V_PERMIT = 150 km/h
V_INTERV = 160 km/h

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78 Computers in Railways XII


20586
20586
20617
20617
20652
20652
20850

(70
(70
(70
(70
(70
(70
(70

km/h)
km/h)
km/h)
km/h)
km/h)
km/h)
km/h)

Button F8 = Loss/On
Indicator C3 = 150/Fixed_Green
Button F8 = Off
Service brake = No
Text Message = 6 L U
Indicator C5 = Balisfel 1/Fixed_Yellow
Indicator C5 = Off

The excerpt above shows the output data between position 20547 and 20850
in a test scenario. The output data is seen as a number of variables which can
change value. A logging is done every time a variable changes its value. In the
example above we can both see changes on the DMI (e.g. Button F8= Off) and in
the brake interface (e.g. Service brake = yes). Since all variable changes are
logged, it will later be possible to determine the value of each variable at any
given position, just by searching for the last time it was changed before the given
position.

7 Test report generation


A test report is automatically generated after the end of a test scenario.
The test report contains the test cases, the output data, and an evaluation,
PASS or FAIL, of each acceptance criteria. The test report generator, starts with
the table containing the test cases, then evaluates the acceptance criteria and adds
a column with the evaluation result, then merges this table with the output data
file, and finally converts the now 8 column wide table into an RTF document.

Figure 5:

The test co-ordination script will start all the simulators, and put the
windows of those that shall be visible during the test, on the PC
screen.

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Computers in Railways XII


Input = svs_3.1.4.3.1.5_a_e4s1.ida
Grp Pos
Information
Acceptance criterion
11

700

SH 100, 1000m

1995 -

(Reference location = 500 m)


(Linking distance = 700 - 500 +
1,2*1000 + 100 = 1500 m)
(Linking margin = 0,2*1000 +
100 = 300 m)
(Linking distance will be updated
because current point < primary
target point: 1500 < 6100)
-

(Reference location + Linking


distance was passed)
(Balise erasing = SIG)
MR ceiling speed = 80 km/h
Indicator C5 = Balisfel
2/Fixed_Yellow
Text Message = 7UU Signal
missing
Service brake = Yes

Figure 6:

Output = svs_3.1.4.3.1.5_a_e4s1.oda
Pos +
Spd Test output
marg
704
70 MR target distance = 1200 m

1693

70

1992

70

V_PERMIT = 130 km/h


Permitted Speed Bar = 130/Grey
V_INTERV = 140 km/h
D_TARGET = 0 m
Target Distance Bar = 0
Indicator C2 = Off
Indicator C3 = 130/Flash
Slow_Green
MR ceiling speed = 80 km/h
Release speed = 10 km/h
Text Message = 7 U U
V_PERMIT = None km/h
Permitted Speed Bar = Off
V_INTERV = None km/h
Intervention Speed Bar = Off
Indicator C3 = FEL/Flash
Fast_Green
Indicator C5 = Balisfel
2/Fixed_Yellow
Indicator C7 =
Tgverv/Fixed_White

79

Res.
-

PASS
PASS
PASS
FAIL
(value
=No)

Example excerpt from a test report.

Both the evaluation of the test criteria and the merging of test cases with
output data require some amount of arithmetic calculation. For evaluation, it
must be decided at which position the expected value shall be compared with the
logged value. The calculation must then take into account the delays in the ATP
system. A similar calculation is done in the merging, in order to decide whether
an output data logging shall be on the same line or a different line as a line in the
test case scenario. The test report contains all output data, not only those needed
to evaluate the acceptance criteria. This is an advantage, because even if a test
case is targeted to test a specific requirement, manual analysis of other output
data can sometime reveal interesting insight in how the system works. Errors in
other requirements can also be discovered earlier, by analysing the output data.
In Ansaldo STS Swedish STM project, the customer has decided to allocate
some of its own experts to analyse the output data of the automated tests.

8 Running automated tests on the real hardware


The scripts which distil the test cases, and those which co-ordinate the automated
tests and create the test reports, are written so that they shall be compatible with
both the PC based environment and the real hardware environment. You can see
a picture of the real hardware test environment in section 2 above. The input files
and the output files will look exactly the same. The script will adapt to the
changes in the interfaces. For example, in the real hardware environment, a
profibus sniffer is used to monitor the output data from the STM, and a serial
interface RS232C to send simulated button pushes to the DMI. In the PC based
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80 Computers in Railways XII


test environment, all interfaces use TCP/IP. There are other differences. In the
real hardware environment, there are ID-plugs which contain installation
parameters for both the ETCS and the STM. In order to test the function of these
parameters, the system has to be manually restarted after each change of ID-plug.
In order to minimise these manual interceptions, the test case distilling script
contains a sorting function so that all test cases which use the same combination
of ID-plugs, can be run in an unbroken sequence.

9 Conclusions
Automated system testing is today an obvious part of the daily work at the
validation department of Ansaldo-STS Sweden. It does the tedious work of
repeating old test every week, and enables the personnel to focus their efforts on
developing new and exploratory tests. The increased amount of testing also
appears to boost project performance. Site acceptance test 1 for STM Finland
was successfully completed in record time, in April 2010. Finally, it can be
mentioned that the customers have expressed their trust in the automated system
tests and how they are repeated and documented.

References
[1] ERTMS/ETCS
Class
1,
Specific
Transmission
Module
FFFIS, SUBSET-035, Alcatel, Alstom, Issue 2.1.1, Date 2003-07-24
[2] ERTMS/ETCS Class 1, FFFIS STM Application Layer. SUBSET-058,
Alcatel, Alstom, Issue 2.1.1, Date 2003-11-19
[3] Friman, Bertil. An algorithm for Braking Curve Calculations in ERTMS.
Proc. of the 10th Int. Conf. On Computers in Railways, ed. C.A. Brebbia, pp.
421-429, 2006.

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81

Design and implementation of a distributed


railway signalling simulator
X. Hei1,2, W. Ma1, L. Wang1 & N. Ouyang1
1

School of Computer Science and Engineering,


Xian University of Technology, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety
(Beijing Jiaotong University), China

Abstract
The Distributed Railway Signalling System (DRSS) is a new signalling system,
in which all devices including trains, switch point and signals, as well as position
checking, interact and exchange information based on some logic constraint
relations. These devices operate independently to ensure train safety. Based on
this idea, we have presented the concept of modelling these device actions with
G-nets (an Object-oriented Petri Net tool) in Comprail 2006. In this paper, a
simulation system that we developed is introduced in order to conduct
experiments on DRSS and verify its feasibility. The simulator is based on the
concept of DRSS and includes mainly six classes and their functionality
modules: station layout automatic generation, train operation, position checking,
switch point and signal. In addition, the instance generation of all classes and
timetable design are considered in the simulator. It is possible to verify and
simulate almost all functions with this simulator, such as train protection, route
process, interlocking logic verification and terminal device procedure, etc.
Keywords: distributed railway signalling system, simulator, object-oriented.

1 Introduction
A railway signalling system has been developed over the long history of
railways, and has been vital in ensuring the safe operation of trains. However,
computers have been used in such safety-critical systems for no longer than 30
years [1], and they have demonstrated a high level of safety and reliability. One
drawback of the existing computerized railway signalling systems, however, is
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82 Computers in Railways XII


that they require the development of different software for different stations,
which tends to introduce unreliable human errors. Further, they are difficult to
upgrade due to their lack of standardization, both in hardware and software. A
possible solution to overcome these problems is to apply modular-based
technology to railway signalling systems. For this, a novel system named
Distributed Railway Signalling System (DRSS) was presented in Comprail 2006
[2]. In the new signalling system, all devices including trains, switch point and
signals, as well as position checking, interact and exchange information based on
some logic constraint relations. These devices operate independently to ensure
train safety.
It is vital to design the logic functions and control flows for such a safetycritical system. A convenient approach is to develop a simulator based on the
designed logic and control flows.
In this paper, a simulation system we developed is introduced in order to
conduct experiments and verification on DRSS. The simulator is based on
object-oriented concept and includes mainly six classes and their functionality
modules: information display module, initialization module, train operation,
position checking, switch point, and signal. Also the instance generation of all
classes, timetable design are considered in the simulator. It is possible to verify
and simulate almost all functions with this simulator, such as train protection,
route process, interlocking logic verification and terminal device procedure.

2 Distributed Railway Signalling System (DRSS)


Compare with traditional signalling system, DRSS needs not the centralized
computer for controlling the whole system. All terminal devices work
independently and exchange messages via network to ensure safety operation of
trains. In the case of a typical interlocking system, these devices include signals,
points and track units. Signals indicate whether the train can run or not by
displaying green or red. Points are devices for controlling turnouts which
determine the direction in which trains move. Track units detect whether or not
there is a train on the track. If there is, then other trains are prohibited from
entering this section of track until the first train leaves.
Consider an interlocking system in a station, the architecture and message
interaction flows of DRSS are illustrated in Figure 1. All devices are composed
of logic process part and action part. The logic process part receives/sends
messages from/to other devices, and makes decision. The action part provides
mechanical output according to the orders sent by logic process part, such as
displaying green or red for a signal device, turning over the switch for a point.
The development process deals with standardized hardware and software for
the interlocking devices. Control flows of the interlocking devices are based on
their function specification.
The development strategy of the DRSS is shown in Figure 2. Structure of
standardized devices consists of hardware part and software part. The hardware

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Control

P1
processor
and data

SS1
processor
and data

Communication
TY
processor
and data

T1
processor
and data

SH1
processor
and data

SS1
T1
X

TY2
processor
and data

(1)

Station

P1
TX1

TY2

(2 )

Figure 1:

TX1
processor
and data

TY

SH2

T2

SS2
TX
processor
and data

P2

SH1
TX

83

T2
processor
and data

SS2
processor
and data

P2
processor
and data

SH12
processor
and data

Architecture of the DRSS in the case of an interlocking system.


DRSS (for a interlocking system)
Corresponding to
stations

Standardized device models


Track Units
Signals

Hardware

Points

Software

Classes

Specification(Methods) Data(Attributes)

Figure 2:

Interlocking figure
logic relations between
devices and routes)

Initial phase
Development
phase
Internal structure of
standardized device
models

Development strategy of the DRSS.

specifications include device board design, CPU, digital circuit, input/output, etc.
The software specifications include the necessary modules design of typical
interlocking devices. Each module is similar with a class or object which inherits
from one kind of device class. The device control flows are expressed by
methods, while interlocking logic data related to a specific station are expressed
by attributes.
When the devices are initialized, the logic data will be loaded into the
devices, and then the devices operate based on these data.
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84 Computers in Railways XII


Once the devices have been verified safe enough, they can be ordered and
produced when a new station is constructed. What engineers just need to do is
analyzing the logic relations and allocating some basic attributes such as device
ID to each device.

DRSS simulator design

Authors have proposed a Petri net-based designing approach for DRSS in


reference [3]. Toward development of the DRSS simulator, object-oriented
methodology is an ideal choice. Thereby UML tools like sequence diagram, class
diagram and activity diagram are used for the system design [4, 5].

CDevice

CDeviceSignal
Figure 3:

CDeviceTrain

CDevicePoint

CDeviceTrack

Device classes and their inheritance relations.


TrainStart
TrainSendRouteRequestToSignal
SignalRouteProcess&Sig
nalLockRelativeSignal
SignalSendRouteRequest

TrackReceiveRequest
TrackRouteProc
ess

PointReceiveRequest
PointRouteProc
ess

TrackMonitorAndLock

PointMonitorAndLock

TrackSendMess
ageToSignal

PointSendMess
ageToSignal

TrackReceiveMesFromSignal

PointReceiveMesFromSignal
PointSetting

TrackPrepare
SendMessage

SendMessage
ReceiveMessage
SignalChangeGr
een

SignalSendMessageToTrain
TrainRunning&SignalTrackPoint
UnlockAndReleaseResource

Figure 4:

Activity diagram when a train is approaching a signal.

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theTrain:CDe
viceTrain

theTrack:CD
eviceTrack

OnInitTrain()

theSignal:CDe
viceSignal()

OnInitTrack()

85

thePoint:CD
evicePoint

OnInitSignal()

OnInitPoint()

SendMsg()
SendMsg()

SendMsg()

ReceiveMSG()

ReceiveMSG()
LockInterrelatedSignal()

Dispatcher()&ifReservation()

Dispatcher()&ifReservation()

DeviceLock()

DeviceLock()
ChangStatus()

SendMsg()
TrainRunning()
DeviceUnLock()&RecoverStatus()

DeviceUnLock()&RecoverStatus()

SignalUnlock()&ChangeRed()

Figure 5:

Sequence diagram of the four classes and objects.

In the DRSS simulator, there are four device classes and two function classes
are designed. Device classes include CDeviceSignal, CDevicePoint,
CDeviceTrack and CDeviceTrain, which are shown in Figure 3. These four
device classes inherit from CDevice class. Function classes include station layout
automatic generation and message. Based on these classes, the instance
generation of all classes and timetable design are considered in the simulator.
The process when a train comes can be depicted as activity diagrams of these
devices. With moving of the train, a signal will start the route reservation process
and request to lock the conflict signals. All devices which are related to the
requested route check their states and send a response message to the signal. If
and only if all these devices are ready for this route request, the route can be
reserved and the signal displays green. Figure 4 gives the activity diagram. These
procedures for sending and receiving messages and actions of each device are
predefined as member functions of class.
The sequence diagram is designed as Figure 5.

4 Implementation of DRSS simulator


4.1 System flowchart and modules
There are mainly six modules in the simulator: information display module,
initialization module, train module, signal module, switch point module and
track module.
1) Information display module: displaying system information, train
information, timetable window.

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86 Computers in Railways XII


2)

Initialization module: initializing communication module, signal module,


switch point module, track module based on the interlocking interlocking
logic relations, and initializing train module with train schedule
information.
3) Signal module: description of the associated signal, point and track,
displaying green or red based on the associated devices.
4) Switch point module: locking/unlocking point, setting position (Normal or
reverse) of switch point, indicating the reachable stations when the switch
point is in normal or reverse position.
5) Track module: determining whether the train is on some track segment or
not.
6) Train module: description the train ID, status (running or stop), the train
starting station and destination, and all pass through stations, the current
track section and the next, train acceleration and deceleration function.
The system process flowchart is illustrated in Figure 6.
4.2 Displaying stations and railway lines
For the implementation, an important step is to display the station layout
automatically. Consider the universal property, the station layout has to be record
as data and a drawing module is needed. The module can be divided into five
steps.
i.
Dividing the main window's client area (size 800 500) into 32 20
grids, each grid is 25 pixels long side.
S ystem sta rt

Sy ste m initialze
S tation a nd line
Se le ctiong
Ca llin g o th er
m od ule s

Train
in itia lize

S ignal
initialize

P oint
initialize

Trac k
initialize

M ess age loop


a nd wa it

Figure 6:

System process flowchart.

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87

ii.

Constructing an array with 21 rows 33 columns, the array subscript


(i, j) is corresponding to the main window's client area coordinates (j *
25, i * 25), where i = 0, 1 ... 20, j = 0,1 ... 32.
iii.
The element value of the array is assigned to an equipment ID or
connection mark of two adjacent rail sections when there is a device.
Otherwise, the element value is assigned to 0 which indicates that
there is not equipment.
iv.
In the array, equipment ID should be one of three kinds: switch
machine ID, track circuit (including the station platform) and signals.
Here switch machine's ID is assigned 301-399; track circuit ID is 101199 (track segment) and 201-299 (station platform), and signal ID is
401-499.
v.
Designing a switch machine table. The fields include switch machine
ID, device ID, device ID, device ID, which means that the switch
machine is associated with the three equipments followed.
vi.
Creating data for each device and drawing these devices based on the
data table described above, when the station and lines need to be
introduced.
With the drawing module above, it is convenient to display a different station
by designing a corresponding two dimension array. It executes when the
simulator initializes and a station and line is selected.
4.3 Layout of the simulator
The window is divided into four areas: main client area, system information area,
train information area and timetable area, as shown in Figure 7. Station and

Figure 7:

Main window of the simulator.

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88 Computers in Railways XII


railway lines will be displayed in the main client area. System running
information will be displayed in the system information area. Operation
information of all trains will be displayed in the train information area.
Timetable area lists the departure as well as pass through time of all trains from
the firstrun to the last-run.

5 Conclusion
The simulator shows the essential features of the DRSS: all device classes
process all messages and make decision independently. This process starts with
approach event of train. The DRSS simulator provides a platform for almost all
experiments and analysis, including exploring the effect of device amount on
message process, communication protocols design, etc. In addition, the
stochastic failures or events can be inserted into the operation process of trains.
This work will be carried out soon. Therefore, it is possible to verify control and
schedule logics and simulate almost all functions with this simulator, such as
train protection logic, route process logic as well as logic verification and
terminal device procedure.

Acknowledgement
This work is supported by the State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and
Safety (Contract No. RCS2008K008) and Natural Science Basic Research Plan
of Shaanxi Province (2009JQ8010).

References
[1] K. Akita, T. Watanabe., H. Nakamura., I. Okumura: Computerized
Interlocking System for Railway Signaling Control; SMILE. IEEE Trans.,
May 1985: Ind., 1A-21.
[2] X. Hei, H. Mochizuki, S. Takahashi. & H. Nakamura: Modeling distributed
railway interlocking system with object-oriented petri-net. In 10th
International Conference on Computer System Design and Operation in the
Railway and Other Transit System, Prague, Czech Republic, 2006, pp.309318.
[3] Xinhong Hei, Sei Takahashi, Hideo Nakamura,: Modelling and Analyzing
Component-based Distributed Railway Interlocking System with Petri Nets,
Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan (IEEJ) Transactions on Industry,
Sec. D, Vol.129 , No.5, 2009.5.
[4] Object Management Group, Unified Modeling Language Specification
v.2.0, www.uml.org, September 2003.
[5] C. Lindemann, A. Thummler, A. Klemm, M. Lohmann, and O. Waldhorst:
Performance Analysis of Time-enhanced UML Diagrams Based on
Stochastic Processes, In Proc. of the 3rd Workshop on Software and
Performance (WOSP), pp. 2534, Rome, Italy, 2002.
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Computers in Railways XII

89

Train tracking problem using


a hybrid system model
Y. Wang, R. Luo, F. Cao & B. Ning
State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
Tracking is an important problem in train operation control. A key requirement
for this problem is an accurate knowledge of the trains position, velocity, and
running mode. In this paper a hybrid system model of the trains movement is
introduced, which, for the first time, gives a clear description of the uncertainties
during the movement. Based on this hybrid model, a new hybrid estimation
algorithm is proposed in order to achieve a more accurate estimation of the
trains states, thereby improving the tracking performance. In the algorithm, the
state transition probability matrix is dependent on the operation mode.
Simulation results illustrate the good performance of the new estimation
algorithm with the hybrid system model.
Keywords: hybrid system, automatic train operation, tracking, estimation.

1 Introduction
The automatic train operation system is one of the key sub-systems in trains.
Accurate estimation of the trains velocity and position is the basis for the safety
of the automatic train operation. With that, the train tracking problem becomes
more and more important for obtaining an accurate estimation of the trains
states. Hybrid estimation algorithms have been used in many target tracking
applications, including air traffic surveillance [1, 2].
In this paper, a hybrid system model is proposed for modelling the trains
dynamics. Four operation modes, power, speed holding, coast and braking, are
modelled as the discrete states of the system, under which the train operates
based on a continuous-time dynamic equation. Meanwhile, our model considers

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90 Computers in Railways XII


the stochastic factors due to the uncertainties in the train movement. Few
literatures consider these, yet they have a great effect on the tracking problems.
Based on the hybrid model of the trains movement, a new hybrid estimation
algorithm is proposed to track the trains movement and estimate the trains
operation state. Interacting the Multiple Model (IMM) algorithm is a popular
hybrid estimation algorithm based on multiple-model Kalman filters. It has been
shown to give excellent performance with low computational cost in Blom and
Bar-Shalom [5]. However, the IMM algorithm and other similar algorithms
usually assume constant mode transition probabilities. The estimation algorithm
presented in this paper has different mode transition probabilities corresponding
to different modes, called the Mode-Dependent-Hybrid-Estimation (MDHE)
algorithm. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm achieves
more accurate tracking and estimation performance compared with the IMM
algorithm.
This paper is organized as follows: Sec. 2 introduces a stochastic linear
hybrid system model of train dynamics. Sec. 3 proposes a corresponding hybrid
estimation algorithm for the train tracking problem. In Sec. 4, the simulation
illustrates the performance of the algorithm. Conclusions are presented in Sec. 5.

2 Hybrid model of train movement


A hybrid system is a system whose evolution is driven by both the continuous
time and the discrete events. The dynamics of continuous components are
described by the traditional differential/difference equations. Only when some
conditions are satisfied, jumps of the systems state are triggered by discrete
events. In the train control system, the trains states change continuously with
time, such as velocity and position, which can be described by differential
equations [3, 6]. However, they will run into different modes triggered by
discrete events, such as the switches between traction and brake. In the trains
movement, there are four operation modes: power, speed-holding, coast and
braking. Let M {1, 2,3, 4} correspond to these four discrete modes. It is
assumed that p 0 is the traction power applied at the wheels and P is the
maximum power, q 0 is the braking force and Q is the maximum braking
force.
To describe the train dynamics in each mode, we define x [ s, s,
s ]T as the
continuous states vector, where s denotes the trains position, s denotes
velocity, and s denotes acceleration. In the hybrid model of the trains
movement, the uncertainty inherent in the trains motion is considered. The
uncertainty is due to traction and braking ability, weight bearing, climate factors
and so on, which is modelled by different white Gaussian noises with respect to
different modes. Let tk t0 kTs be the sampling time instant started from t0 ,

where Ts is the sample interval, and k 1, 2, . The train dynamics in each


mode are described as follows.

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91

2.1 Train dynamics

1)

Power Mode. The traction force is equal to the maximum power and the
braking force is zero. The control in power mode is given by p P and
q 0 . In the power mode, we model the uncertainties as a white Gaussian
noise. The train dynamics are described by
1 Ts Ts 2 / 2
Ts 2 / 2

(1)
x(k 1) 0 1
Ts x(k ) Ts Power ,
0 0

1
1

where Power is white Gaussian noise with mean zero and covariance:
2
Power E[Power
] 0.052 (m s 2 ) 2

2)

(2)
Different covariances are chosen for different modes by analyzing the train
running conditions and moving data.
Hold Mode. If the train is running at a constant speed, we call this mode
speed holding or simply hold. When the train is in this mode, the traction
power changes with various resistances and braking force q 0 . The
model is given by
Ts 2 / 2
1 Ts 0

x(k 1) 0 1 0 x(k ) Ts Hold ,


(3)
1
0 0 0

where Hold is white Gaussian noise with mean zero and covariance:
2
Hold E[Hold
] 0.032 (m s 2 ) 2

3)

4)

(4)
Coast Mode. There is no power applied and no braking in coast mode,
i.e. p 0 , q 0 . In the coast mode, the model is similar to that the model
used in power mode.
1 Ts Ts 2 / 2
Ts 2 / 2

(5)
x(k 1) 0 1
Ts x(k ) Ts Coast
0 0

1
The process noise in the Coast mode is
2
Coast E[Coast
] 0.012 (m s 2 ) 2
(6)
Braking Mode. In the Braking mode, the speed declines by full braking
force, i.e. p 0 and q Q . The dynamic model is as following:
1 Ts

x(k 1) 0 1
0 0

Ts 2 / 2
Ts 2 / 2

(7)
Ts x(k ) Ts Braking
1
1

The process noise Braking is a white Gaussian noise with mean zero and

covariance
2
Braking E[Braking
] 0.052 (m s 2 ) 2

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(8)

92 Computers in Railways XII


2.2 Measurement model

In train control systems, the measurement of trains speed and position are taken
by the corresponding sensors. All measurements are subject to uncertainty due to
the time delay and measurement disturbance. Thus, it can always be
approximated by a linear model given by
s (k )
1 0 0
(9)
z (k )
x(k ) (k ) ,
0
1
0

s
where s ( k ) , s ( k ) are Gaussian noise with mean zero and covariance:
E[ s 2 ]
0 0.1 0
R

E[ s 2 ] 0 0.05
0

(10)

3 Hybrid estimation algorithm for train tracking


We rewrite the train dynamics as a stochastic linear hybrid model as:
x(k ) Am ( k ) x(k 1) Dm ( k ) (k )
z ( k ) Cm ( k ) x ( k ) m ( k ) ( k )

(11)
(12)

Where x(k ) R and z (k ) R are continuous state and the measurement


variables, respectively. m(k ) M {1, 2,3, 4} is the discrete state at time k ,
corresponding to four different operation modes: Power, Hold, Coast, and
Braking. The process noise m ( k ) (k ) and the measurement noise m ( k ) (k ) are
n

uncorrelated Gaussian sequences with zero mean. We use m(k ) j to denote the
event that the system is in mode j at time k , and m(k 1) i to denote the event
that the system is in mode i at time k 1 . A continuous-state-dependent mode
transition matrix is defined to describe the evolution of mode m(k ) :
( x(k 1)) { ij ( x(k 1))}i , j 1,2,3,4
(13)

ij ( x(k 1)) : p[ j | i, x(k 1)]

(14)

for i, j {1, 2,3, 4} . It is worthy to note that in some linear hybrid estimation
algorithms, such as IMM algorithm, the mode transition matrix is constant and
does not depend on the states.
We propose an estimation algorithm with different mode transition
probabilities corresponding to different modes, called Mode-Dependent-HybridEstimation (MDHE) algorithm. Fig.1 shows a schematic of the MDHE
algorithm. MDHE also uses a bank of Kalman filters (KF1 to KF4) to compute
the mode probabilities i (k 1) and the continuous state estimate x(k 1) .
However, individual Kalman fitters share information about the other Kalman
fitters through new initial conditions at each time step. The components of
MDHE in Fig.1 are described as follows:

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xi (k ) Pi (k )

i ( k )
Compute mode transition
probability

Mixing

x j 0 (k ) Pj 0 (k )

ij (k )
Mode probability
update

KF1

j (k 1)

KF2

x j (k 1)

KF3

KF4

Pj (k 1)

Output

j (k 1) x(k 1) P(k 1)
Figure 1:
1)

Structure of the MDHE algorithm.

Mixing probability. This is the probability that the system is in mode i at


time k , given that it is in mode j at time k 1 ( i, j {1, 2,3, 4} )

ij (k 1| k )

1
ij i (k ) ,
cj

(19)

where c j is a normalisation constant, i (k ) is a measure of the probability

2)

that the system is in mode i at time k . It is assumed that i (0) is given,


which should be i (0) 1 for a specific mode i , with i (0) 0 for other
modes.
New initial conditions. For each Kalman filters, the initial states x0 j (k ) and
covariance P0 j (k ) are computed by weighting the output of each Kalman
filters with mixing probability as the weight
N

x0 j (k ) xi (k )ij (k 1 | k )

(20)

P0 j (k ) [ Pi (k ) [ xi (k ) x0 j (k )] [ xi (k ) x0 j (k )]T ]ij (k 1 | k )

(21)

i 1

i 1

3)

where xi (k ) and Pi (k ) are the estimation of state and its covariance of


KF i at time k .
Mode Transition Probability. The mode transition matrix is constant in
the IMM algorithm. In this paper, we utilize the objective velocity-speed
profile information to model the mode transition probabilities as modedependent probabilities. Each operation mode has a mode transition matrix
and the system switches among these matrixes depending on the objective
curve and continuous state.
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94 Computers in Railways XII


4)

Kalman filter. Four Kalman filters run in parallel and each Kalman filter
computes the x(k 1) and P (k 1) using the initial conditions x0 j (k ) and
P0 j (k ) .

5)

Mode probabilities update. The probability of mode j at time k 1 is


computed as follow
N
1
j (k 1) j (k 1) ji i (k )
(22)
C
i 1
where C is a normalisation constant, j (k 1) is the likelihood function,
defined as
j (k 1) N p (rj (k 1); 0, S j (k 1))

(23)

where rj (k 1) z (k 1) C j x j (k 1| k ) is the residual of Kalman filter j ,


and S j (k 1) is its covariance.
6)

Output. The estimation of state is a weighted sum of the estimates from four
Kalman filters. The mode which has the highest mode probability is the
mode estimate.
N

x (k 1) x j (k 1) j (k )

(24)

j 1

P (k 1) {Pj (k 1) [ x j (k 1) x (k 1)]}
j 1

[ x j (k 1) x (k 1)]T } j (k 1)

(25)

m (k 1) arg max j (k 1)

(26)

where m (k 1) is the mode estimation at time k 1 .

4 Simulations
We consider an optimal speed-position trajectory of trains movement as shown
in Fig.2.
The mode transition matrixes of MDHE are chosen as follows:
0.9 0.06 0.03 0.01
0.06 0.9 0.03 0.01
0.06 0.9 0.03 0.01
0.9 0.06 0.03 0.01


Power
Hold
0.06 0.9 0.03 0.01
0.9 0.06 0.03 0.01

0.06 0.9 0.03 0.01 ,


0.9 0.06 0.03 0.01 ,
Coast

0.01
0.01

0.01

0.01

0.06 0.9 0.03


0.01
0.01

0.06 0.9 0.03


Coast
0.01
0.06 0.9 0.03

,
0.06 0.9 0.03
0.01

0.03 0.06 0.9


0.03 0.06 0.9
0.03 0.06 0.9

0.03 0.06 0.9 .

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We compare the results of MDHE with that of IMM algorithm with constant
mode transition matrix as
0.9 0.1 3 0.1 3 0.1 3
0.1 3 0.9 0.1 3 0.1 3
.
I MM
0.1 3 0.1 3 0.9 0.1 3

0.1 3 0.1 3 0.1 3 0.9


60

50

Speed (m/s)

40

30

20

10

5000

10000

15000

20000

25000

30000

35000

Position (m)

Figure 2:

The optimal speed-position curve of the train.

40

MDTHE
IMM

Position error (m)

30
20
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
0

200

400

600

800

Time (s)
4

MDTHE
IMM

Velocty error (m/s)

3
2
1
0
-1
-2
-3
-4

200

400

600

800

Time (s)

Figure 3:

Comparison of tracking accuracy of MDTHE and IMM.

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96 Computers in Railways XII


1.0

ture mode
estimated mode
Mode probabilitiesfrom MDTHE

Train Driving Mode

0.8

Power
Hold
Coast
Braking

0.6

0.4

0.2

1
0

200

400

600

0.0

800

200

Time (s)

ture mode
estimated mode

0.2510
3

600

800

Power
Hold
Coast
Braking

0.2515

Mode probabilitiesfrom IMM

Train Driving Mode

400

Time (s)

0.2520

0.2505
0.2500
0.2495
0.2490
0.2485

1
0

200

400

600

800

0.2480

200

Time (s)

Figure 4:

400

600

800

Time (s)

Estimation of modes and their probabilities.

Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 compare the tracking accuracy and the mode estimation
accuracy of the algorithms. The tracking accuracy of MDHE and IMM algorithm
depends on the design of the mode transition matrix. It is easy to see that MDHE
has better tracking performance compared with IMM. The result also shows that
the proposed algorithm improves the accuracy of the operation mode estimation.

5 Conclusions
In this paper, a hybrid system model is introduced to describe the trains
dynamics. The stochastic factors during the trains movement are considered in
this model. A new hybrid estimation algorithm is proposed for the train to track
the objective velocity-position curve more accurately with mode dependent
transition probability matrixes. Better tracking performance and the accuracy of
the algorithm have been illustrated with simulations.

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge that this work is supported by the
Foundation No. 60634010, RCS2008ZQ003, and W08J0270.

References
[1] Seah, C.E. & Hwang, I., Terminal-Area aircraft tracking using hybrid
estimation [J]. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 32 (3), pp.83684, 2009.
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Computers in Railways XII

97

[2] Hwang, I., Balakrishnan H. & Tomlin C., State estimation for hybrid
systems: applications to aircraft tracking [C]. IEE Proceedings of Control
Theory Application, 153(5), pp.556-566, 2006.
[3] Howlett, P.G. & Pudney P.J., Energy-Efficient Train Control, Advances in
Industrial Control, Springer, London, 1995.
[4] Zhu, J. & Feng, X., The simulation research for the ATO model based on
fuzzy predictive control, Autonomous Decentralized Systems, ISADS
Proceedings. 2005.
[5] Blom H.A.P. & Bar-Shalom Y., The interacting multiple model algorithm
for systems with markovian switching coefficients. IEEE Transactions on
automatic control, 33(8), pp.780-783, 1988.
[6] Khmelnitsky E., On an optimal control problem train operation, IEEE
Transactions on Automatic Control, 45(7), pp.1257-1266, 2000.

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Computers in Railways XII

99

Latent energy savings due to the innovative use


of advisory speeds to avoid occupation conflicts
F. Mehta, C. Riger & M. Montigel
systransis Ltd., Switzerland

Abstract
Track occupation conflicts are frequent in standard railway operations today.
Train drivers, who are not aware of such conflicts in advance, are forced to stop,
which results in additional delays, timetable instability, and a waste of energy.
This could be avoided if they were informed about the conflict and had a chance
to adapt their driving behaviour accordingly. The innovative computer-based
train control system Automatic Functions Ltschberg (AF), developed by
systransis Ltd, tries to reduce these negative effects by sending advisory speeds
to the drivers of conflict affected trains in the Ltschberg base tunnel.
This article presents the results of a study done using real operational data
from the Ltschberg base tunnel to estimate the energy savings due to the AF
sending advisory speeds. These results are then extrapolated to estimate the
latent energy savings that could be achieved if a system like the AF were in
operation over the entire Swiss railway network.
Keywords: advanced train control, energy savings, advisory speeds.

1 Introduction
With a length of 34.6 km under the Swiss Alps, the Ltschberg base tunnel is
currently the longest land tunnel in the world. The computer-based train control
system Automatic Functions Ltschberg (AF), developed by systransis Ltd. as
a subcontractor of Thales Ltd, has been monitoring and controlling the train
traffic through the Ltschberg base tunnel since its opening in December 2007.
The topology of the tunnel introduces special challenges in its operation. The
northernmost two thirds of the tunnel is a single-track section, which feeds into a
two-track section in the south via the high-speed point W60. Figure 1
illustrates this topology. Solving track occupation conflicts between trains is
especially important since the single-track section needs to be used optimally.
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100 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 1:

Topology of the Ltschberg base tunnel.

The tunnel is equipped with ETCS Level 2 as its train protection system
which allows continuous tracking of train speeds and positions, and
communication to the on board units of each train.
One essential function of the AF is forecasting and solving track occupation
conflicts by calculating an optimal speed trajectory for a train affected by a
conflict that would otherwise have to stop or slow down. It then sends advisory
speeds via GSM-R to the train driver who uses them as a recommendation for his
onward journey. This gives him the possibility to solve the conflict by preemptively slowing down, instead of eventually being forced to stop. Advisory
speeds are sent to the affected train as text messages in regular time intervals of
30 seconds. A final message vopt = vmax is sent when the advisory speed limit
is to be lifted.
The primary goal of sending advisory speeds to train drivers is to reduce
collateral delays and minimise train stops caused by conflicts, and thereby
maintain capacity and timetable stability. Figure 2 illustrates the approach of
solving track occupation conflicts used by the AF. More details on the
computational aspects and use of the AF in the Ltschberg base tunnel can be
found in Montigel et al. [1] and Montigel [2].
Although not its main aim, a welcome side effect of this optimisation is the
reduction of the traction energy needed by trains to travel through the tunnel.
This claim is intuitive: energy consumption should be lower if a train is not
required to come to a full stop. In order to test this claim empirically, the
following study was undertaken to quantitatively estimate how much traction
energy was saved in this way using real operational data.
Technologies for increasing energy efficiency in the context of railway
operation are receiving increased attention. A review of these technologies can
be found in [7]. Increasing energy efficiency through energy-optimal train
trajectories have also been studied extensively. The possibilities for computing and
using such trajectories are described in detail in Albrecht [8], Howlett and Pudney
[9], and Franke et al. [10]. Lthi [4] discusses the energy saved as a result of

integrated real-time rescheduling. Mitchell [11] discusses the impact of advisory


systems on energy savings and uses a simulation-based model to quantitatively
estimate these savings. The novelty of the work described in this article is that
this is the first time that data from real-world commercial railway operations
with traffic flow optimisation is available and used to determine energy savings.

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Figure 2:

101

Time gained by sending advisory speed. The solid line is optimised


and avoids a halt.

2 Methodology used
The following general methodology was used to estimate the energy savings as a
result of sending advisory speeds. Pre-recorded operational data (i.e. log files
generated by the AF) from the tunnel was used to extract all train movements in
the tunnel during which an advisory speed was sent to resolve an occupation
conflict. This operational data was used to reconstruct the actual train trajectory
through the tunnel, and thereby the actual traction energy consumed for each
such train run was calculated.
In order to compute the energy savings, a comparison of the actual traction
energy consumed with the energy that would have been consumed if no advisory
speeds were sent (i.e. for the non-optimised case) needs to be done. The
functionality of the AF to send advisory speeds has been continuously active
since the start of operation of the tunnel. Since such a study cannot warrant
turning off this functionality just for test purposes it was not possible to directly
measure the energy consumed if no advisory speeds were sent. Therefore,
assumptions about the behaviour of train drivers for the non-optimised case
needed to be made. Based on these assumptions, a non-optimised train trajectory
was generated and used to calculate the energy consumption for the nonoptimised case. This was then used to estimate the energy saved as a result of
sending advisory speeds.
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102 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 3:

Conflict types for which an advisory speed is sent in the tunnel.

The rest of this section describes the above methodology in greater detail.
2.1 Conflicts considered in this study
The AF sends advisory speeds to train drivers in the tunnel in the following three
general cases:
a. Cross conflicts
b. Merge conflicts
c. Follow-up conflicts
Figure 3 illustrates these three conflict types. The filled train is the one
causing the conflict, and the hollowed train is the one affected by it. The
hollowed train receives advisory speeds. It should be noted that the AF also
solves other types of conflicts in the tunnel, but these are disregarded in this
study.
Out of these three cases, cross and merge conflicts are of interest as far as
energy savings are concerned since they will, in most cases, result in a full halt
of the affected (hollowed) train if not solved by the AF optimisations. Follow-up
conflicts are not currently considered, as this would significantly complicate the
method used, requiring more than one train to be considered per conflict case.
Furthermore, such follow-up conflicts are rare in practice since the train
dispatcher takes care to avoid them by positioning faster trains before slower
ones.
Another point to note is that conflicts are often interdependent. Solving a
conflict favourably in the present time can avoid future conflicts. This study
though only considers individual conflicts in order to avoid too much speculation
into the future.
2.2 Area of interest
The AF log files are processed to extract the following data for each train
affected by a cross or merge conflict in the tunnel:
Train characteristics: engines, weight, class (passenger or freight)
Position and speed reports at various times
Transmitted advisory speeds at various times
The analysis is restricted to the section of the travelled train path affected by
the receipt of advisory speeds. The start position of this area of interest is the

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Figure 4:

103

Area of interest and train trajectories for the optimised and


non-optimised cases.

position where the affected train receives the first advisory speed. The end
position of this area of interest is the position where the train has finished its
reacceleration after the merging point W60 and reaches a stable speed over a
defined distance.
Figure 4 illustrates how this area of interest is determined using the
optimised (actual) train trajectory, and how the non-optimised (estimated)
trajectory is calculated using the start and end speeds and positions, and the
position of the last signal in front of the point W60. The calculation of the nonoptimised trajectory will be described in detail later. Note that the figure is to be
read from right to left since the affected trains travel in the direction of
decreasing mileage.
2.3 Energy calculation model
Energy consumption is calculated using the following standard formula, by
numerically integrating the traction force exerted by the engines ( Fi ) over the
respective travelled distances ( si ):
n

F s

i i

i1

The following components of the traction force are considered:


Rolling resistance (dependent on speed, always positive)
Tunnel resistance (dependent on speed, always positive)
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104 Computers in Railways XII

Gradient resistance (positive for uphill tracks, negative for downhill)


Free acceleration force (positive for acceleration, negative for braking)
The free acceleration force is determined using the position and speed reports
extracted from the AF log files. The resistances are assumed to be constants that
depend on the actual speed and train class. The sum of all these forces needs to
be applied by the engines and is used to calculate the traction energy needed by
them.
2.4 Regenerative braking

It is assumed that a certain ratio of the negative free acceleration force could be
recuperated. This ratio accounts for the efficiency of the regeneration process,
the conductive losses of the overhead wire, and the fact that the recuperated
energy can only be effectively used if there is an energy consumer currently
connected to an interconnected overhead wire. Two values are used for this ratio:
1. For the optimised case it is expected that a high ratio (i.e. 40%) of the
deceleration energy can be recuperated. This is because the AF
calculates advisory speeds in such a way that the required deceleration
can be achieved solely using regenerative braking.
2. For the non-optimised case a lower ratio (i.e. 20%) is assumed because
a larger amount of the total braking force has to be provided using
mechanical brakes.
2.5 Estimating the non-optimised case
For the non-optimised case it is assumed that no advisory speeds are transmitted.
The train driver doesnt know about the conflict until he has to brake because of
the last signal in front of the point W60.
The calculation of the train trajectory for the non-optimised case uses the start
and end speeds and positions, as well as the position of the last signal in front of
the point W60 as described earlier. The trajectory consists of the following
phases:
1. Travelling with the start speed until hitting the braking curve of the last
signal in front of the point
2. Braking to standstill at the signal in front of the point
3. Accelerating to the end speed
The non-optimised curve in Figure 4 illustrates this trajectory. The model
used for calculating the non-optimised trajectory is based on the standard train
dynamics model contained in Hrlimann [3], which is also the one used in the
AF.
Brake applications are modelled as constant decelerations, dependent on the
class of the train. Coasting (i.e. speed decrease without application of traction
force) was not considered.
For acceleration, the traction capabilities of individual engines are considered.
For each engine type, the traction forces dependent on the current speed are used.
The free acceleration is calculated using the train weight, dynamic mass factor,
class, and the driving resistances described earlier.
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105

The resulting free acceleration is then used to calculate the traction energy
needed to complete the non-optimised trajectory and thereby estimate the energy
saved as a result of sending advisory speeds.

3 Results and discussion


For this study 746 optimised train journeys over a three-month period from
August 2008 to October 2008 were considered. Of these, 117 journeys involved
passenger trains, and 629 involved freight trains.
3.1 Quantitative results
The total estimated energy savings for these journeys was calculated to be
45,655 kWh. The average saved traction energy per optimised journey was
therefore 61.2 kWh.
Although the absolute energy savings in kWh varies strongly for each train
run, the percentage of the energy saved (with respect to the energy used to cover
the area of interest in the non-optimised case) does not vary as significantly. This
can be seen in Figure 5. The percentage of total energy saved to cover the area of
interest was calculated to be 12.4%.
These estimates are still on the conservative side since, as mentioned before,
this study though considers individual conflicts as isolated, and does not take
into account that present conflicts, if not solved favourably, can lead to future

Figure 5:

Distribution of the percentage energy saved due to sending


advisory speeds.

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106 Computers in Railways XII


conflicts. More conflicts would therefore be observed if advisory speeds were
not transmitted, leading to a greater energy consumption in practice for the nonoptimised operation than the estimate calculated above.
What is worth mentioning again is that energy savings are not directly taken
into account in the calculation of advisory speeds. They are purely a side effect
of reducing the delays resulting from a conflict.
3.2 Qualitative results
Apart from the above quantitative analysis, the data was also qualitatively
analysed in order to learn more about factors on which energy savings may
depend:
3.2.1 Journey attributes
It could be thought that the percentage energy savings depends on the train
weight, or the ratio between the initial and advisory speeds. However, the
analysis of this data did not reveal any such dependencies.
3.2.2 Train class
An interesting question is whether energy savings due to freight and passenger
trains differ. Passenger trains travel with higher speeds (160-200 km/h) through
the tunnel and have to spend a higher ratio of their energy to overcome resistive
forces. Freight trains are heavier and therefore need longer distances to
accelerate. The energy consumption was partitioned for the two train classes with
the result that the percentage of saved energy for freight trains is slightly higher
(12.9%) than that for passenger trains (10.3%).
3.2.3 Regenerative braking
The impact of regenerative braking on the consumed energy is often emphasized.
Since the total amount of recoverable energy is subject to many influences, it is
not easy to draw a final conclusion concerning the effectiveness of regenerative
braking. The assumption in this study was that all considered trains are capable
of regenerative braking and an average ratio of 20% of the free braking energy
could be recuperated in the non-optimised case, and 40% in the optimised case.
For the sake of comparison, energy savings with different ratios (0%-0%; 50%100%) was calculated. The results for these ratios deviated not more than 1.5%
from the original result. Reasons for this small impact of regenerative braking
are:
1. A high ratio of the braking energy is used to overcome resistance
forces, which are higher in a tunnel when compared to an open track,
leaving only a minor part for recuperation.
2. The distances where regenerative braking can be applied are short
compared to the total length of the area of interest.
Eventually, regenerative braking seems not to have a big influence on the
energy savings provided by the AF. Nevertheless, it may play a relevant role
when the total consumed energy is considered.

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107

3.2.4 Driver behaviour


For this study, operational data from the tunnel was used to compute the energy
consumption in the actual case, regardless of whether the train driver obeyed the
advisory speeds or not. It would be interesting to see how much the saved energy
estimated from the actual data deviates from the optimised trajectory calculated
by the AF. To do this an ideally optimised trajectory based on the first advisory
speed transmitted by the AF was computed. The resulting estimated energy
savings were observed to be 10.1% compared to the 12.4% estimated energy
savings using the actual travelled trajectory, i.e. not all train drivers obey the
advisory speeds strictly and nonetheless consume less energy than estimated by
the AF. An explanation for this maybe unexpected result can be that in reality,
the train drivers partly applies coasting, which is not considered by the
calculations for the actual optimised case. Another point to note is that the aim of
sending advisory speeds is to minimise delays, and energy savings is only a side
effect of this. The computed optimal trajectory need not therefore consume the
least energy. The possibility that the train driver chooses a trajectory that is
energetically better is therefore possible.

4 Latent energy savings for the entire Swiss railway network


The study described till now estimated that the AF sending advisory speeds
saved about 60 kWh of traction energy per conflict. Using this figure, it would
be interesting to make a rough extrapolation of the total energy that could be
saved, given that a system, such as the AF, were in operation over the entire
Swiss railway network.
The following assumptions on the daily train traffic from [5] and [6] are used:
1. About 1500 passenger journeys (only long-distance trains) occur each
day, each experiencing on average 2 conflicts leading to an unplanned
stop
2. About 2000 freight journeys occur each day, each experiencing on
average 3 conflicts leading to an unplanned stop.
It is easy to see that the resulting latent energy savings for an entire year is in
the order of 200 GWh (i.e. 200 million kWh). The current market value of
electrical energy is around CHF 0.20 per kWh. Hence, this translates into a
monetary saving of about CHF 40 million in energy costs alone, not to mention
the added value and monetary gain due to fewer delays and better timetable
stability, and reduced maintenance costs due to less wear and tear.
Since engine efficiency and conductive resistance of the overhead wire have not
been taken into account for these figures, the metered energy saved would
therefore, in practice, be more than the estimates just calculated. As mentioned
before, it also has to be taken into account that the optimum for energy savings
does not necessarily have to match the optimum for operational purposes.

5 Conclusion
It can be concluded from this study that there exists a significant potential to
save energy in railway operations by introducing a computer-based train control
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108 Computers in Railways XII


system like the AF that uses advisory speeds to resolve occupational conflicts in
a railway network.
In the case of the Ltschberg base tunnel, as per conservative estimates, it is
observed that about 60 kWh of traction energy is saved per conflict due to
advisory speeds. This translates to a savings of 12.4% of the traction energy
needed to travel through the conflict-affected region, when compared to an
estimated non-optimised train trajectory. It is also observed that this percentage
of saved energy does not depend significantly on regenerative braking, conflict
size, or class of train.
Even a rough extrapolation of these results for the entire Swiss railway
network yields a significant energy savings potential of about 200 GWh for a
year. The resulting monetary savings of about CHF 40 million per year could be
therefore well invested in a computer-based train control system like the AF on a
nationwide level, which would also provide further benefits such as reduced
delays and better timetable stability.

References
[1] Montigel M., Kleiner C. & Achermann E., Experience with the Speed and
Traffic Optimisation employed in the novel Train Traffic Control Center of
the Ltschberg Base Tunnel in Switzerland, Proceedings of Railway
Capacity The Engineering Challenge, 2007.
[2] Montigel M., Operations control system in the Ltschberg Base Tunnel,
RTR - European Rail Technology Review 02/2009, 2009.
[3] Hrlimann D., Objektorientierte Modellierung von Infrastrukturelementen
und Betriebsvorgngen im Eisenbahnwesen, Diss. ETH Nr. 14281, ETH
Zrich, 2001.
[4] Lthi M., Evaluation of energy saving strategies in heavily used rail
networks by implementing an integrated real-time rescheduling system,
Comprail 2008 Proceedings, 2008.
[5] Information from Media centre SBB, 2009.
[6] http://www.reisezuege.ch/, queried 24th November 2009 for timetable
period 2009/10.
[7] http://www.railway-energy.org,
Website
for
Energy
Efficiency
Technologies for Railways.
[8] Albrecht, T. Energy-Efficient Train Operation, Chapter in Railway
Timetable and Traffic, pp 83-106, Eurail Press, 2008.
[9] Howlett, P.G., Pudney, P.J. Energy-efficient train control, Springer, Berlin,
1995.
[10] Franke, R., Meyer, M., Terwiesch, P. Optimal Control of the Driving of
Trains, Automatisierungstechnik 50(12), pp 606-613, 2002.
[11] Mitchell, I, The Sustainable Railway Use of Advisory Systems for Energy
Savings, IRSE Technical Paper, 2009.

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Section 2
Traffic control and safety of
high-speed railways in Asia
Special session organised by
N. Tomii

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Computers in Railways XII

111

How the punctuality of the Shinkansen


has been achieved
N. Tomii
Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan

Abstract
The high speed railway line in Japan began operation in 1964. The high speed
railway is called the Shinkansen and is known for its safety and reliability. In
addition, the Shinkansen is well known for punctuality. As a matter of fact, the
average delay of trains is less than one minutes every year. The Shinkansen runs
along dedicated lines, which seem to be advantageous in keeping punctuality.
However, there are lots of disadvantages as well. For example, although traffic is
very dense, resources are not abundant. In some Shinkansen lines, trains go
directly through conventional railway lines and the Shinkansen is easily
influenced by the disruption of those lines. Punctuality of the Shinkansen is
supported by hardware, software and humanware. In this paper, we first
introduce a brief history of the Shinkansen and then focus on humanware, which
makes the punctuality possible.
Keywords: high speed trains, punctuality, rescheduling, Shinkansen.

1 Introduction
In 1964, a high speed railway line opened in Japan. The new line connects
Tokyo, the capitol, and Osaka, the second largest city located 600 km away. The
maximum speed of trains was 210km/h, which was almost twice that of other
trains in those days and the travelling time between these two cities was halved
to only three hours and ten minutes.
The new high-speed line was called the Shinkansen and it had a great impact
not only on railways in Japan, but also on railways worldwide.
From that time on, the Shinkansen was extended to other areas of Japan and
the length of Shinkansen lines is about 2,200 km at present.
We may well say that characteristics of the Shinkansen are very dense traffic,
very high safety and very high punctuality.
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112 Computers in Railways XII


In the Tokaido Shinkansen line, the total number of trains a day is 323 at
present. As a matter of fact, at Tokyo station, you can see trains departing every
several minutes.
The Shinkansen is proud of ultimate safety with evidence that no passengers
in trains were killed or injured for 46 years since the Shinkansen began its
operation.
Another important characteristic is punctuality. In the fiscal year 2008, the
average delay of trains in the Tokaido Shinkansen was just 0.6 minutes, namely
36 seconds. People might think this punctuality is achieved thanks to abundant
resources, such as extra train-sets, extra crews, lots of tracks at stations, etc.
However, this is not true. As described later, resources are not abundant. The
punctuality of the Shinkansen is achieved by hardware, software and
humanware.
As for the hardware, efficiency and reliability of signalling systems, electrical
power transmission, tracks and rolling stocks play quite an important role in
keeping punctuality.
As for the software, the Shinkansen is equipped with various kinds of
computer systems. To name a few, route control systems, operation management
systems, track maintenance management systems, rolling stock maintenance
management systems, etc, which are indispensable in keeping the punctuality of
the Shinkansen.
Humanware, however, is very important as well. In this paper, the importance
of humanware to keep punctuality is focused upon.

2 Brief history of the Shinkansen


An outline of the Shinkansen network is given in Table 1 and Figure 1. In Japan,
each line is given a line name such as Tokaido, Shinkansen and Sanyo
Shinkansen and so on.
Table 1:

Outline of the Shinkansen network.

Line

From

To

Distance

Remark

Tokaido

Tokyo

Osaka

515.4km

Sanyo

Osaka

Hakata

553.7km

Trains start from Tokyo.

Tohoku

Tokyo

Hachinohe

593.1km

Extended to Aomori
(2010/12)

Joetsu

Omiya

Niigata

269.5km

Trains start from Tokyo.

Hokuriku

Takasaki

Nagano

117.4km

Trains start from Tokyo.

Akita

Morioka

Akita

127.3km

Trains start from Tokyo.

Yamagata

Fukushima

Shinjo

148.6km

Trains start from Tokyo.

Kyushu

Yatsushiro

Kagoshima

126.8km

Extended to Hakata
(2011/3)

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113

Shinkansen
under construction
conventional lines
Aomori

Akita

Akita

Yamagata

Shinjo

Nagano

Nagoya Takasaki
Osaka

Kyushu

Tohoku
Fukushima

Hokuriku
Sanyo

Morioka
Sendai

JoetsuNiigata
Hakata

Hachinohe

Tokaido

Tokyo

Yatsushiro

Kagoshima

Figure 1:

The Shinkansen network.

Although the Tokaido Shinkansen belongs to JR (Japanese Railways) Central


Co. Ltd. and the Sanyo Shinkansen belongs to JR West Co. Ltd, trains on these
two Shinkansen lines are operated jointly by these two companies because trains
on the Tokaido Shinkansen go directly to the Sanyo Shinkansen and vice versa.
The Tohoku, Joetsu, Nagano, Akita and Yamagata Shinkansens are managed by
JR East Co. Ltd and the Kyushu Shinkansen is managed by JR Kyushu Co. Ltd.
The maximum speed of the Shinkansen is 300km/h at present, and an increase
of the speed is in the planning stage.
Since its start of operation, the Shinkansen has taken a lot of passengers from
airplanes. As a result, the flight service between Tokyo and Nagoya and between
Tokyo and Sendai were given up after the Shinkansen began operation. At
present, the Shinkansen keeps 60% of the market share between Tokyo and
Akita and 81% market share between Tokyo and Osaka, for example [1, 2].
Figure 2 shows the annual transportation volume of the Shinkansen network
and Figure 3 shows the market share of the Shinkansen for passenger
transportation in fiscal year 2007 [3]. As you can see, the Shinkansen bears
82,825 million person kilometres, which is 6% of the market share of all over
Japan.
The Shinkansen was designed with a brand new philosophy. It is totally
different from railways in those days (railways other than the Shinkansen are
called conventional railway lines in contrast with the Shinkansen). Major
differences between the Shinkansen and conventional railway lines are:
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114 Computers in Railways XII

Passengers(x1,000)

PersonKilometer(xmil.)

350,000
300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

Figure 2:

Annual transportation volume of the Shinkansen.


Ship,3,834

Airplane,
84,327

Conv.Railway,
322,787
Car,936,049

Shinkansen,
82,825

Figure 3:

Market share of the Shinkansen.

1. The Shinkansen runs on dedicated lines, all of which were newly


constructed.
2. The gauge is standard (1435mm) whereas that of conventional railway
lines is narrow (1067mm).
3. Along all the lines, high fences are put to prevent public from
approaching the tracks. There are no level crossings. These are
established by special laws for the Shinkansen, which specify the rules
about construction and operation of the Shinkansen.
4. Train schedules are rather simple compared with those of conventional
railway lines. No freight trains are running and no night trains are
running, for example.
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115

The Yamagata Shinkansen and the Akita Shinkansen are a bit different from
other Shinkansens. The Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen lines are not regarded
as Shinkansens from a legal point of view. Trains of the Tohoku Shinkansen go
directly into these Shinkansen lines where trains other than the Shinkansen are
also running. The gauges are standard (gauge was broadened so that the
Shinkansen train-set can run when the Yamagata and Akita Shinkansens opened.
In some part, lines are equipped with three rails so that both trains of the
Shinkansen and trains of conventional railway lines can run) but the special laws
about the Shinkansen are not applied. So, there are level crossings and no fences
along the line etc. Trains are coupled and decoupled at the junction stations
(Fukushima for the Yamagata Shinkansen and Morioka for the Akita
Shinkansen).
One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Shinkansen is high
punctuality. The average delay of the Tokaido Shinkansen is depicted in Figure
4[4]. In Japan, if a train is more than one minute behind the planned schedule,
the train is considered to be delayed (this rule is the same in conventional
railway lines). From Figure 4, we can observe that average delay of the Tokaido
Shinkansen has been less than one minute for almost twenty years. The figures
for the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansens are a bit larger than those of the Tokaido
Shinkansen because as stated earlier, the punctuality of the Tohoku Shinkansen
is easily influenced by the delay of trains in conventional railway lines.
However, the figures are also less than one minutes every year recently.

3 Disadvantages in keeping punctuality


It may well be said that the Shinkansen is in an advantageous situation in
keeping punctuality. In other words, special attention has been paid to prevent
various kinds of disturbance from occurring.
In fact, collision with cars at level crossings which often happen in
conventional railway lines never happen in the Shinkansen (except the Yamagata
and Akita Shinkansens). People often commit suicide in railway lines but this
seldom happen in the Shinkansen neither.

averagedelay(min.)
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

0.0

Figure 4:

Average delay of the Tokaido Shinkansen.

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116 Computers in Railways XII

STATION Z

STATION Y

STATION X
DELAY

Figure 5:

Partial cancellation of trains (grey: planned, black: result).

Still there are a lot of disadvantages as follows:


1. Trains are operated very densely. In the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansens,
This means if a train is delayed, a lot of other trains are influenced. So,
an extensive rescheduling is required.
2. It is difficult to use effective rescheduling methods. Cancelation of trains,
which is an effective measure in rescheduling, is usually difficult to use
in the Shinkansen. This is because trains run for a long distance and
trains have seat reservations. For the similar reason, partial cancelation is
never done in the Shinkansen. In conventional railway lines, partial
cancelation of trains (see Figure 5) is usually done to absorb delays but
this is never done in the Shinkansen because a lot of passengers are
inconvenienced at Station Y.
Partial cancellation of trains is never done in the Shinkansen.
3. It is necessary to keep enough time at terminal stations for turning out,
because cleaning inside trains and exchange of linen etc. are necessary.
This means it is difficult to absorb delays at terminal stations.
4. Resources are not abundant. Basically, there are no stand-by train-sets
and crews and there are not abundant tracks at stations. For example,
Tokyo station of the Tokaido Shinkansen from which 14 trains per hour
depart in the busiest time, has only six tracks. In Tokyo station of the
Tohoku-Joetsu Shinkansen, there are only four tracks, from which eight
trains per hour depart in the busiest time (It is all right to understand that
there two Tokyo stations; one has six tracks and the other has four
tracks). This becomes a serious constraint in rescheduling.
5. Natural disaster often happens and disrupts punctual train operation. In
some part of the Tokaido Shinkansen, they sometimes have a severe
snowfall in winter. Snowy weather itself is not a problem at all.
However, if there is a snowfall, snow sticks to the surface of train-sets
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Computers in Railways XII

117

and these cause problems. That is, when the train-sets come to a rather
warmer area, the snowballs fall down and hit ballast. Then the stone hit
the train-set or houses along the Shinkansen line. So, trains are
compelled to decrease running speed in snowy area so that snow does not
stick to the train-set. In the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansens, on the
other hand, trains run through regions where weather especially in winter
is harsh and sometimes trains are delayed because they have to decrease
the running speed.
6. Connection with trains in conventional railway lines is considered to be
very important. The Shinkansen takes charge of long distance
transportation, and timetables of conventional railways are made taking
convenient connection with the Shinkansen into full account. This
means, however, if trains are delayed in conventional railway lines, the
Shinkansen trains have to wait although a limit of waiting time is
prescribed a priori.
7. In the Yamagata and Akita Shinkansens, trains go directly to
conventional railway lines. In conventional railway lines, trains other
than the Shinkansen including freight trains are also running. The
Shinkansen trains in these two lines are coupled or decoupled at junction
stations as stated above, and this implies that a delay in these two lines is
easily propagated to the Tohoku Shinkansen, the Joetsu Shinkansen and
the Hokuriku Shinkansen because these Shinkansens share a track in
some part.
8. Route control is done by computer systems (PRC: Programmed Route
Control system) totally automatically. You may think this is
advantageous in keeping punctuality. However, should a system-down
occur, it might cause a serious problem. Reliability of the PRC is very
high but the higher the reliability is, the less skilled dispatchers are in
manual operation of signals. Although a system-down is very unlikely to
happen, trains do not run on time if it really happens.

4 Realizing the punctuality of the Shinkansen


As described in detail in the previous section, there are a lot of disadvantages to
achieve high punctuality in the Shinkansen. In this section, efforts and devices to
concur the disadvantages are introduced.
1. As elaborate rescheduling as possible: When trains are delayed, elaborate
rescheduling is done. An example of rescheduling is depicted in Figure 6.
Gray lines mean planned schedule (left). Let us assume that Train 1 is
delayed at Station Z for some reason. A common method of modifying the
schedule in this case is shown in black lines (right). The train-set of Train
1 is to be turned back as a deadhead train and stored in the depot located
next to Station Y. Another train-set is urgently set up from the depot and
driven to Station X and it is assigned to Train 2 so that Train 2 can depart
on time. This may be thought to be easy, but that is not true. Usually, there
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118 Computers in Railways XII


are no spare train-set at the depot. So, a lot of subsequent changes in trainset utilization schedule have to be made. In addition, there are no reserve
crew as well. So, again a lot of subsequent changes in crew shift schedule
have to be made. Figure 5 is just a simple example and in case of
disruption, very elaborate rescheduling is done to reduce dissatisfaction of
passengers as much as possible.
2. As standard as possible: Standard patterns and rules of rescheduling are
prepared: In the case of the Yamagata and Akita Shinkansens, there occurs
a serious problem about delay management if trains are delayed in
conventional railway areas. Dispatchers have to make a decision whether
they keep coupling or give up coupling at the junction station. JR East
prepares a manual for such cases (see Figure 6). It describes if the delay is
less than a certain threshold x, coupling has to be done, meaning trains in
the Tohoku Shinkansen (main line) have to wait. If the delay is larger than
x and less than another threshold y, coupling is given up (Figure 7 right).
This means trains of the Akita/Yamagata Shinkansen run in the Tohoku
Shinkansen line alone. If the delay is larger than y, the train is coupled
with the next train (Train 2 in Figure 7) of the Tohoku Shinkansen,
because it is very likely that the next train (Train 12) is also delayed. In
case of giving up coupling, the problem is again in assigning crew. One
more crew has to be squeezed out by drastically changing the subsequent
crew schedules.
3. As simple as possible: This could be considered to be an important and
basic idea in the operation of railways in Japan. I would say that in Japan it
is believed that usage of facilities must be as simple as possible. There is
an idea in the background that if usage of facilities is complicated, it might
cause operational errors because there are so many trains running.
For example, double single track is seldom used in Japan. This is because
people hate to complicate usage of tracks, which is crucial in guaranteeing
safety.
Another example is the drivers shift. Licences for the Shinkansen are
different from those of conventional railway lines. This means a driver of
conventional railway lines is not permitted to drive the Shinkansen (and vice
STATION Z

STATION Z

in
Tra
1

in 1

Tra
in 2

Tra

STATION Y

STATION Y

STATION X

STATION X

Figure 6:

An example of rescheduling.

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in 2

DELAY

Tra

DELAY

Computers in Railways XII

(a) Planned
Figure 7:

119

(b) Result

Delay management at a junction station where trains are coupled.

versa). Hence, it is impossible for a driver to drive a Shinkansen train and a


conventional railway line train on the same day. This is to avoid drivers make
any mistakes in operation because equipments of train-sets and operational rules
are different between the Shinkansen and conventional railway lines.
One more example is seat layouts of Shinkansen trains. Series 700 and Series
N700 Shinkansen train-sets of the Tokaido Shinkansen were designed so that the
seat layouts are totally the same as Series 300, which was mainly used at that
time. This is because even if a Series 300 train-set is suddenly substituted with a
Series 700 or N700 (or vice versa), it is not necessary to give any further
announcement to passengers for their new seats, and it is all right just to say
Please take the seat described on your ticket. Otherwise, extensive guidance to
passengers about their new seats becomes necessary.
It might be true that by making usage of facilities complicated, you can
maximize the performance of the facilities. For example, in case of the double
single track, if a train has an engine trouble between stations, you can continue
train operation using the other track, which is not possible in a double track line.
So, to cope with such a criticism, a lot of efforts to increase reliability of
hardware are made in Japan in compensation of making usage of facilities
simple.
4. As much training as possible: Route settings of all trains for all stations are
automatically done by the programmed route control system (PRC). PRC
has a long history and has an extremely high reliability. However, in case
of a system-down, training of manual route setting is always done. It may
be improbable that this training is of any use one day, but they continue the
training just for a rainy day.
5. As much efforts as possible: As described in the previous section, in some
part of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, they sometimes have a lot of snow in
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120 Computers in Railways XII


winter. The worst record was made in 1976. 635 trains were cancelled in
that year due to heavy snow and the average delay of trains on snowy days
was 20.1 minutes. Running speed must be decreased to avoid catching the
snow and the snow on the surface of train-sets has to be removed. This
means that trains are very much delayed on snowy days. In former days,
people hit the snow on the train-set with a wooden stick to fall it down.
Obviously, it took a lot of time and labour. Now, a new equipment using
high pressure is used to remove the snow. More than that, JR Central made
an intensive research about effective countermeasures to reduce damages
caused by snow such as to install sprinklers to make snow wet and
monitoring system for the condition of snow to decide when the sprinkler
should be started and so on [5]. The result was outstanding. For more than
15 years, no trains were cancelled due to snow and the average delays on
snowy days in fiscal years 2006 and 2007 were 1.4 minutes and 1.7
minutes respectively.

5 Conclusions
The Shinkansen of Japan is well known for its punctuality. Although there are
not abundant resources available, various kinds of ideas and hard training of
dispatchers and crews have realized the punctuality.
The Tohoku Shinkansen is extended to Aomori this year. The Kyushu
Shinkansen between Hakata and Yatsushiro is opened next year and it is planned
that some trains go to Kagoshima directly from Osaka. The lines and timetables
of Shinkansens become more and more complicated but I am quite sure that this
punctuality level will be kept in the future.

References
[1] JR East Annual Report 2009: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/investor/ar/2009/
[2] Annual Report of JR Central (in Japanese), 2009.
[3] Facts and Figures of Japanese Railways - 2009 (in Japanese), Institution for
Transport Policy Studies, 2009.
[4] Environmental Report of JR Central 2009: http://english.jrcentral.co.jp/company/company/others/eco-report/_pdf/kankyo2009-e.pdf.
[5] T. Amatani: Countermeasures to reduce delays of trains on snowy days (in
Japanese), Technical Report of JR Central, Vol.8, 2009.

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121

Linkage of a conventional line dispatch system


with the Shinkansen dispatch system
Y. Yoshino
Administration Division, Transportation Department,
Kyushu Railway Company, Japan

Abstract
With the partial opening of the Shin-Yatsushiro to Kagoshima-Chuo section of
the Kyushu Shinkansen in March 2004, management of the connection to the
conventional line limited express trains at Shin-Yatsushiro Station. It became
important to provide a service in the Hakata to Kagoshima-Chuo section that was
comparable to that of the transport system up to then. For that reason, station
facilities were made to enable transfers between the Shinkansen and
conventional line trains at the same platform. In addition, linkage functions
between the Shinkansen and conventional line dispatch systems were set up as
follows.
- Referencing of conventional line timetables when considering revised
Shinkansen timetables
- Adding conventional line connection management functions to the Shinkansen
programmed route control
- Adding conventional line occupation display to the Shinkansen line occupation
display and route control monitor
- Displaying the conventional line timetable (planned and actual) on the
Shinkansen timetable display monitor
- Sharing of operation information provision between the Shinkansen and
conventional lines
- Guidance of trains and operation, including information relating to
conventional line train connections on indicators for passengers
The work is supported by means such as allowing dispatchers to identify the
timetable of the day for the other type of train system and the current train
operation status.
Keywords: system linkage, transfer, operation control.
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122 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
With the partial opening of the Shin-Yatsushiro to Kagoshima-Chuo section of
the Kyushu Shinkansen in March 2004, management of the connection to the
conventional line limited express trains at Shin-Yatsushiro Station. It became
important to a provide service in the Hakata to Kagoshima-Chuo section that was
comparable to that of the transport system up to then (Fig. 1). For that reason,
station facilities were made to enable transfers between the Shinkansen and
conventional line trains at the same platform (Fig. 2). Additional functions were
also established so as to enable necessary information exchange between the
Shinkansen and conventional line dispatch systems and allow dispatchers to
identify the timetable of the day for the other type of train system and the current
train operational status.

2 Outline of SIRIUS (super intelligent resource and innovated


utility for Shinkansen management)
SIRIUS consists of the following subsystems that form a total support from train
operation planning to actual daily operation. The system configuration is shown
in Fig. 3.

Figure 1:

Kyushu Shinkansen.

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Figure 2:

123

Transfer between the Shinkansen and the conventional line.

Figure 3:

System configuration.

2.1 Transport planning system


This system makes train timetables as well as schedules for vehicle operation
and for drivers and conductors. In making train timetables, the system checks the
travel times between stations and conflicts among trains at the stations. Then it
plans departure, passing, and arrival times and tracks for each in-service and
deadheading train (Fig. 4). It also makes vehicle scheduling and driver/conductor
scheduling based on the created train timetables. For vehicle scheduling, the
vehicle use plan is made based on the identification check of arrival and

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124 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Timetabling system.

Figure 5:

Vehicle/crew scheduling
system.

departure stations, the check of the night stay station, etc. For driver and
conductor scheduling, the work conditions are checked, and driver and conductor
scheduling is made (Fig. 5).
For each planning, the basic plan, the base for the train timetable revision, and
the daily change plan, which is based on the basic plan and includes test runs in
association with the passenger fluctuation and inspection, are necessary. This
system can make either plan.
2.2 Transport planning control/planned information distribution system
Each plan made by the Transport Planning System is controlled as a part of the
database of this system (Fig. 6). This system develops the daily train timetable
based on the basic plan and the daily change plan, and it distributes the
information to the train operation control system. It also receives the actual train
running results from the train operation control system to be incorporated in the
actual operation results.
In addition, this system distributes various plans to each station and crew
offices to notify them of the basic and daily change plan, and it also makes
various forms such as for business at the station and for driver and conductors
duties. In this way, this system aids in the accurate and effective performance of
duties.
2.3 Train operation control system (programmed route control/centralized
controller of speed limit for work-site/CTC)
This system implements daily train operation of all lines based on the train
timetables received from the Transport Planning Control/Planned Information
Distribution System. Programmed Route Control determines train positions
based on the information of line occupation, train number and switches and
signals received from the on-site interlocking devices and automatically
controlled signals based on train timetables. In the case of train delays etc., the
dispatcher changes the timetable to recover, and the system adjusts accordingly.
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Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Transport
system.

Timetable
monitor.

planning

control/planned

display

information

125

distribution

Figure 8: Line occupation/route


control monitor.

The following terminals are provided to dispatchers; the timetable display


monitor; the line occupation/route control monitor that displays line occupation
and controls the signals including signal indication (Fig. 7). (Fig. 8) In addition,
the large-sized operation indicator panel is provided to indicate the conditions of
all lines.
With the Centralized Controller of speed limit for work-site, slow speed
signals can be controlled by the dispatcher in the case that trains need to reduce
speed due to climatic conditions, such as excessive precipitation, strong wind,
and earthquakes, and other necessities so as to ensure safe operation (Fig. 9).
Two lines of transmission paths, regular and detour, are provided to the
Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) that connects the site and the dispatchers
office in order to be able to continue train operation should one of the
transmission paths be out of order (Fig. 10).
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126 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 9:

Speed limiting system. Figure 10:

Figure 11:

Centralized train control.

Command information distribution system.

2.4 Command information distribution system


Working with the operation control system, it sends the timetable change of the
day to each station and crew office in real time so as to ensure immediate
response to that change of the day. It sends out information from the dispatchers
office (Fig. 11).
2.5 Passenger information system
For passenger information at each station, the train timetable is transmitted from
the dispatchers office to each station to control the train information display
board and the automatic announcement system. The information includes the
train operation information in advance based on the train timetable and the line
occupancy, in addition to the above-mentioned train information indicator and
automatic announcement that are provided at an appropriate timing such as when
a train is approaching, arriving, or departing. Not only the train information, but
also the business and accident information can be inputted in text and displayed
on the board (Fig. 12).
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Figure 12:

127

Passenger information board at station.

3 Function of connection control


3.1 Referring to the conventional line timetable when reviewing the
Shinkansen timetable revision
The transport Planning Control system can be connected to the system that
makes the timetables for the conventional lines so as to review the Shinkansen
timetable while the conventional line timetable under review is displayed (Fig.
13). In the opposite way, the Shinkansen timetable can be displayed when
reviewing the conventional line timetable. In this way, this system assists mutual
linkage and adjustment.
3.2 Conventional line connection control function is added to the
Shinkansen programmed route control
With the Programmed Route Control, the other layover trains can be registered
in the timetable in advance, and if a registered train is delayed and cannot make
the connection, an inquiry is outputted asking whether the connection is to be
executed or not, and the dispatcher decides whether the train is to depart or not.
In addition, with the Programmed Route Control for the conventional lines, the
layover Shinkansen trains can be registered in advance to be used for judging the
control (Fig. 14).
3.3 Shinkansen: line occupancy information of the conventional line is
displayed on the line occupancy/programmed route control monitor
To be able to determine the operating conditions of the conventional line train
that is to be connected at the same platform, the line occupancy information of
the conventional line trains can be displayed on the line occupancy
display/Programmed Route Control monitor at Shin-Yatsushiro Station (Fig. 15).
This is the same as with the large-sized operation indicator board.
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128 Computers in Railways XII

The Shinkansen timetable


can be reviewed while the
conventional line timetable
is displayed.

Figure 13:

Timetable display for both Shinkansen and conventional lines.

Information of the conventional line


layover trains is registered.

Figure 14:

Connection control from the conventional line to the Shinkansen


line.

3.4 Displaying conventional line timetable (planned/actual) on the


Shinkansen timetable display monitor
In addition to the Shinkansen timetable and results, the conventional line
timetable and results (for the sections between Hakata and Yatsushiro, Sendai
and Kumanojo, and Kami-Ijuin and Kagoshima of Kagoshima main line) are
displayed on the timetable display monitor, and the Shinkansen timetable can be
changed while checking the current operation conditions and the future prospect
of the conventional lines (Fig. 16). On the conventional line timetable display
monitor, the Shinkansen timetable and results are displayed, enabling train
timetable management in coordination with the Shinkansen.
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In addition to Shinkansen, the


line occupancy information of
the conventional line is
displayed.

Figure 15:

Line occupation display for both the Shinkansen and conventional


lines.

The conventional line timetable


of the day is displayed.

Figure 16:

Timetable display for both the Shinkansen and conventional lines.

3.5 Sharing operation information between the Shinkansen and


conventional lines
The Shinkansens line occupancy and delay conditions were added to the
traditional operation information distribution system that had been established
for the conventional lines so as to enable switching those information displays on
the monitor. This allowed the personnel to understand the Shinkansen operation
conditions with the terminal installed at each conventional line station. In
addition, at each Shinkansen station, both Shinkansen and conventional line
operation conditions can be checked (Fig. 17).
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130 Computers in Railways XII

Both
Shinkansen
and
conventional line operation

conditions are displayed.

Figure 17:

Sharing operation
conventional lines.

information

between

Shinkansen

and

Holding connection information


from
Shinkansen
to
the
conventional line.
Figure 18:

Passenger information
information.

system

includes

connection

train

3.6 The passenger information display system including information of the


conventional line connecting trains
Data of stops and terminal stations of the conventional line trains to be connected
from the Shinkansen trains is added to the timetable distributed to the passenger
information display system at each station. Doing so, the terminal station for the
conventional line train is noted as a destination, and the information of the
stations where the train stops is noted, including the conventional line. In the
case that the train is delayed and passengers cannot transfer, the connection
guidance can be cancelled by the dispatcher (Fig. 18).
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4 Conclusion
With this system, we have provided stable transportation for about 7 years by
improving customer services, such as guiding connection of the conventional
line Relay Tsubame limited express and providing timely and appropriate
information when operation disruption occur, and also sharing information
smoothly between dispatchers of the Shinkansen and the conventional line.
Currently, preparation for the entire line operation of Kyushu Shinkansen
(Kagoshima Route) including the route between Hakata and Shin-Yatsushiro is
proceeding with a spring 2011 operational start target. We are currently working
on system development for operation commencement.

References
[1] Yamasaki. K., Kyushu Shinkansen Operation Management System
(Japanese). Journal of Japan Railway Engineers Association, pp 3641,
2005.

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133

Train scheduling of Shinkansen and


relationship to reliable train operation
S. Sone & Y. Zhongping
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
This paper explains why security is important, especially in Asia, as well as
safety, and how we established reliable transportation in the Japanese
Shinkansen, mainly in relation to train scheduling. The authors also describe
several ideas actually taken by Shinkansen in order to realise reliable operation
even in the case of possible disturbances. Out of many ideas, some examples of
which are shown here, selective adoption according to the purpose of the railway
or line is strongly recommended, together with given conditions taken into
account.
Keywords: disturbance, punctuality, reliable operation, spare time, train
scheduling.

1 Introduction
Features of east-Asian high-speed railways are very dense passenger flow
together with frequent train operation with a big capacity. In order to realise
reliable transportation in this circumstance, safe train operation in a narrow
sense, which is guaranteed mainly by signalling system, is not enough; secure
passenger flow must also be guaranteed even when some traffic disturbances
take place. This is the reason why the authors present this paper, which mainly
deals with security rather than safety, for the special invited session of "Traffic
Control and Safety of High-speed Railways in Asia".
Just after the inauguration of Tokaido Shinkansen in 1964, we had many
disruptions to train operation due to rain and snowfall, breakdown of the power
feeding system, deterioration of track conditions due to excess axleload, etc. In a
narrow sense of safety, the Japanese Shinkansen carried more than nine billion
passengers without any casualty by train accident, which is by far the safest
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134 Computers in Railways XII


railway in the world. The total time spent on Shinkansen trains by all nine billion
passengers exceeds 15 billion hours, which corresponds to the total lifetime of 25
thousand people. From these figures, it is not surprising that not a few people
died in Shinkansen trains, from disease or even by murder, even if we exclude
suicides. Trains and other accidents of the Shinkansen did happen many times,
including the overrun of an empty train to the dangerous area of Tokaido
Shinkansen's main line, the fall of the bridges of Sanyo Shinkansen by an
earthquake, which took place just before the starting time of train operation of
the day and derailment of a running train of the Joetsu Shinkansen at high-speed
by another earthquake, etc, which means that there having been no casualties so
far can be thought of as due to luck.
This paper deals with how we have established reliable train operation with
the very heavily trafficked Japanese Shinkansen, common to east-Asian
countries, in relation to train scheduling.

2 Special features of the Shinkansen in relation to train


scheduling
2.1 Frequent train operation with relatively few intermediate stations
Passenger dedicated lines tend to have fewer intermediate stations in order to run
trains faster than on conventional lines and the number of trains on the lines
tends to be greater in order to provide better services; this means that in the case
of disruption of train traffic, it is difficult or impossible to stop each train at a
track facing platform.
2.2 Uni-directional signalling system with few crossover routes
Unlike many other high-speed railways in the world, the track layout and
signalling system of the Japanese Shinkansen was modelled on the then modern
double-track urban/suburban railways; uni-directional signalling, many passing
loops and few crossover routes between down and up tracks.
2.3 Existence of trains of different average speeds due to different number
of intermediate stops
Compared with commuter trains, whose acceleration and deceleration rate is
high, station stopping time is short and maximum speed is low, the additional
time of high-speed trains per each additional stop at intermediate station is much
longer; typically four minutes in the Japanese Shinkansen against one minute for
commuter trains.
In order to allocate fast and slow trains on a highly trafficked line, many
passing loops are required in the Japanese Shinkansen. Indeed almost all
intermediate stations have two platforms each facing one or two side lines off the
main passing line. The exceptions to this on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen
are only two, Atami and Shin-Kobe, at the latter of which all trains stop so that
no difference of average speed takes place here.
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2.4 Through operation to lines with different characteristics


Different characteristics include the quality and quantity of traffic demand, and
very many differences of reconstructed existing lines to accept through trains
from Shinkansen: The so-called Yamagata Shinkansen and Akita Shinkansen
were once narrow gauged local lines. Now the track gauge is widened to
international standard, 1435mm, but the loading gauge, electric system,
AC20kV, maximum speed of 130km/h, and existence of level crossings with
road traffic, etc, are still in the conventional lines standard.

3 Problems of train operation during traffic disturbance


3.1 Minimum train headway by signalling system
In normal conditions, train groups scheduled with a train headway longer (by
Tspare) than the theoretical minimum (Tmin) can be realised stably and if a train
is delayed (by Td), each following train can follow by the headway of Tmin, this
means the initial delay can be absorbed up to Td/Tspare-th train. However, in the
case of some disturbance, such as a temporary speed restriction at a place, the
following train can pass the same place by headway of Tmin+Tr. If Tr is bigger
than Tspare (this is not a rare case), it is often observed that the initial delay
diverges and all the following trains must run at the headway of Tmin+Tr, which
is longer than the scheduled headway. It is not so easy to find the longest Tr
beforehand from the designed data of the signalling system and traction
performance.
3.2 Uni-directional signalling system
Contrary to European practice, the Japanese double track section is equipped
with uni-directional signalling only, with relatively few crossover routes between
down and up tracks. This is a big source of problems in rescuing trains in case of
a big traffic disturbance. The Tokaido Shinkansen prepared two high-power
high-performance diesel locomotives for rescuing purposes, but they have never
found the route to arrive at the required spot.
3.3 More trains running at a time than the total number of tracks at
intermediate stations
In a wide area disturbance for an estimated long time, we want to stop all trains
at a platform so that any passengers can get out of the train to the street, but the
total number of platforms in the Tokaido Shinkansen is much smaller than the
total number of trains running at a time in peak hours.
3.4 Not enough tracks at the most important terminal station
Shinkansens Tokyo terminal has 10 tracks in all; six for the Tokaido Shinkansen
(trains run through to Sanyo Shinkansen) and four for the Tohoku Shinkansen
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136 Computers in Railways XII


(trains run through to Joetsu, Nagano, the so-called Yamagata and Akita
Shinkansen). The maximum number of revenue trains per hour per direction,
excluding out-of-service trains, is 14 for Tokaido and also 14 for Tohoku.
3.5 Sub-terminal station and required function of it in case of traffic
disturbance
Tohoku Shinkansens Ueno station, which is next to Tokyo terminal, has four
tracks all of which face to platform, and at first Tokyo terminal had only two
tracks. At that time Ueno was used as a sub-terminal station effectively, some
trains originate from and terminate to Ueno, and some other trains run empty
between Tokyo and Ueno for arrangement to reuse as a passenger train.
The Tokaido Shinkansen has added Shinagawa sub-terminal with four tracks
all facing platforms, and three additional sidings for use of draw out and storage
tracks, but flexible usage in case of traffic disturbance can hardly be done by
thoughtless design of the line profile; it is impossible to run between additional
sidings and the Tokyo terminal.
3.6 Cancellation of trains is difficult due to seat reallocation and keeping
impartiality among passengers
Most seats of all trains are pre-booked to passengers in Japanese practice with
relatively few non-reserved seats. In this situation, even when the average
loading factor is 50%, no trains can easily be cancelled because of the difficulty
in reallocation of pre-booked seats fairly. If cancellation of trains is inevitable by
a big disruption, all pre-booked seats are cancelled and used on a first-come,
first-served basis with compensation of refund of express surcharge.

4 Train scheduling to keep in mind reliable train operation


4.1 Not to use connected fast and slow trains
The scheduling pattern of connected fast and slow trains is very popular and
reasonable for commuter railways in which a slow train arrives at a transfer
station followed by arrival of the fast train at an adjacent track facing the same
platform and after transfer of passengers the fast train departs first then the slow
train follows. Typical timing of this procedure is; one minute after arrival of the
slow train the fast train arrives and its dwelling time is also typically one minute
or a little shorter, the slow train can depart about one minute after the fast trains
departure. This means the dwelling time of the slow train is about three minutes.
If the same sequence is applied to a pair of high-speed trains, the following
intervals of both arrival and departure are about three minutes each and the
dwelling time of the slow train is about eight minutes, because the fast train stops
for about two minutes. Instead of connecting fast and slow trains, simple
passing requires much shorter additional dwelling time for a slow train, which is
typically 2.5 minutes, arrival to passing, plus one minute, passing to departure,
minus 1.5 minutes, plus necessary dwelling time.
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From the passengers point of view, a well-organised train schedule is


convenient as a connected pattern.
4.2 Reducing level crossing interference at the terminal station and
intermediate important stations
There are six tracks in the Tokyo terminal of the Tokaido Shinkansen. The track
layout is the simplest one, as shown in Fig. 1. In this layout, out of 30
combinations of a pair of incoming and outgoing trains, only nine pairs have no
level crossing interference and the remaining 21 pairs have interference with
each other, as shown in Table 1, according to the timing. If we add the routes as
shown in Fig. 2, the number of interference free pairs can be increased from nine
to 15, as shown in Table 2. (The track number is from bottom to top 14 through
19.)
In Tokyo, there is not enough space to realise Fig. 3, but train scheduling is
made so as to avoid interference; arrival and departure time is restricted to
prefixed times: 0 min 0 sec., 3 min. 20 sec., 6 min. 40 sec., 10 min. 0 sec., etc.
The duration of 3 min. 20 sec. corresponds to the minimum train headway,
including the necessary time margin. The Tokyo station of the Tohoku
Shinkansen has similar prefixed timing of 4 minute intervals.
This is a very easy way to avoid interference and is effective if trains run
exactly enough and even if trains are much delayed, this pattern can be applied,
although it is not the best way.

Figure 1:

Table 1:

Existing layout.

Interference
of Fig. 1.

Table 2:

Figure 2:

Improved layout.

Interference
of Fig. 2.

is an interference
free route while x
route interferes with
each other

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138 Computers in Railways XII


Much better practice can be observed at private railway commuter lines, such
as the Odakyu Electric Railway's Shinjuku terminal: 5 track terminal of two
levels in which interference takes place very seldom.
4.3 Various ideas to prevent disturbance from divergence
At the Fukushima station of the Tohoku Shinkansen, only one track out of four is
used for thorough operation to and from the so-called Yamagata Shinkansen.
The seven car Yamagata Shinkansen trains leave Tokyo coupled with the eight
car Tohoku Shinkansen train for Sendai and in reverse the Yamagata Shinkansen
train couples with the Tohoku Shinkansen train from Sendai on the same track.
Even in case of disturbance, coupling and decoupling cannot be made at the
same time. The required time to couple/decouple trains is much longer than
normal station dwelling time, so it is convenient to be passed by the fast train,
Hayate, during this stopping time. This requirement of train scheduling is the
biggest restriction of the whole Tohoku Shinkansen train scheduling.
4.4 Train crossing at the intended partial double-track section on the Akita
Shinkansen
Between Omagari and Akita, 51.7km, of the so-called Akita Shinkansen was
once a double track section of narrow gauge Ouu line. This section was
converted to two single line tracks in parallel, one narrow gauge and the other
standard gauge. However, out of this section, a 12.4km section between Jinguuji
and Mineyoshigawa is laid of one standard gauge track in parallel with a dual
gauge track so that standard gauge trains can pass each other while running. This
particular section was chosen from the train schedule of the Akita Shinkansen
where trains cross each other, plus a margin for the possible delay of one train.
4.5 Enough spare time allocated on the Tokaido Shinkansen in highly
trafficked hours
The fastest Nozomi trains using the newest Series N700 trainset can run between
Tokyo and Shin-Osaka in 2 hours 25 minutes with reasonable spare time.
Actually, three trains are scheduled to run in this time in early morning and late
at night, but during most hours of the day the Nozomi trains, exclusively the
N700 trainset, run in an additional 8 to 12 minutes, which is partly necessary due
to mixed traffic with slower trains and partly due to giving a recovery margin in
case of train delay.
Whether an additional 8 to 12 minutes on top of the basic 145 minutes is
justifiable or not may be a big question.

5 Conclusion
The authors do not think all of these practice are necessary or inevitable because
there are many other countermeasures to keep punctuality or to avoid large
disturbances, as seen in private railways lines. For instance, the average required
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time of 155 minutes between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, 10 minutes longer than the
basic time, seems too long if the competitive situation with airlines is taken into
account.
The Akita Shinkansens partial double track section of standard gauge line is
very effectively used at the moment, when trains run regularly at 60 minute
intervals. This means it is difficult to add trains flexibly without substantially
longer travelling time.
Fukushimas case of coupling (of up trains) and decoupling (of down trains)
on only one track requires too much restriction to the whole train schedule of
Tohoku Shinkansen. Under this track layout, trains from Sendai must cross down
the main line twice to couple with the Akita Shinkansen train; this is too
restrictive to train operation in the case of disturbance. Another measure to cope
with this situation, such as to provide a new route from the Yamagata
Shinkansen to the scarcely used track 11 of the Fukushima station, where up
trains can couple, should be taken even if the new route crosses down the main
line.
In east-Asian countries, frequent train operation is required mainly to realise
the large capacity, while in European countries, this is required mainly to realise
better connections between trains. From this difference, frequent train operation
in Asia should accompany reliable train operation, especially in peak demand
hours.
Necessary techniques for this may be different line by line or time by time:
The authors recommend selective application by each high-speed railway section
according to the purpose of the line and time, rather than to take the proven best
practice from a line of different purpose.

References
[1] Timetable of Shinkansen: issued every month in Japan (in Japanese) by
several publishers; bi-monthly by Thomas Cook Publishing UK as Overseas
Timetable.
[2] Track layout of railways: officially undisclosed by railways; but few private
enthusiasts published so far including Tokaido Lines, by Ryozo Kawashima
from Kodansha Publishing Co. (in Japanese) and Quail Map Series, by John
Yonge from Quail Map Co. Exeter, UK.
[3] Detailed list of rolling stock for each line or railway; edited by JRR, issued
semi-annually for Japan Railways Group and annually for Japanese Private
Railways Group by Kotsu-shimbunsha. (in Japanese)
[4] Tracks of each station including normal operation practice: http://ja.
wikipedia.org/wiki/[station name in kanji such as ]

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141

Rescue operations on dedicated high speed


railway lines
R. Takagi
Kogakuin University, Japan

Abstract
When disruptions of service take place on dedicated high speed railway lines, it
is not uncommon that situations arise in which special rescue operations would
be necessary. This paper outlines the following; 1) how such situations take
place, or how efforts are being made to avoid them; 2) how rescue operations can
be done; and 3) possible research and development on how the situations can be
reduced using new technologies.
Keywords: rescheduling, rescue operations, high speed railways, substitute train
protection, on-board energy storage.

1 Introduction
When disruptions of service take place on dedicated high speed railway lines,
trains may have to be halted at places where passengers on board the trains
cannot evacuate. For example, it has been reported on the Asahi Shimbun [1]
that, on 29 January 2010, five trains with approximately 3,100 passengers on
board had been stranded for nearly four hours on the Tkaid Shinkansen in
Japan after a power outage caused by the breakage of an auxiliary messenger
wire of the compound overhead line equipment. Earlier, it has been reported on
the BBC News Website [2] that five Eurostar trains got stuck inside the Channel
Tunnel when exceptional weather conditions caused failures of electrical systems
on board trains, with nearly 2,000 passengers having to be rescued in a series of
special operations.
In this paper, the following will be outlined: 1) how such situations take
place, or how efforts are being made to avoid them; 2) how rescue operations are
currently carried out and can be done; and 3) possible research and development
on how the situations can be reduced using new technologies.
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142 Computers in Railways XII

2 The need for rescue operations


There may be situations in which high speed trains stop at places other than
stations or emergency evacuation points along a dedicated high speed railway
line when a disruption to services take place. If this situation is expected to
continue for an unacceptably long time, rescue operations must take place to let
these passengers out of the trains.
Once the disruption takes place, and the information on the nature and the
extent of the incident that caused the disruption is available, traffic control is
done to avoid such out-of-station halts. However, it is difficult to avoid such
situations before the information is available, especially when the average
distance between stations and/or evacuation points is long and the frequency of
the trains is high.

3 How rescue operations are being done


If a train to be rescued can be moved, but something is blocking its way, the first
thing to be done is to open a path for the train so that it can be moved to a nearest
station or an evacuation point. It will include moving the train in the direction
different from the one it was originally travelling towards. This, however, may
need bi-directional signalling, which is uncommon for the Japanese high speed
railway system, Shinkansen, and is not effective for high speed railways like
Shinkansen where train frequency is very high. If the distance for which the train
must do the reverse-running is short, the train may actually do so in the rescue
operation.

Station S
Train A
Train running
direction:

Platform P
Platform Q

Train C
Figure 1:

Train B
An example rescue operation at a station (1).

Station S
Train A
Train running
direction:

Platform P
Platform Q
Train C

Figure 2:

Train B

An example rescue operation at a station (2).

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If the train cannot be moved by itself, but can be pulled to the nearest station
or rescue point if another train or a rescue locomotive is attached to it, this option
will be tried.
Finally, if the train cannot be moved for various reasons, but another road in a
double-track railway is open, a rescue train is prepared and sent to the site where
the train is halted. The passengers on board the unmovable train will be
transferred to the rescue train at the site and transported to the nearest station or
evacuation point.
Sometimes it may be necessary to put more than one train on a platform
which normally serves only one. An example is shown in Figures 1 and 2. In
Figure 1, there are three trains A, B and C, out of which Train C is not on any of
the platforms of Station S. By moving Train B slightly forward, a part of Train C
can share Platform Q with Train B, and the passengers on Train C can safely
alight using the passenger doors towards the front of it.

4 Discussions on how to improve rescue operations, or how to


avoid this happening on a massive scale
4.1 Information available to the line controllers
If a disruptive event takes place in a railway line which may lead to the
requirement for any rescue operations as discussed above, it is always important
that the line controllers have information as much and as accurate as possible on
the nature and the extent of the event.
Especially important is the accurate estimate as to how long it will take to
remove the cause of the blockage, which will have an impact on the optimal
overall re-scheduling strategy. The rescue operation itself may take time, and it
may be better to just wait until the cause of the disruption is removed if the
estimated time until the cause is removed is short enough.
Unfortunately, currently this estimate is very inaccurate, which causes the
decision to start the rescue operation to be very late. The development of
technologies to improve the precision of the estimate, including construction of a
good incident database and good information acquisition at the control room, is
strongly expected.
4.2 Substitute train protection
Generally speaking, a high speed railway line is equipped with a train protection
system throughout its length, which is in full use during normal operations.
However, during rescue operations, substitute train protection systems are
frequently used, with special arrangements and restrictions being imposed.
For example, for safety reasons the following rules are imposed when a
substitute train protection is being used on a Japanese Shinkansen line, as
explained in [3]: 1) every train must have a driver and a guard (or two drivers) on
the leading drivers cab; 2) train speed is limited to 110 km/h; 3) every train must
stop before entering a station; and 4) every train must stop at all stations.
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A substitute train protection is basically a fully manual process, which is
prone to human errors. Okada [4] introduced the intention of JR East to develop
a new substitute train protection system using the digital train radio, which is
expected to be less prone to errors.
4.3 Energy storage onboard trains
Energy storage systems are expected to reduce energy consumption of electric
railways, especially DC railways. The application of energy storage systems to
high speed railway systems will not, however, contribute to any considerable
energy-savings; this is because high speed railways are generally AC-fed.
Nevertheless, it is expected that the application of energy storage on-board
high speed railcars will contribute to the improvement in the rescue operations,
mainly because this may make it possible to move trains regardless of the
availability of electric power through overhead contact equipment.
Disruption of power supply of a railway line will result in major disruption of
rail services on the line, because the loss of power means loss of the ability to
move for the trains in a certain area. If some amount of energy is stored onboard, the ability to move will not be lost entirely even when the failure of power
supply takes place; this will mean it is much easier to plan and carry out rescue
operations under such circumstances.
Careful design of the railcars, however, must be made if this idea is to be
implemented. The addition of on-board energy storage will result in increased
weight, and therefore increased energy consumption and wear and tear of the
tracks. This must be compared to the advantage gained by the addition.

5 Conclusion
Rescue operations are the necessary step in the train re-scheduling when a major
disruption of service takes place. As discussed in Section 4, the development of
good system to give precision estimate of the time to the removal of the blocking
condition is very important. In addition, there are some new technologies that
may contribute to the improved rescue operations, especially on-board energy
storage.
The rescue operation, however, is only necessary when the major disruption
actually happens. In this respect, the improvement of the reliability of services,
by improving the reliability of individual components that make up the whole
railway system, is most important.

References
[1] Asahi Shimbun, 30 January 2010 (in Japanese).
[2] BBC News Website, 19 December 2009.
[3] Shinkansen Signalling Installations (in Japanese), Revised Ed., Railway
Electrical Engineers Association of Japan (2002).

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[4] Okada, K.: Development and Implementation of Digital ATC Systems (in
Japanese), JR-East Technical Review, 5, pp. (2003). http://www.jreast.co.jp
/development/tech/pdf_5/27-30.pdf (accessed 1 May 2010).

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Track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen


cars in commercial service
H. Moritaka1 & T. Matsumoto2
1

Omuta Track Maintenance Depot, Kyushu Railway Company, Japan


Track Maintenance Division, Track & Facilities Department,
Kyushu Railway Company, Japan

Abstract
The Kyushu Railway Company (JR [Japan Railway] Kyushu) has introduced, for
the first time in Shinkansen trains in Japan, a device that can measure all track
irregularity using cars in commercial service. With that, special measurement
cars were no longer needed, and frequent monitoring of the status of tracks
became possible.
The track irregularity measurement device employs an inertial measurement
method, whereby track irregularity can be measured at a single cross-section. It
is mounted with a special attachment base at the center of the bogie frame on
rear bogies of the lead cars at both ends of the train. Measurement operations are
done by remote control from PCs at the wayside.
Devices that can measure track irregularity, body vibration acceleration, and
axle box vibration acceleration were mounted to Shinkansen cars in commercial
service introduced in August 2009, and use of the devices commenced. Those cars
have run 458,299 km as of the end of April 2010, and track measurement was
made without problems in the 27,412 km for which measurements were taken.
Keywords: Kyushu Shinkansen, track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen cars
in commercial service, the inertial versine method.

1 Introduction
The Kyushu Railway Company (JR [Japan Railway] Kyushu) has been
proceeding since FY 2005 with the technical development of measurement
functions for track irregularity, vibration acceleration, and axle box vibration
acceleration to add to Shinkansen cars in commercial service. As a result, the
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company has completed the mounting of track measurement devices to new
Shinkansen rolling stock (U7 trainsets) introduced this fiscal year, and good
track measurement has been achieved. This paper will give an overview of
general track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen cars in commercial service.

2 Composition of the track measurement device for the


Kyushu Shinkansen
Figure 1 shows an image of the track measurement device mounted to a
Shinkansen car in commercial service. The track measurement device covered
here is composed of five major devices: track irregularity detector, vibration
acceleration detector, axle box vibration acceleration detector, position detector,
and control PC. The track measurement device is mounted on the lead cars (car
Nos. 1 and 6).
Technical development of the individual devices was conducted while
gaining the consensus of the Rolling Stock Division from the standpoints of
high-accuracy measurement, no disruption to bogie running performance, and no
reduction to passenger cabin space [1] In this section, we will cover the functions
of the individual devices.
2.1 Track irregularity detector
The track irregularity detectorthe core component of the general track
measurement system createdutilizes the inertial versine method contrived by
the Railway Technical Research Institute in which high-accuracy measurement
of track can be expected without the need for large-scale modifications to rolling
stock (bogies and body) [2]. The inertial versine method applies the inertial
measurement method that utilizes the phenomenon whereby rolling stock
vibrates due to track irregularity, and the results especially are output as versine
irregularity and allow simultaneous measurement of gauge and cross level. In
that way, the inertial versine method that can measure the five basic items of
track irregularity on a single cross section allows the track irregularity detector to
be mounted without a base of the body and multiple bogies as with previous
measurement methods (versine method and asymmetrical chord offset method).
Control PC
Vibration
Axle box
Figure 1:

Position
Track irregularity

Image of mounting to Shinkansen rolling stock.

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It can thus be said to be a measurement method fitting all-motor-car Kyushu


Shinkansen cars in commercial service.
Figure 2 shows the specific mounting method for the track irregularity
detector. The structure has a special attachment base at the center of the bogie
frame, and the detector is rigidly coupled to that. This detector has a double box
construction with a steel outer box and sensors (displacement gauge, gyro,
accelerometer) on a high-precision aluminum base protected from vibration in
the inner box. Bogie strength and running stability were taken into consideration
as much as possible in design. The track irregularity detector is mounted on the
rear bogies of the lead cars taking into consideration axle load balance,
avoidance of danger in impact with obstructions, and workability in the pit line
at the depot.
2.2 Vibration acceleration detector
The vibration acceleration detector is mounted under the floor near the center of
the lead bogie. It detects vertical and horizontal vibration acceleration of the
body.

Measurement unit

W2000mm H225mm D490mm

Figure 2:

Measurement unit dimensions.

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Axle box detector

Figure 3:

Axle box vibration acceleration detector.

Position detector

Figure 4:

Position detector.

2.3 Axle box vibration acceleration detector


Axle box vibration acceleration detector is mounted to the bottom of the axle
boxes of both wheels on the front axle of the lead bogie (Fig. 3). It detects
vertical and horizontal vibration acceleration of the axle.
2.4 Position detector
The position detector is mounted under the body at the rear axle of the lead
bogie. That device detects beacons installed every 500 m to detect location
information. That information along with 0.25 m sampling pulses makes
appropriate alignment of measurement data.
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Figure 5:

151

Control PC.

X (left No.1)
X (left No.2)
X (left No.3)
X (right No.1)
X (right No.2)
X (right No.3)
Y (left No.1)
Y (left No.2)
Y (left No.3)
Y (right No.1)
Y (right No.2)
Y (right No.3)
Gross level No.1
Gross level No.2
Gross level No.3
Gauge No.1
Gauge No.2
Gauge No.3
Speed No.1
Speed No.2
Speed No.3

100m
Slab track R4,000 TCL505 C200
* X: 10m chord longitudinal level irregularity
Y: 10m chord alignment
Figure 6:

Example of track measurement wave forms for Shinkansen cars in


commercial service.

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2.5 Control PC
The control PC is mounted in the equipment room between the drivers cab and
passenger cabin. That unit is made up components such as the measurement
control part, acceleration control part, power control part, and data recorder.
Compactness was pursued thoroughly so it could reside along with other rolling
stock control devices, making effective use of empty space so it could be
mounted in the equipment room without reducing passenger cabin space.
Furthermore, wayside notebook PCs are linked with the onboard control PC
by a network to form a system where settings for initial conditions and
measurement start/stop can be made by remote control. With that function,
measurement personnel do not need to be on the train, and car scheduling for
measurement is not needed. The system also compensates the weak point of
inertial measurementlow-speed range measurementby simultaneous
measurement between cars Nos. 1 & 6.

3 Wave form of track measurement by Shinkansen cars in


commercial operation
Figure 6 shows an example of the track irregularity wave form acquired in
general track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen U7 trainsets. The features for
this section are as follows.
[Features, etc.]
Directly fastened Type 8 frame-shaped slab
Open section
Near 4,000 m radius ETC
200 mm cant
12 downhill grade
The track measurement wave forms for three passes shown in Figure 6 were
acquired from the track irregularity measurement device on car No. 1. The three
wave forms match extremely well, and track conditions such as amount of
versine in the curve and appropriate amount of cant are appropriately captured.
We can thus see that the device has very high measurement accuracy.

4 Conclusion
Highly accurate monitoring of track conditions became possible by achieving
general track measurement with Shinkansen cars in commercial service, and we
can expect further improvement in safety. Initial costs and running costs can also
be reduced, and we can expect large expenditure reduction effects. JR Kyushu
plans to add the track measurement function to U9 trainsets to be introduced next
fiscal year to build an even more complete monitoring system.

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References
[1] Moritaka, H., Matsumoto, T. & Yazawa, E., Technical development for
general track measurement by Kyushu Shinkansen Cars (Japanese). Journal
of the Japan Railway Civil Engineering Association, pp. 921-923, 2009.
[2] Moritaka, H., Yazawa, E. & Tsubokawa, Y., Performance evaluation of
inertial versine track irregularity detector and investigation of detecting
method in low speed range (Japanese). Proc. Of the 46th Academic Lecture
Meeting of Japan Society of Civil Engineers: Fukuoka, Japan, pp. 73-74,
2008.

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Development of a high-speed overhead


contact line measurement device for the
Kyushu Shinkansen
N. Kinoshita1, Y. Himeno2 & R. Igata2
1

Strategy Management Department, Kyushu Railway Company, Japan


Electric Power Division, Electrical Engineering Department,
Kyushu Railway Company, Japan

Abstract
This report addresses the development of a measurement device for more
efficiency in the dynamic inspection of overhead lines, which is one type of
equipment inspection for the Kyushu Shinkansen.
With Shinkansen lines in the past, overhead lines were measured with special
electric and inspection cars using measurement pantographs and lasers. A testing
timetable had to be put together during the regular commercial service time. In
light of that, the Kyushu Railway Company (JR [Japan Railway] Kyushu) took
the following points into consideration, and developed a device for measurement
where imaging equipment is mounted to Shinkansen trains in commercial
operation to analyze the dynamic state of overhead lines by image analysis.
1) Enabling increased efficiency in maintenance by measuring on the normal
timetable during commercial service.
2) Reducing costs by eliminating the need for a special measuring car.
3) Simplifying the components that make up the measurement device.
With that measurement device, train location information and speed
information can be acquired from ATC (Automatic Train Control) to associate
those with test results at the points measured for better data management.
This measurement device is used periodically, and the data acquired is
utilized for maintenance and management of the overhead line equipment.
Keywords: Shinkansen, overhead contact line measurement, image processing,
stereo measuring, pattern recognition of shape.

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Figure 1:

Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima route map.

1 Introduction
With the partial opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima route in March
2004 (between Shin-Yatsushiro and Kagoshima-Chuo Stations: Fig. 1), trains in
commercial service were equipped with imaging devices and other equipment. A
high-speed overhead contact line measurement device (hereinafter the
measurement device) incorporating those was developed to diagnose the
dynamic state of contact wires and pantographs.
For Shinkansen lines in the past, overhead contact lines were measured with
measurement equipment using measurement pantographs and lasers on special
electric and track inspection cars. The Kyushu Railway Company (JR [Japan
Railway] Kyushu), however, decided to mount the measurement device on
Shinkansen cars in commercial service in consideration of the following to
measure Kyushu Shinkansen overhead contact lines.
- Costs can be reduced by eliminating the need for special measurement cars.
- Equipment composing the measurement device can be simplified.
- Maintenance can be made more efficient with the ability to measure during
commercial operation.
The measurement device images and records with cameras train line facilities
around contact wires and pantographs during commercial service, and it finds the
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required measurement values by image processing. To determine the location of


measurement points, speed and distance information from ATC are recorded in
parallel with processing to save image data, and the results of image processing
are output associated with the location of measurement points. The following
development policies were followed to build the system in development of the
measurement device.
(1) Development of a measurement device that does not interfere with
commercial service
(2) Acquisition of highly accurate measurement data by putting a compact
measurement device on trains
(3) Introduction of imaging equipment compatible with acquiring high-speed
measurement data
(4) Establishment of a system composition that allows for easy function
upgrading
(5) And easy-to-handle system composition
(6) A system composition using general-purpose equipment

2 Measurement items
Measurement items for the measurement device are the following dynamic items
pursuant to measurement items with conventional electric and track inspection
cars (Fig. 2).
(1) Contact wire height
(2) Contact wire deviation
(3) Detection of obstructions around pantograph
(4) Shape monitoring of pantograph head and horn
(5) Contact wire hard spot detection
(6) Power collection status monitoring (video playback confirmation item)
Measurement of the static item of contact wire residual diameter is not done
with the measurement device. That is measured by a wear measuring instrument
on the separate maintenance car.
(4) Pantograph head/horn
shape monitoring

(2) Contact wire deviation

(1) Contact wire height


(5) Detection of contact wire hard
spot

Figure 2:

(3) Detection of obstacles around


pantograph

Measurement items.

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3 Conventional method for overhead contact line measuring


Conventionally, the method to measure the state of overhead contact lines has
been to measure manually or use a special car.
When measuring manually, an operator uses various measurement
equipments to measure the overhead line from the wayside or from an overhead
contact line work car. That method allows accurate measurement of static aspects
of overhead contact lines such as residual diameter of contact wires. However,
measurement is at points, so efficiency is poor, and dynamic aspects such as
contact wire height, deviation, and hard spots cannot be measured.
Measuring using a special car allows for measurement of static aspects of
overhead contact lines by running a special measuring car with measurement
devices on it. While efficiency of measurement is higher than that with manual
measurement, operation scheduling must be done in a planned manner. Thus, it
is difficult to be flexible in terms of route and time for measurement. Measuring
with a special measuring car is done by irradiating with lasers, using a special
measurement pantograph, or by image processing.
When measuring by irradiating with lasers, laser light scans the overhead
contact line, and the reflected light is captured to measure the state of the
overhead contact line. While highly accurate measuring can be done, equipment
such as a mirror control device and high-frequency power source are required in
addition to the laser emitter. Thus, a broad space on the roof of the special car is
needed for installation.
When measuring with a measurement pantograph, a pantograph that does not
collect power is installed on the roof of the car in addition to the regular power
collection pantograph, and that is used to take measurements. Consideration does
not need to be made for insulation with the measurement pantograph body, so
devices such as acceleration sensors and micro switches can be directly installed
on the measurement pantograph.
With measurement using image processing, a CCD camera installed on the
roof of the train records the area around the pantograph, and those images are
processed to measure the overhead contact line. Contact wires other than those
being measured, messenger wires, feeders, and other lines are visible in the
images. So, light from a slit light is projected perpendicular to the overhead
contact line to differentiate which line segment of the wires in the images is the
contact wire to be measured, and an image where one point on the contact wire is
reflected is processed for measurement.

4 Composition of the system for the measurement device


The measurement device is composed of onboard devices including the camera
for imaging and wayside devices for data analysis (Fig. 3).
Onboard devices include cameras on the roof of Shinkansen cars, projectors,
and onboard PCs. Data imaged while the train is running and speed/distance
information acquired from ATC devices are stored on the PC. Cameras are
installed on car No. 5, on which a pantograph is also installed (Fig. 4).
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Car No.2 end

Onboard

Car No.1 end


New
ATC
ATC

Car No.1

New ATC

Pant2
Pant2

Pant1
Pant1

Car No.2

Car No.3

Car No.4

Car No.5

Car No.6

Onboard devices
Wayside devices
PC
CCD cameras 2
Line sensor

Maintenance base
Tape

Figure 3:

System composition.

Line sensor
CCD camera 1

Figure 4:

CCD camera 2

Onboard cameras.

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In past overhead line measuring methods (by emitting with a laser or using a
measurement pantograph), there were restrictions on space for installing
equipment on the roof or in the cabin. So, many issues had to be overcome in
applying those methods to rolling stock in commercial service. Moreover, the
measuring method by image processing where lighting is modified uses special
images recorded by illuminating with a slit light, so images cannot be diverted
for use in other measurement items such as pantograph shape monitoring or
obstacle detection.
To sum up the situation, it would be best to be able to measure multiple items
from the images from one camera. The measurement device thus used two CCD
camera and one line sensor camera. A projector is installed on the roof of car No.
4 to ensure brightness for the pantograph of car No. 5 and its surroundings. The
onboard PC is installed in the equipment room on car No. 6. Video signals from
the cameras are converted into optical signals and transmitted to the equipment
room by optical cable, and are supplied to the onboard PC. The onboard PC
records video data on a hard disk along with speed and distance information
acquired from ATC devices.
Major specs of the imaging equipment are as follows.
a. CCD cameras
Pixel count:
648 (H)492 (V)(max)
Frame rate: 60Hz
Sensor sensitivity: 0.23 Lux, Max gain, 50% Video
b. Line sensor camera
Pixel count:
4,096
Scan rate: 4.73 kHz (max)
c. Camera units
Embedded on car so as not to be a source of noise when train is running
Made to be as compact as possible
d. Projectors
Ensures brightness to allow camera imaging
4 HID lamps (2 lamps2 units)
Wayside devices download image data acquired by the onboard devices,
analyze those images, conduct measurement processing, and output data
associated with speed and distance information acquired from ATC devices. As
the amount of data exchanged between the onboard and wayside devices is
enormous, LTO large-capacity media is employed.

5 Principles of overhead contact line measurement


Two cameras are used for position measurement of overhead contact lines. Those
cameras are located on the right and left sides around the pantograph on the roof
of the car, and the baselines of those two cameras are made parallel to the
pantograph head. The benefits of two cameras over one are as follows.
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Just the contact wire in contact with the pantograph can be geometrically
differentiated from images where contact wires, messenger wires, and other
items show up in various ways.
Images taken by the two cameras on the right and left sides almost never have
contact wires and messenger wires show up overlapped due to their erection
structure. That way, the contact wires are not imaged thicker than they actually
are, and the center position of the contact wire can be correctly measured.
Next, we will explain the contact wire position measuring process (Fig. 5, 6).
First, the left and right cameras acquire images of the same pantograph and the
surrounding area, and the pantograph in the images from the left and right
cameras is detected by pattern matching. Next, multiple line segments of wires in
the image perpendicular to the detected pantograph are selected as candidates for
the contact wire to be measured, and groups of line segments of wires among
those that cross at the same point as the pantograph are found by stereo
corresponding point searching. That is determined to be the contact wire to be
measured. From the coordinates of the left and right images of the point where
the contact wire and pantograph cross, the three-dimensional position (XYZ) of
the contact point is calculated by triangulation. Through those processes, the
contact wire that is contacting the pantograph is detected from multiple contact
wires and messenger wires in images, and the position of that contact point can
be measured.
The principle of so-called stereo measuring is used. Stereo measuring is the
same as a human visually senses the distance to an object. For example, cameras
A and B are set apart at distance L as in Fig. 7. In that case, the angle of view
recorded by both cameras is a known value. When the object is recorded by
camera A, it will be recorded at a position where the image is split into A1:A2.
The principle is that the respective formulas for the straight lines connecting
camera A and B with the object are solved, and the crossing point coordinates of
those two straight line formulas is the position of the object (Fig. 7).

Figure 5:

Measurement procedure.

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Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Detecting contact wire to be measured.

Principles of stereo measuring.

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6 Image processing
Next, we will cover specific image processing for individual measurement items.
6.1 Contact wire height
With the measurement device, a line sensor camera having resolution power
about ten times that of CCD cameras are used to acquire highly accurate
measurement data. Specifically, a perpendicular slit image of the pantograph
head area is recorded at 1,000 lines per second to generate a spatiotemporal
image, and the change in pantograph height is calculated by the top of the
pantograph being extracted through image processing and output as the contact
wire height.
Fig. 8 is an example of a spatiotemporal image from a line sensor camera.
The horizontal axis is time, and the vertical matches physical up-and-down
movement. The thick line extending horizontally is the trajectory of the
pantograph head, and the vertically flowing line is wayside structures
momentarily passed. In image processing, the top of the pantograph head is
extracted and the height is calculated.
6.2 Contact wire deviation
Images of the area around the pantograph recorded from two directions by two
CCD cameras installed on the car roof are used to find contact wire deviation.
The contact wire and the pantograph contacting that are extracted from the left
and right images by image processing, and the three-dimensional position of the
contact point is calculated through the principles of the triangulation method
based on the coordinate values from the left and right images of the contact
point. The distance from the center of the pantograph to the contact point is then
output as contact wire deviation.

UP
Pantograph(trajectory)

Down(body)

Time axis

Pantograph
height

Figure 8:

Model of line sensor image manipulation.

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6.3 Detection of obstacles around the pantograph
Images recorded by two CCD cameras are analyzed to detect obstacles around
the pantograph. When objects other than preset structures (pantograph, overhead
contact lines, support fixtures, etc.) in a range set beforehand are discovered,
those are detected as obstacles. The position of obstacles and the section and
distance information of the point where obstacles are detected are output.
The definition of obstacles around the pantograph is as follows.
Obstacles are all objects not contacting the contact wire that are suspected to
obstruct the pantograph.
Overhead contact line support fixtures, etc. in contact with the contact wire are
not detected as obstacles even if they are around the pantograph.
6.4 Pantograph head/horn shape monitoring
Pantograph head and horn shape are pattern-recognized, and the presence of
shape irregularities is determined by comparison processing with the acquired
image. The position where shape irregularity occurs (kilometerage) is also found.
Places with pattern discordance can be reconfirmed through images by indicating
the kilometerage, etc. A binary search function that plays back recorded images
in sequence and narrows down the location where shape irregularity occurs is
provided as a tool to visually inspect pantograph shape.
6.5 Contact wire hard spot detection
Continuous data of pantograph height calculated from spatiotemporal images by
the line sensor camera shown in Fig. 8 is in itself the trajectory of pantograph
behavior, so the second order differential of that is calculated, and acceleration
acting on the pantograph found. Dividing that acceleration with the gravitational
acceleration, and the hard spot found. If that result is in excess of a certain value,
the point of the contact wire is judged to be a hard spot.
6.6 Power collection status monitoring (item confirmed by image playback)
Inspection is performed visually with this function by playing back images. If
irregularities with the power collection status are discovered, images and
distance/speed information are associated at that point in time and recorded.

7 Use of measurement data


Results of measurement processing are arranged by section and distance
information, and are output as lists of figures and as graphs (Fig. 9). The
horizontal axis of the graph display is kilometerage, and measurement data and
points measured can be easily compared. Similarly, if any irregularities are
detected, places where they occur can be easily identified. Furthermore, the
measurement device allows image data to be cued from the output data of
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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 9:

165

Log form output example.

measurement results. That way, still images of the places where problems occur
and video of before and after the occurrence can be instantly played back to
allow visual confirmation of the state of the overhead contact line at the time
irregularities occur.

8 Measurement results
The measurement device was installed on Shinkansen cars in commercial
service, and measurement processing was done from images repeatedly acquired
under conditions with differing running time and running speed in the section
between Shin-Yatsushiro and Kagoshima-Chuo. Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 are some of
the measurement processing results for that. The top of the two graphs in each
figure is the measurement results for pantograph height. Its vertical axis is
pantograph height, and its horizontal axis is operating distance with Hakata
Station as the starting point. The bottom graph is the measurement results for
contact wire deviation. Its vertical axis is deviation from center of pantograph to
contact point of the contact wire, and its horizontal axis is operating distance
with Hakata Station as the starting point as in the top graph.

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166 Computers in Railways XII


Fig. 10 is graphs when running in a straight section. The top graph is contact
wire height (height from rails to pantograph), varying between 5,000 and 5,100
mm height. Height is higher at overhead contact line supporting points and lower
between the supporting points, demonstrating the change in height with a simple
catenary system. The bottom graph is contact wire deviation, showing the
zigzagging of overhead contact lines in straight sections where the contact wires
slides left and right about 200 mm. The point plotted like a protruding hair to
the left of the center of the graph is where two contact wires in the image are
detected. That location is a section where contact wires switch with main wire
and side-main wire installed in 300 mm intervals, and those intervals and
locations are accurately measured.
Fig. 11 is graphs when running in a curved section in a tunnel, and the section
between the arrows applies to the curved area. The top graph is contact wire
height, and while wiggling change in height cannot be seen compared to the
straight section, it shows the amount of sag for contact wire between supporting
points is less than in the straight section. The bottom graph is contact wire
deviation, showing that the contact wire is skewed to one side at the outside of
curve.

Figure 10:

Contact wire height and deviation measurement results example


(straight section).

Figure 11:

Contact wire height and deviation measurement results example


(curved section).

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167

9 Conclusion
JR Kyushu has developed and put into operation a device that measures the
dynamic state of overhead contact lines by acquiring images of around the
pantograph while the train is running using cameras installed on Kyushu
Shinkansen cars in commercial service. That has brought about improvements in
measuring accuracy and reduction in labor required for measuring work.
Addition of a contact line residual diameter measuring function is also
planned with the opening of the completed Kyushu Shinkansen. Verification
tests are being conducted for that at the present time, and further reduction in
labor required for measuring work is expected with its introduction.

References
[1] Nakahata, Y. & Kinoshita, N., Measurement by utilizing commercial train
(Japanese). Railway and Electrical Engineering, Japan Railway Electrical
Engineering Association, pp. 65-68, 2004.
[2] Kinoshita, N., Development of overhead contact line measurement device
by imaging (Japanese). Journal of Japan Railway Engineers Association,
pp. 57, 2004.

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Computers in Railways XII

169

The analysis of train reliability for


the Taiwan High Speed Rail
J.-C. Jong1, T.-H. Lin1, C.-K. Lee2 & H.-L. Hu3
1

Civil & Hydraulic Engineering Research Center,


Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Inc, Taiwan
2
Department of Marketing and Logistics, Southern Taiwan University,
Taiwan
3
Bureau of High Speed Rail,
Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Taiwan

Abstract
This study briefly reviews the development of the Taiwan High Speed Rail and
analyzes its service reliability in terms of punctuality and average delay per train.
The concept of risk management is also introduced in this paper to analyze the
frequency and the severity of train delays caused by different kinds of accidents.
According to the result of the analysis, signal and interlocking failures are the
main reasons leading to train delays. Earthquakes and typhoons are also major
threats to the system, even though the system tends toward stable. Based on the
experiences of the Taiwan High Speed Rail, shortening the maintenance cycle
can efficiently alleviate the problem of train delay caused by signal failures.
Keywords: High Speed Rail, train delay, risk management.

1 Introduction
On 1 October 1964, the worlds first high-speed train commenced service on the
Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Osaka at a speed of 210 km/h. This
date marks the start of the era of High Speed Rail (HSR). Despite the success of
Shinkansen, the spread of HSR around the world was relatively slow. Seventeen
years later, France launched a HSR service with a maximum speed of 270 km/h
between Paris and Lyon in 1981. Another seven years later, the worlds third
HSR was introduced in Italy. Afterwards, German and Spain also joined the club
of HSR in 1991 and 1992, respectively [4].
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170 Computers in Railways XII


In the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the
development of HSR increased rapidly because of economic, environmental and
external cost concerns, especially in the Far East [8]. In 2004, the Korea Railroad
(Korail) opened its KTX between Seoul and Busan, using TGV technology [13].
Three years later, the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), the first HSR outside
Japan to adopt Shinkansen technology, was inaugurated to provide a high speed
passenger service between Taipei and Kaohsiung at a maximal speed of 300
km/h. In 2008 and 2009, the Beijing-Tianjin HSR and the Wuhan-Guangzhou
HSR were introduced in China. At present, the HSR has become a prevailing
transportation mode and several projects are currently under development in
different countries, including the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR)
in the USA [3].
As it spreads around the world, HSR has been recognized as an energysaving, environment-friendly, and efficient mode of transportation [8]. People
expect not only high-speed travel, but also safe and reliable service. After three
years of operation, the THSR has carried more than 80 million passengers.
Incidents leading to injuries and fatalities have never occurred to date. However,
train delays are created sometimes. This study collected operation data from the
Bureau of High Speed Rail (BOHSR), the supervisor and regulator of the THSR,
to analyze the train reliability of the THSR. The study also introduced the
concept of the risk management to analyze the frequency and the severity of train
delays caused by different kinds of accidents. Through the proposed method,
problems disturbing the normal operation of the THSR could be identified. The
proposed methodology could be applied to other HSR or conventional railways
for identifying, analyzing, and evaluating the risks of train delays.

2 The Taiwan HSR project


In the 1980s, Taiwans economy was booming, especially in the western region.
The growth of the economy led to increasing demands for intercity
transportation. According to the investigation report in 1990 [5], the amount of
trips between Taipei (the major city in the North of Taiwan) and Kaohsiung (the
major city in the South of Taiwan) would increase by 84% until 2011. The huge
growth attracted much attention from the government to think about how to
alleviate the congestion problem.
To overcome the capacity insufficiency problem and to achieve the goal of
the one-day living area policy in Taiwan, a HSR system was finally selected
from many alternatives. The THSR project was initially planned to be built by
the public sector. Due to the increased public fiscal burdens, parliament
withdrew the budget allocated to the THSR project and decided to have the
project built by the private sector with a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model
[14]. This kind of infrastructure privatization model is spreading in many
developing and developed countries under tight budgetary constraints [6]. With a
construction value of $18 billion, the THSR project was undoubtedly one of the
most expensive concession transportation projects in the world at that time and
perhaps even today.
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In September 1997, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Consortium was selected to
be the best applicant for the BOT project. The Taiwan High Speed Rail
Corporation (THSRC) was then incorporated in May 1998 as the concessionaire
to build and operate the HSR service. The THSRC was licensed by the
government to finance, construct, and operate the system for a period of 35 years
and a concession for station area development for a period of 50 years [14]. The
construction of the THSR started in 1999 and ended in 2006. The rail network
links Taipei and Kaohsiung at a total length of 345 kilometers. Currently, eight
stations are in operation, including Taipei, Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu,
Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Zuoying (a district in Kaohsuing), as shown in
Figure 1.
The THSRC imported 700T trains, a type of the Shinkansen rolling stock
based on the 700 series, from Japan. It was the first time that the Shinkansen
exported its system to a foreign country. The 700T train set has a distributed
traction system formatted by 12 cars including nine power cars and three trailers.
The passenger capacity of the 700T train is 989 seats [11]. The designed
maximum speed of the 700T train is 315 km/h, but its commercial maximum
speed is 300 km/h. The acceleration rate is 2.0 km/h/s and the deceleration rate is
about 2.7 km/h/s.
The whole network of the THSR is designed as double tracks. The maximum
gradient is 35 and the minimum radius is 6,250 meters. The operation control
center (OCC) is located at Taoyuan station. One maintenance base is situated
near Hsinchu, and two depots are located in the center and south of Taiwan. The
main workshop is located at Yenchao between Tainan and Kaohsiung. Normally,
double-track operations are used, but the signaling system also provides the
flexibility of single-line, bi-directional operations. In addition, the digital
automatic train control (D-ATC) system is installed to ensure safety.

Figure 1:

The route and stations of the THSR.

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3 Train services and ridership


Table 1 lists the stopping patterns and their associated journey time of the THSR.
The stopping patterns combine non-stop, express, and local trains. At the
beginning, the THSRC provided train services with many different kinds of
stopping patterns. However, at present, almost all trains follow pattern B or E
and very few adopt patterns F or G. Currently, pattern B is the fastest service
between Taipei and Zuoying with a travel time of 96 minutes.
When the THSRC started commercial operations, only 38 train services were
provided daily. Afterwards, more and more drivers completed training and the
system tended toward stable. The THSRC constantly increased the number of
daily services from 38 to 142 to achieve the request of the BOT contract until
December 2008. After that, the THSRC reduced train frequency due to the
economic depression. The trend of the number of daily services from January
2007 to March 2010 is displayed in Figure 2.
Table 1:

The stopping patterns and the associated journey time of the


THSR.

Pattern

Taipei

Banciao Taoyuan Hsinchu Taichung Chiayi

Tainan Zuoying

Travel
Time
(min)

81
96

108

108

120

57

60

5000
4500
4000
3500
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500

Figure 2:

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Mar-2010

Jan-2010

Feb-2010

Oct-2009

The trend of the number of daily train services.

Dec-2009

Sep-2009

Nov-2009

Jul-2009

Aug-2009

Jun-2009

Apr-2009

May-2009

Mar-2009

Jan-2009

Feb-2009

Oct-2008

Dec-2008

Nov-2008

Sep-2008

Jul-2008

Jun-2008

Aug-2008

Apr-2008

May-2008

Jan-2008

Feb-2008

Mar-2008

Dec-2007

Oct-2007

Nov-2007

Jul-2007

Sep-2007

Aug-2007

Jun-2007

Apr-2007

Mar-2007

May-2007

Jan-2007

0
Feb-2007

The Number
of Train
Services
The Number
of Train

Computers in Railways XII

173

3500
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500
0
Jan-2007
Feb-2007
Mar-2007
Apr-2007
May-2007
Jun-2007
Jul-2007
Aug-2007
Sep-2007
Oct-2007
Nov-2007
Dec-2007
Jan-2008
Feb-2008
Mar-2008
Apr-2008
May-2008
Jun-2008
Jul-2008
Aug-2008
Sep-2008
Oct-2008
Nov-2008
Dec-2008
Jan-2009
Feb-2009
Mar-2009
Apr-2009
May-2009
Jun-2009
Jul-2009
Aug-2009
Sep-2009
Oct-2009
Nov-2009
Dec-2009
Jan-2010
Feb-2010
Mar-2010

The Number of Passengers


The Number(thousands)
of Passenger(thousand)

Since the fares of other modes in the Western corridor of Taiwan are cheaper
than the THSR, except airlines, several marketing strategies were implemented
to increase the seat utilization rate and the revenue of the THSRC. In addition to
the half price promotion during the first two weeks at the beginning of
commercial operations, the strategy of non-reserved seats has also been
adopted since November 2007. The concept of non-reserved seats is that
passengers need not book before riding; they can purchase tickets immediately
after arriving stations, and then take any train without designated seats. The
promotion provided more convenience for business travelers, and the price of
non-reserved seats had a 20% discount during the first three months. The
THSRC initially provided three cars of non-reserved seats per train, and this
increased by one more in January 2008 to mitigate the crowded condition. After
the three month period, the discount for non-reserved seats was adjusted several
times until settling on a final value of 15%. Additionally, the use of these tickets
is now only permitted on weekdays, excluding Fridays and the days before
holidays.
Another promotion that allowed 20% discounts on all types of tickets on
weekdays was implemented from April to November 2008. During the period,
the airlines between Taipei and Taichung, Taipei and Chiayi, Taipei and Tainan
were cancelled. Only Taipei-Kaohsiung airlines survived and there remained
three flights per week. Since November 2008, the THSRC has pushed a new
program called Two-Color Promotion. It was the first time that the THSR
introduced the concept of revenue management. In this program, each train
service was denoted by a color, either blue or orange. The blue indicates a 15%
discount and the orange means a 35% discount. The THSRC has promoted this
program to attract on-peak passengers to take off-peak trains.
Figures 3 and 4 depict the number of passengers and the seat utilization rate
of the THSRC from January 2007 to March 2010. Generally speaking, the
monthly ridership is approximately 2,500 ~ 3,000 thousand passengers and the
seat utilization rate was approximately 40% ~ 50% last year. The influence of
each promotion can also be observed roughly in these two figures.

Figure 3:

The number of passengers.

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174 Computers in Railways XII

80.00%
70.00%
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%
Jan-2007
Feb-2007
Mar-2007
Apr-2007
May-2007
Jun-2007
Jul-2007
Aug-2007
Sep-2007
Oct-2007
Nov-2007
Dec-2007
Jan-2008
Feb-2008
Mar-2008
Apr-2008
May-2008
Jun-2008
Jul-2008
Aug-2008
Sep-2008
Oct-2008
Nov-2008
Dec-2008
Jan-2009
Feb-2009
Mar-2009
Apr-2009
May-2009
Jun-2009
Jul-2009
Aug-2009
Sep-2009
Oct-2009
Nov-2009
Dec-2009
Jan-2010
Feb-2010
Mar-2010

Seat Utilization Percentage


Seat
Rate

90.00%

Figure 4:

The seat utilization rate.

Punctuality within 5 mins

Punctuality within 10 mins

100.00%
99.50%
99.00%
98.50%
98.00%
97.50%
97.00%
96.50%
Jan-07
Feb-07
Mar-07
Apr-07
May-07
Jun-07
Jul-07
Aug-07
Sep-07
Oct-07
Nov-07
Dec-07
Jan-08
Feb-08
Mar-08
Apr-08
May-08
Jun-08
Jul-08
Aug-08
Sep-08
Oct-08
Nov-08
Dec-08
Jan-09
Feb-09
Mar-09
Apr-09
May-09
Jun-09
Jul-09
Aug-09
Sep-09
Oct-09
Nov-09
Dec-09
Jan-10
Feb-10
Mar-10

96.00%

Figure 5:

Monthly punctualities within 5 and 10 minutes.

4 The analysis of punctuality and train delays


Although the THSR has provided services for more than 80 million passengers
since January 2007, no incident leading to injuries and fatalities has ever
occurred. However, a few incidents causing train delays have indeed happened
during the past three years. This section tries to analyze the punctuality and the
train delays of the THSR. The concept of the risk management is also employed
to analyze the frequency and the severity of train delays caused by different
kinds of accidents.
4.1 Trend of train punctuality
Figure 5 shows the train punctualities of the THSRC within 5 and 10 minutes
during the past three years. Since the THSRC did not report punctuality within 5
minutes to BOHSR in 2007, this data was not drawn. The figure indicates that
monthly punctualities are almost higher than 98%. In July 2008 and August
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175

2009, signal failures made punctuality drop below 98%. In March 2010, an
earthquake of magnitude 6.4 resulted in a minor train derailment. This
earthquake caused damage to the train and running rails, but all passengers were
safe. However, more than 20 trains were cancelled or adjusted to run with new
stopping patterns after the earthquake. The earthquake led to a steep decline in
punctuality to a value of 96.61%, the lowest one since the THSRCs commercial
operations.
4.2 Trend of average delay
The delays reported to BOHSR were presented by a frequency distribution with
unequal delay interval, i.e., less than 5 minutes, between 5 and 10 minutes,
between 10 and 30 minutes, between 30 and 60 minutes, and more than 60
minutes. The average train delay is approximated by the following equation:
5

fM
i

(1)

i 1

Figure 6:

Average delay per train.

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Mar-10

Jan-10

Feb-10

Dec-09

Oct-09

Nov-09

Sep-09

Jul-09

Aug-09

Jun-09

Apr-09

May-09

Mar-09

Jan-09

Feb-09

Dec-08

Oct-08

Nov-08

Sep-08

Jul-08

Aug-08

Jun-08

Apr-08

May-08

Mar-08

Jan-08

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Feb-08

Average Delay
per
Train
(min)
Average
Delay
per Train

where: X = average train delay (minutes)


f i = the frequency of the ith class
M i = the median of the ith class (minutes); M 1 0 and M 5 60
n = total train services
The above equation implies that trains with delays less than 5 minutes are
considered to be punctual and that delays over 60 minutes are reset to 60 minutes
for simplification. Besides, the medians of the other classes are used to represent
the delay time for all trains in the classes. The approximation is not precise, but
is a reasonable estimate of average delay. Figure 6 displays the average delay per
train during the periods from January 2008 to March 2010. The results during
2007 are not shown in the figure since the number of delay less than 5 minutes is
not recorded. The figure shows that the average delay per train ranges between 0
and 0.83, demonstrating that the service of THSRC is very reliable.

176 Computers in Railways XII


4.3 Delays caused by accidents
Since BOHSR only requested THSRC to report specific accidents such as
collisions, derailments, rolling stock failures, and the accidents causing train
delays over thirty minutes, the data collected for this study were limited. Figure 7
presents the number of reported accidents per month from January 2007 to
March 2010. The annual moving average (AMA) number of accidents
normalized by 10 million train-kilometers is also marked in the figure. There has
been a decreasing trend in the AMA over the past three years. In 2007, rolling
stocks, tracks, and signal failures were the main reasons leading to train delays.
As the operation of THSR gradually reaches to a stable condition, natural
disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons become the major threats to train
reliability nowadays. In addition, signal and interlocking failures are still
potential hazards to reliability. The evidence from March 2009 showed that more
than 3,000 minutes of train delays were resulted from only one signal failure.
Figure 8 uses another indicator, the total train delays caused by accidents, to
represent the trend of reliability. It is easy to notice the contrast between Figure 7
and Figure 8. These two figures indicate that the frequency of accidents
decreases, but the number of total train delays increases. That is because the
number of train services has increased continuously in the last three years. Any
accident might easily affect other trains and eventually cause train delays.
4.4 The analysis of train delay risks
The concept of risk has been widely applied to different disciplines. In railway
industries, risk can be used to evaluate the threats to the success of a railway
project, or the safety of a railway system. However, the applications of risk
concept to train delays are seldom found in the literature. In this study, we tried
to apply the concept of risk to evaluate the threats to train punctuality.
According to the Operational Rules and Regulations of Railroads stipulated by
the Ministry of Transportation and Communications [10], railway accidents are
classified into 17 categories: (1) train or rolling stock collision, (2) train or
1.5

2.5

1.25

1.5

0.75

0.5

0.5

0.25

Figure 7:

Trend of the number of accidents reported.

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AMA Number
of Accident per
AMA Number
of Accidents
per 10
10 Million Train Kilometers
Million
Train-Kilometers

AMA Number

Jan-07
Feb-07
Mar-07
Apr-07
May-07
Jun-07
Jul-07
Aug-07
Sep-07
Oct-07
Nov-07
Dec-07
Jan-08
Feb-08
Mar-08
Apr-08
May-08
Jun-08
Jul-08
Aug-08
Sep-08
Oct-08
Nov-08
Dec-08
Jan-09
Feb-09
Mar-09
Apr-09
May-09
Jun-09
Jul-09
Aug-09
Sep-09
Oct-09
Nov-09
Dec-09
Jan-10
Feb-10
Mar-10

The Number
of Accident per
The Number
of Accidents
perMonth
Month

Monthly Number
3

Computers in Railways XII


AMA Number

3500

770

3000

660

2500

550

2000

440

1500

330

1000

220

500

110
0
Jan-07
Feb-07
Mar-07
Apr-07
May-07
Jun-07
Jul-07
Aug-07
Sep-07
Oct-07
Nov-07
Dec-07
Jan-08
Feb-08
Mar-08
Apr-08
May-08
Jun-08
Jul-08
Aug-08
Sep-08
Oct-08
Nov-08
Dec-08
Jan-09
Feb-09
Mar-09
Apr-09
May-09
Jun-09
Jul-09
Aug-09
Sep-09
Oct-09
Nov-09
Dec-09
Jan-10
Feb-10
Mar-10

AMA Train Delays per


10 Million Train Kilometers

Total Train Delays per Monthh

Monthly Number

177

Figure 8:

Trend of the total train delays caused by accidents.

rolling stock turnover, (3) train or rolling stock fire, (4) train or rolling stock
derailment, (5) train or rolling stock separation, (6) train running into wrong
track, (7) rolling stock runaway, (8) bumper stop collision, (9) false blocking,
(10) rolling stock failure, (11) track or civil structure failure, (12) overhead
catenary system (OCS) failure, (13) signal and interlocking system failure, (14)
train forced to stop, (15) train stops outside home signal, (16) train delay, (17)
fatality or injury. Note that the meanings of some accidents are not as clear as
their titles. For examples, the accident of train forced to stop means that there
are some obstacles on the line to obstruct train movement. Train delay represents
accidents that are not included in categories (1) to (15) but lead to train delay.
Likewise, fatality or injury denotes any other accidents that result in fatalities or
injuries.
The frequency and the severity of an accident can be calculated by the
following equations:
Fk N k TK
Sk D Nk

(2)
(3)

where: Fk = the frequency of the kth type of accident


N k = total number of the kth type of accident per train-kilometer
TK = total number of train-kilometers
S k = the severity of the kth type of accident (minutes per accident)
D = total amount of train delays (minutes)
Figure 9 shows the delay risk matrix of accidents. Since only eight kinds of
accidents ever happened in the past, the matrix is only marked by eight symbols.
It is obvious that the frequency of signal and interlocking failure is higher than
the others. The severity of other accidents leading to train delay is also high.
The reason is that earthquakes have occurred 5 times since 2007, causing almost
4,500 minutes of train delays. The severities of train or rolling stock
derailment and train or rolling stock collision are relatively low since most of
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178 Computers in Railways XII


them happened in depots and did not disturb train operation except the
derailment caused by an earthquake on March 2010.
Figure 10 shows the risk profile of train delays during the periods from
January 2007 to March 2010, where the risk of an accident is calculated by
multiplying the frequency with the severity of the accident. The figure
demonstrates that signal and interlocking failure is undoubtedly the most
serious threat to the reliability of THSR. Other accidents leading to train delay
are also an important risk item, but their causes are diverse and complex. The top
two accident types in the risk profile account for almost 80% of all train delays.
900
800
Severity(min)

700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

A
C
E
G

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

Frequency(per 10 Million Train Kilometers)

Other accidents leading to train delay


Rolling stock failure
Train forced to stop
OCS failure

Figure 9:

B
D
F
H

Signal and interlocking system failure


Train or rolling stock derailment
Track or civil structure failure
Train or rolling stock collision

Delay risk matrix caused by accidents.

Train Delay Risk of Accident (min/10 Million Train Kilometers)


0
20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Signal and interlocking system failure

167.422

Other accidents leading to train delay

127.603

Rolling stock failure

24.292

Track or civil structure failure

16.337

Train forced to stop

15.242

OCS failure
Train or rolling stock derailment
Train or rolling stock collision

Figure 10:

12.265
2.691
0.000

Risk profile of train delays.

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Table 2:

179

Comparison of reliability among different HSR systems in Asia.

Punctuality (within 5 min) Average delay per train


Shinkansen
98.3% (2005)1
0.6 min/train (2009)3
2
KTX
94.1% (2008)
THSR
99.25% (2009)
0.216 min/train (2009)
1: The punctuality of Shinkansen was collected from Lee [7].
2: The punctuality of KTX was obtained from Lim [9].
3: The average delay per train for Shinkansen was collected from the data book
of Central Japan Railway Company [1].

5 The comparisons
Table 2 lists the reliabilities of different HSR systems in Asia. It shows that
THSR has the best performance in terms of both punctuality and average delay
per train. However, it should be noted that the comparisons are not completely
fair. That is because both train service frequency and operating distance affect
service reliability. For examples, the service frequency (13 trains per hour) of the
Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka in the peak hour is much higher
than that (five trains per hour) of THSR. The operating distance of KTX from
Seoul to Busan is 412 km, which is longer than the distance from Taipei to
Kaoshiung of THSR (345 km). Even though the external conditions are too
different to judge which system is better, THSR is undoubtedly a reliable system.

6 Concluding remarks
This study collected the punctuality and train delay data of THSR and applied
risk concept to analyze the service reliability of the system. The result of the
analysis shows that signal and interlocking failures are the main causes leading
to train delays in THSR. Although the technologies of THSR were imported
from Shinkansen, one of the most reliable systems in the world, the investigation
reports of BOHSR pointed out that the reasons causing signal failures are various
and undetermined. Even though the facts of failures are still unknown, THSRC
has found that shortening maintenance cycle can efficiently mitigate the
problems. Through the maintenance strategy, the punctuality has indeed
increased after three signal failures in August 2009 until the earthquake
happened in March 2010. We believe that the train delays caused by signal
failures have been controlled by THSR, and the coming challenge will be how to
ensure the safety and reliability while earthquakes and typhoons happen.
The proposed methodology to analyze and evaluate delay risks is very useful
for operators to improve service reliability. From the resulting risk profile,
operators could easily identify the most critical threats to service reliability and
concentrate their efforts in mitigating the risks. However, that would require
more detailed studies on mitigation measures for reducing the frequency or the
severity of a threat to train reliability.

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180 Computers in Railways XII

References
[1] Central Japan Railway Company, Data Book 2009, Central Japan Railway
Company, 2009.
[2] Department of Statistics, Monthly Statistics of Transportation and
Communications Republic of China, Ministry of Transportation and
Communications, 2010.
[3] Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), High-Speed Intercity Passenger
Rail (HSIPR) Program; Notice, FRA, 2009.
[4] Givoni, M. Development and Impact of the Modern High-speed Train: A
Review, Transport Reviews, Vol. 26, No. 5, pp. 593-611, 2006.
[5] Institute of Transportation (IOT), The Feasibility Study of High Speed Rail
on the Western Corridor of Taiwan, Ministry of Transportation and
Communications, 1990.
[6] Kwak, Y. H., Analyzing Asian Infrastructure Development Privatization
Market, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 128,
No. 2, pp. 110- 116, 2002.
[7] Lee, Y. S. Achievements of KTX Project for the Past Year and
Improvement Measures, Presented in the 5th Congress & Exhibition on
High Speed Rail, 2005
[8] Lee, Y. S., A Study of the development and issues concerning High Speed
Rail (HSR) Working Paper, Transport Studies Unit - University of
Oxford, 2007.
[9] Lim, B. O., Innovations in Rolling Stock Maintenance Facilities, UIC 6th
World Congress on High Speed Railway, 2008.
[10] Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Operational
Rules and Regulations of Railroads, MOTC, 2008.
[11] Shima, T. Taiwan High Speed Rail, Japan Railway & Transport Review,
No. 48, pp. 40-46, 2007.
[12] Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, ROD Incident and Accident
Reporting and Investigation Procedure, Taiwan High Speed Rail, 2006.
[13] Takagi, R. High-Speed Railways : The Last 10 Years, Takagi, Japan
Railways and Transport Review, No. 40, pp. 4-7, 2005.
[14] The official web site of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation,
http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/about/ab_comp.asp.

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Section 3
Communications

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Development of a railway signaling device


based on mixed digital and analog signals using
digital signal processors
R. Ishikawa1 , D. Koshino2, H. Mochizuki2, S. Takahashi2 ,
H. Nakamura2 , S. Nishida1 & M. Sano1
1
Kyosan Electric Mfg. Co., Ltd., Japan
2
College of Science and Technology, Nihon University, Japan
Abstract
In Japan, automatic train control (ATC) systems, one type of railway signaling system, transmit train control information by using analog signals based on amplitude
modulation (AM) in the audio frequency band. To realize highly functional train
control by increasing the data transmission speed, there have been many studies on
digital ATC that transmits train control information by using digital signals based
on phase shift keying (PSK), and these systems are employed in some railway
lines. In practice, however, it is difficult to install digital ATC because it is impossible to ensure another transmission band for digital ATC signals due to the existing track circuit configuration and interoperability conditions, and there are many
railway lines in which analog ATC is still employed. To overcome this restriction,
we proposed a novel railway signaling system using mixed digital and analog signals. We employed quadrature PSK (QPSK) for digital signals and developed a
transmission device using digital signal processors. We evaluated the transmission
characteristics by conducting a basic experiment.
Keywords: railway signaling, amplitude modulation, phase shift keying, digital
signal processor.

1 Introduction
In Japan, automatic train control (ATC) systems ensure railway safety by transmitting train control data via the rails based on amplitude modulation (AM) in the
audio frequency band. There is currently a great deal of research on digital ATC,
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184 Computers in Railways XII


which transmits train control information based on digital modulation schemes,
such as phase shift keying (PSK) [1]. Since digital ATC can realize highly functional train control by increasing the data transmission speed, many railway engineers are attempting to install digital ATC. In our previous work, we proposed
a high-speed data transmission system employing code-division multiple access
(CDMA) and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) for digital ATC [2].
In practice, however, there are some problems in installing digital ATC. In railway signaling via rails, the audio frequency band is usually employed for data
transmission, and the carrier frequency depends on the track circuit configuration and interoperability conditions. Therefore, since it is difficult to ensure a new
channel for digital ATC signals in a railway line in which analog ATC is employed,
all equipment must be replaced simultaneously when attempting to install digital
ATC.
To overcome this restriction, we investigated a novel data transmission scheme
for railway signaling. Since a digital modulation signal such as PSK has no amplitude component, we considered that conventional analog ATC can employ it as
an AM carrier. Based on this idea, we previously proposed a data transmission
scheme based on mixed digital and analog signals, which we call digitalanalog
ATC.
In the present study, we attempted to develop a transceiver for digitalanalog
ATC using digital signal processors (DSPs). In the transmitter, we implemented
an AM modulator that uses a quadrature PSK (QPSK) signal as an AM carrier.
In the receiver, on the other hand, we implemented some functions such as automatic gain control (AGC) and a Costas loop, which is one carrier synchronization
method, for QPSK demodulation. In addition, we conducted a basic experiment to
verify these transceiver functions. We also conducted an experiment using a setup
including conventional equipment and evaluated the spectral distribution of the
AM demodulated signal and the QPSK constellation characteristics.

2 Overview of digitalanalog ATC


2.1 Definition of digitalanalog signal
Figure 1 shows the scheme for generating a so-called digitalanalog signal. First,
it is necessary to be able to receive the train control signal with conventional ATC
equipment. Therefore, the scheme shown in Figure 1 is based on an AM transmitter. It is possible to demodulate an AM signal even if a PSK signal that has no
amplitude component is employed as the AM carrier. Based on this idea, we developed the digitalanalog signal as a novel signal generation scheme that applies a
PSK -based modulation signal to an AM-carrier of an AM-based transceiver.
2.2 Composition of digitalanalog ATC
Figure 2 shows a block diagram of the digitalanalog ATC. In this figure, a digital
analog signal generator installed as field equipment is connected with the rail
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Train control signal


transmitted by AM

AM
Signal
generator

Digital-analog
signal
PSK
modulator

Digital data
generator
Train control data transmitted by PSK

Figure 1: Generation of digitalanalog signal.

Amplifier

BPF

Demodulator
(digital or analog signal)
Train speed
decision logic

Transformer
Receiver
adaptor

Real train
speed measurement

Receiver coil

Comparison of
train speed
Braking output

TG

Transformer
Audio
amplifier

Rail
Digital-analog
signal generator

Figure 2: Block diagram of digitalanalog ATC.

serving as the transmission medium. On the train, the received signal is demodulated after passing through an amplifier and a band pass filter (BPF). Since the
received signal includes digital and analog signals, either a digital signal demodulator or an analog signal demodulator is installed. The instructed train speed is
determined from the demodulated signal and is compared with the actual train
speed measured by a tachogenerator (TG). If the actual train speed is faster than
this instructed train speed, it is reduced by applying the brake.
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2.3 Characteristics of digitalanalog ATC
When installing digital ATC, one problem is that all equipment must be replaced
simultaneously. With our proposed digitalanalog ATC, on the other hand, it is
possible to transmit mixed digital and analog signals using the same carrier frequency. Therefore, this scheme has the following benefits:
It is possible to replace existing equipment with digital ATC equipment
gradually.
It is easy to conduct verification experiments for installing digital ATC.
It is possible to verify the validity of digital ATC signals by comparing them
with analog ATC signals.
However, the AM power spectrum is distributed to other frequency bands by
employing a digitally modulated signal as the carrier. Therefore, digitalanalog
ATC requires higher signal power to ensure an adequate signal-to-noise ratio (S/N).

3 Design of transmission device using digital signal processors


3.1 Overview of transmission device development
We attempted to develop a transmission device based on the ideas described in
the previous section. Since the transmission band is in the audio frequency band,
we used digital signal processors (DSPs), which have many applications in audio
signal processing. Since one goal of our research is to replace analog ATC with
digital ATC smoothly, in our experiments we used a conventional analog ATC
receiver, and we developed a digitalanalog transmitter and a digital ATC receiver.
3.2 Design of digitalanalog transmitter
As mentioned above, since a PSK-based signal is employed as the AM carrier
for the digitalanalog signal, we designed the digital-analog transmitter to include
both AM and PSK modulators. In addition, we adopted quadrature PSK (QPSK)
to increase the digital data transmission speed. In QPSK, two orthogonal carrier
signals are used to transmit digital data. One is given by cos 2fc t, and the other
is given by sin 2fc t. The two carrier signals remain orthogonal in one period:
Tc
0

cos 2fc t sin 2fc tdt = 0

(1)

where Tc is the period of the carrier signals, which is equal to 1/fc . By using
cos 2fc t and sin2fct, the QPSK signal is given by:
1
1
s(t) = dI (t) cos(2fc t) + dQ (t) sin(2fc t).
2
2

(2)

The channel in which cos 2fc t is used as a carrier signal is generally called the inphase channel, or I channel, and the channel in which sin2fct is used as a carrier
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187

Q
1

-1

-1

Figure 3: Symbol placement in QPSK.

signal is generally called the quadrature-phase channel, or Q channel. The data in


the I and Q channels are dI (t) and dQ (t), respectively[3]. Figure 3 shows the symbol placement in QPSK. In this figure, QPSK transmits two bits simultaneously by
assigning one bit, 1 or -1, to the I channel and Q channel, respectively.
3.3 Design of a digital ATC receiver
As mentioned above, since the digitalanalog signal includes an AM signal, we
need to implement a function to cancel an amplitude component in a digital ATC
receiver. To normalize the amplitude component, we applied automatic gain control (AGC) in a digital ATC receiver developed using a DSP. Specifically, we developed software to implement a function for squared detection, which is an AM
detection method.
We used a Costas loop as the carrier synchronization method and implemented
it in the digital ATC receiver. A Costas loop is based on a phase locked loop (PLL),
as shown in Figure 4. Since QPSK has four symbols at intervals of /2, as shown
in Figure 3, the symbol element is cancelled by multiplying the phase by four
at the Costas loop. The Costas loop detects an output signal that is proportional to
the phase difference between the received signal and a voltage controlled oscillator
(VCO) signal and ensures carrier synchronization by adjusting the phase difference
to zero.
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188 Computers in Railways XII


cos
LPF

Received
signal

cos 2

sin 4

sin 2

Loop
Filter

VCO

/2

cos 2
LPF

sin

sin 2

Figure 4: Block diagram of Costas loop.

4 Evaluation of digitalanalog ATC transceiver


4.1 Specifications
The specifications of a digital-analog ATC transceiver developed based on the
design in the previous section are shown in Table 1. Although we set the carrier
frequency to 3,150 Hz in this study, other frequencies may be used in practice, for
example, 5,250 Hz. Similarly, we used 35 Hz as the analog signal frequency, but
other frequencies may be used in practice, such as 28 Hz, 64 Hz, etc. The digital
analog ATC transceiver that we developed can freely set these values, as well as
the digital transmission speed, by changing the DSP parameters.
4.2 Verification of basic functions in digitalanalog ATC transceiver
In order to verify the basic functions, such as AGC and carrier synchronization,
we conducted a basic experiment in which a transmitter was connected directly
to a receiver based on the specifications shown in Table 1. Figure 5 shows the

Table 1: Specifications of digitalanalog ATC transceiver.


Parameter
Carrier frequency

Value
3,150 Hz

Analog modulation method

AM

Digital modulation method

QPSK

Analog signal frequency

35 Hz

Digital transmission speed

400 bps

Sampling frequency of DSPs

48 kHz

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Amplitude[V]

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189

Time[s]

Amplitude[V]

(a) Received signal.

Time[s]

(b) Received signal after applying AGC function.


Figure 5: Waveforms at the digital ATC receiver.

waveforms at the digital ATC receiver. In this figure, we verified that the amplitude component of the digitalanalog signal was cancelled by applying the AGC
function. Figure 6 shows the constellation characteristics after QPSK demodulation. The effectiveness of the AGC function was also verified from this figure
because the amplitude of the demodulated signal was approximately constant. In
addition, the phase of the demodulated signal was also approximately constant,
showing that the VCO output at the receiver could be synchronized with the carrier of the received signal. We verified that the function of the Costas loop could
be implemented in software on the DSP.
4.3 Experiment using actual railway signaling devices
To verify the characteristics of a conventional analog ATC receiver when presented
with the digitalanalog signal, we conducted an experiment using actual railway
signaling devices, as shown in Figure 7. After the digitalanalog signal generated by the digitalanalog ATC transmitter passed through a bandpass filter (BPF),
which is typically employed as the receiver unit on actual trains, it was split and
supplied to a conventional analog ATC receiver and the digital ATC receiver that
we developed. Figure 8 shows the signal after passing through the BPF, which
had narrow band characteristics, and Figure 9 shows the spectral distribution for
the AM demodulated signal. In these figures, since the QPSK signal was influenced by the BPF characteristics, the power spectrum increases to cover a wide
bandwidth, not just 35 Hz, which is the analog signal frequency shown in Table 1.
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Figure 6: Constellation characteristics after QPSK demodulation.

Analog ATC
receiver

Signal
generator

BPF
AM

Digital ATC
receiver
(DSP)

QPSK
modulator
Digital-analog
transmitter
(DSP)

Figure 7: Experimental setup, including actual railway signaling devices.

However, since the power at 35 Hz was much larger than that at other frequencies, it was adequate for detecting the train control signal. We verified that the
correct signal corresponding to 35 Hz could be detected with the setup shown in
Figure 7.

5 Future deployment of highly functional ATC system


As mentioned above, adoption of a digitalanalog signal can realize a highly functional ATC system that is free of restrictions due to the track circuit configuration and interoperability conditions. We noted that the PSK signal has no amplitude component, and we employed it in analog ATC using AM. Therefore, once
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191

0.08
0.06

Amplitude [V]

0.04
0.02
0
-0.02
-0.04
-0.06
-0.08
0

0.01

0.02

0.03

0.04

0.05

0.06

0.07

0.08

Time [s]

Figure 8: Mixed-signal waveform, including AM signal and digital signal.

Level [dB]

-10

-20

-30

-40

-50
10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Frequency [Hz]
Figure 9: Spectral distribution of AM demodulation.

existing equipment is completely replaced with digital ATC, we will be able to use
the amplitude component for a digital ATC system in order to increase the transmission speed. At present, we are developing a transceiver using QAM for a digital
ATC system. Since QAM can realize high-capacity data transmission compared
with PSK by making use of the amplitude component, digitalanalog ATC has the
potential to realize more highly functional systems by updating the transceiver that
we developed.
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6 Conclusion
In this study, we proposed a transmission system that mixes digital and analog signals in the same frequency band, called digitalanalog ATC, as a highly functional ATC system that is free of the restrictions caused by the track circuit configuration and interoperability conditions.
We designed a digitalanalog ATC transceiver including some functions, such
as AGC and a Costas loop, developed using DSPs. From the result of a simple
experiment, we verified the basic functions of the digitalanalog ATC transceiver.
In addition, in a setup including actual railway signaling devices, when a digital
analog signal was given to a conventional analog ATC receiver, the correct signal
corresponding to the AM signal frequency could be detected.
In future research, we plan to evaluate the proposed system quantitatively by
studying the S/N ratio characteristics. We will also investigate a detailed procedure
for implementing an actual ATC system.

References
[1] S. Irie and T. Hasegawa: A study on the Railway Signalling System using
Spread Spectrum Communication , IEICE Technical Report, Vol. 93, No. 89,
pp. 4348 (1993).
[2] H. Mochizuki, S. Takahashi, H. Nakamura, S. Nishida and R. Ishikawa:
Development of a High-speed Rail Transmission System Using Digital Signal Processors for Railway Signalling, Eleventh International Conference on
Computer System Design and Operation in the Railway and Other Transit Systems, pp. 295304 (2008).
[3] H. Harada and R. Prasad: Simulation and Software Radio for Mobile Communications, Artech House, pp. 9091 (2002).

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193

A multi scalable model based on


a connexity graph representation
L. Gely, G. Dessagne, P. Pesneau & F. Vanderbeck
SNCF, Innovation and Research Department,
University of Bordeaux I, France

Abstract
Train operations will be greatly enhanced with the development of new decision support systems. However, when considering problems such as online rescheduling of trains, experience shows a pitfall in the communication between
the different elements that compose them, namely simulation software (in charge
of projection, conflict detection, validation) and optimization tools (in charge
of scheduling and decision making). The main problem is the inadequacy of
the infrastructures monolithic description and the inability to manage together
different description levels.
Simulation uses a very precise description, while the optimization of a mathematical problem usually does not. Indeed, an exhaustive description of the whole
network is usually counter-productive in optimization problems; the description
must be accurate, but should rely on a less precise representation. Unfortunately,
the usual model representing the railway system does not guarantee compatibility
between two different description levels; a representation usually corresponds to a
given (unique) description level, designed in most cases with a specific application
in mind, such as platforming. Moreover, further modifications that could improve
performances or precision are usually impossible.
We propose, therefore, a model with a new description of the infrastructure that
permits one to scroll between different description levels. These operations can
be automated via dynamic aggregation and disaggregation methods. They allow
one to manage heterogeneous descriptions and cooperation between various tools
using different description levels.
This model is based on the connexity graph representation of the infrastructure
resources. We will present how to generate corresponding mathematical models
based on resource occupancy and will show how the aggregation of resources
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194 Computers in Railways XII


leads to the aggregation of properties (e.g. capacity) that can be translated into
mathematical constraints in the optimization problem.
Keywords: modeling, optimization, railway operations, traffic management,
infrastructure representation.

1 Introduction
This paper defines an innovative way to represent infrastructure and a methodology
allowing the use of different description levels. This is a theoretical prerequisite to
any system, which will help experts to address the very heterogenous problems
encountered within the re-scheduling operations.

2 Classic representation
2.1 Origins of the classic representation
Railway studies arose during the 1970s. Planning problems have been treated since
the 1990s and rescheduling is a rather recent topic of interest. The most important
developments in the last decade are summarized in the surveys in [14]. One can
have a look at [5] for earlier studies.
However, although many mathematical models and techniques are presented,
modeling issues are scarcely debated. With the exception of some formal exercises,
such as [6] and an interesting discussion on implicit choice of description and
its consequences in [1], the importance of infrastructure representation has been
barely mentioned before [7]. Indeed, most studies naturally re-use the same kind of
representation designed for industrial purposes, where the adequacy of description
strictly corresponds to (only) one application.
2.2 Examples
The range of representations goes from an exhaustive one, as in figure 1, to
more synthetic representations, where only the main railway nodes and main lines
remain, as is the case in figure 2.
2.3 A formal definition for the classic representation
Considering the most elementary description level, the infrastructure of the railway
network consists of basic track sections (e.g. block or routes sections). These
sections join at special points (switchings, joints, stations , etc). The real railway
network is usually represented in the same way via an undirected graph (since
directions are given by itinerary definitions and signaling; parts of the infrastructure are not dedicated to one-way usage).
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R4327
PA
4303G

4303H

4303J

4303K

4327A

4327B

4303Cb
4325Be

R4325

4322
4303Ba 4301

4303Bb

4303Ca

4303Cc

4303D

4303E

4303F

4325A

4325Bd

4325Ba

4325

4325Bb

4325Cc

4328

4325Ca

4325D

4303

4303Bc

4325Bc

LYON_ST_EXUPERY

4332Be

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4312C

4325Cb

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4312Bd

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4312A

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4332E

4332D

4332Cc

4332Bb

4320 4332Ca 4332Bd

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4326

4332A

4338

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4310Ba 4313 4310Bb

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4332Ga
4314

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R4310

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4308

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PA

4332N

4332L

4332Gb

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PA

Figure 1: Lyon St Exupery TGV Station.

Figure 2: Railway network around Paris.

Thus, a classic representation on the field corresponds to the graph:


Gclassic = (S, P ), with S = {arcs} = {Track Sections}
and P = {nodes} = {Special Points}

(1)

If the intention of the description is to be exhaustive, as shown in figure 1,


arcs correspond to block sections and nodes represent limits between adjacent
blocks. In the case of figure 2, on the other hand, arcs correspond to complete
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lines (and might include some (minor) stations), whereas nodes represent stations
or junctions.
2.4 Microscopic versus macroscopic
2.4.1 Why are there different description levels?
Railway infrastructure descriptions may require different levels of details, each one
corresponding to different objectives, cf. [8]. The following set of online problems
(more detailed in [9]) illustrate studies of different size and requiring different
precision:
1. fluidification of a complex junction with speed fine-tuning around a limited
local area.
2. re-scheduling with intermediate precision of the representation, but modeling interactions between surrounding areas.
3. re-routing of trains along new itineraries (succeeding a major breakdown, for
example) within a macroscopic description of vast areas (typically involving
different lines).
The bigger the area to consider (i.e. spatial distribution and time window of the
incident consequences), the less precision in the description (although more time is
usually available for computation). Indeed, in practice, if bottleneck areas require
precise description, an exhaustive description of the whole network with maximum
precision may be counter productive, especially with online applications, since
calculations are usually exponential in terms of the number of elements (and
mathematical variables).
On the other hand, when experts build a timetable off-line, solutions are mostly
a guideline; only a moderate level of precision is required. However in operations,
the solution must be immediately applicable then precise enough to ensure real
feasibility. Consequently, the online rescheduling problem usually requires a more
precise description, for the same area.
In other words, there is always some kind of trade-off between accuracy, size and
available time. This trade-off is hard to balance with a one-size-fit-all description.
2.4.2 Definitions of macroscopic and microscopic representations
A microscopic description is a representation where all the elements correspond to
the most basic resources; only one train can be affected on each one of them, e.g.
a block section.
A macroscopic description contains elements that can be aggregations of basic
elements. Resources do not necessarily have the capacity of one train. For instance,
a resource can represent, as an example, a set of (connected) platforms, block
sections, or even a whole complex station.
Remarks:
a description is not necessarily homogeneous: several parts can be described
at macroscopic level, others with more precision, i.e. with more disaggregated resources. Usually, lines correspond to the first one, while junctions,
stations and other bottleneck areas correspond to the latter, e.g. [10, 11].
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the macroscopic description covers every level above the elementary microscopic one. Thus, every resource aggregation in a macroscopic description
can be disaggregated or aggregated again into other aggregated resources.
2.5 How to choose a good description level?
2.5.1 Academic point of view
Given a specific re-scheduling problem, with a given (type of) incident and a given
size of area to cover, one is able to choose an adequate description level. Hence,
most algorithms use a dedicated (unique) description; some studies consider a
representation of infrastructure based on the most detailed (microscopic) level:
block sections level on a small area cf. [12]. However, studies consider more often
more simplistic (macroscopic) descriptions [13, 14] on a larger scale; usually a
main line joining two main stations with some stops (smaller stations) in between.
Once again we refer to [1] for a comparative study on the size (and the precision
level) used in the main recent studies.
In practice, the railway infrastructure description is done by human experts once
and for all (nowadays such description takes days for every new study) and hence
is unique. However, one cannot assume that some rules of thumb, even combined
with expertise, could determine an average adequate description level that fits
all incidents and covers the wide range of problems, such as those previously
presented (i.e. from fluidification to re-routing problems). In conclusion, it is
hardly suitable in practice and a generalization would be particulary uncertain.
2.5.2 Operational point of view
As previously explained, post-optimization validation (via simulation) requires
the most precise description level. Consequently, the whole process uses at least
two description levels, namely one for a (microscopic) simulation tool and one
for a (more macroscopic) simulation tool. Needless to say, specifying (off-line) a
microscopic description is unavoidable; however, we should not expect experts to
provide other (every new macroscopic) descriptions all over again from scratch.
Anyway, one must ensure that cooperation between at least two models would be
possible.
Moreover, nowadays when real incidents occur, the impact of consequences can
be hardly predictable. That is why forecasting tools are needed in the near future to
help analyze, a priori, an acceptable trade-off between, on the one hand, precision
and size of the description, and, on the other hand, calculation time. However, until
the very end of the process, any choice will remain uncertain. We claim that any
predefined fixed description level is very restrictive for optimization purposes and
will probably be inefficient in many cases.
Consequently, an automatic or semi-automatic scalable representation would be
of great interest if one can rely on an available microscopic description. Moreover,
if we assume we can scroll easily from one level to another, why not use it
dynamically in the search process itself? Finding a good trade-off would become
part of the process.
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We can easily imagine that switching to any level of aggregation, starting from
the elementary microscopic description to very macroscopic ones, would be more
suitable to deal with unpredictable incidents (and their impacts, i.e. the area to
consider and the needed level of precision). This would also be easier to adapt
facing the specific topology of infrastructure. To conclude, it would be more
flexible and easier to generalize to an industrial tool.
2.5.3 Other modeling and mathematical issues
Some signaling systems do not use fixed blocks, but moving blocks where trains
must respect permanent headways (e.g. ERTMS 3 signaling system). Here, an
elementary resource based model is inappropriate. Accordingly, in the most
general case of study, any description should be able to manage a mix between
basic resources with the capacity of only one train and more aggregated resources.
Using different kinds of representations could help one to tackle some complexity issues with the mathematical problems in a counter-intuitive way, e.g. in an area
with a complex network of switchings (such as the pre-entrance of main stations),
a microscopic description (i.e involving resources with the capacity of one train)
may lead to a more compact formulation (with regard to the number of constraints)
than managing the whole set of incompatibilities between itineraries. In the
first case we can aggregate occupancy (blocking) constraints (one constraint per
resource), but in the second case we must deal with every couple of incompatible
routes.
2.6 Limits of the classic representation
We will now describe why the classic representation does not conveniently fit the
above requirements.
The classic representation allows elements of different nature to share the same
kind of representation. In consequence, coherence may be broken, and aggregation
or disaggregation operations may be difficult in practice. This will be illustrated in
the following example.
In graph A, there are nodes of different nature; the gray nodes represent stations
(hence infrastructure resources, such as the aggregation of platforms and ways),
whereas the clear node represents only a special point (a virtual landmark that
does not stand for a physical resource): the junction between three main lines, as
illustrated in graph B.
Finally, graph C shows an additional representation where the same network is
divided into two parts: one is composed by the high-speed line between Bruxelles
and Nimes (dark color), the second is composed by the classic line between
Nimes and Perpignan (clear color). The arc representing the high-speed line would
correspond to an aggregation of all the nodes (i.e. a spacial point and the stations)
plus the arcs (lines) that constitute the high-speed line.
All three representations would make sense from an operational point of view,
with three different purposes in mind. However, if they correspond to different
macroscopic description of the same network, one cannot define a common rule
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Figure 3: Illustration: TGV 9835 itinerary.

that would permit one to aggregate or disaggregate resources and then switch from
one representation to another conveniently.
In practice, as we expect to implement aggregation methods, we must ensure
that the following coherence rule is respected: all elements of the same nature
should share the same kind of representation (regardless of the description level).
While classic representation is valid with a microscopic description (e.g. the
exhaustive description of Lyon Saint-Exupery station, cf. 1), it cannot describe
some aggregated resources and respect the coherence rule. Hence, if arcs represent
sections of ways and nodes represent remarkable points, how can a station be
represented in a macroscopic description? On the one hand, since a station may be
connected with more than two resources (unlike arcs), one would need to represent
it as a node. On the other hand it is of a different nature to a remarkable point;
macroscopic resources (like a station) are aggregations composed of resources
that are ways or route sections (platforms, etc . . . ). They are not remarkable points
(virtual landmarks); minimal duration constraints must be applied on every train
crossing this resource (as for any physical resource).
In conclusion, if we want a model that respects the coherence rule (hence
allowing easy implementation of an object-oriented model), the resources route
section and station must share the same kind of representation, since they are of the
same nature. As an aggregation of resources (such as a station) can be connected to
many other resources, the most natural choice is to represent every infrastructure
resource used by trains (such as ways, platform, station, . . . ) with a node.
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3 A new model representing the infrastructure


3.1 Definition for a new representation
Every graph representation of the infrastructure consists of the two following
elements:
1. nodes represent infrastructure resources,
2. arcs represent connections between resources.
Thus, the railway network representation with this new model is a connexity
graph:
Gconnexity = (R, C) ,with R = {nodes} = {Infrastructure Resources} (2)
and C = {arcs} = {Connexity Relationship}
Such a formalism allows one to adapt infrastructure representation to any
description level if we use an appropriate methodology.
For example, the following illustration shows four representations of a small
network surrounding a junction (involving height track sections). We present,
from left to right: the microscopic classic representation, its new representation,
an example of aggregation (the closest four resources around the junction) and
finally an equivalent of this aggregation if we had used the classic representation.

Figure 4: New representation as a connexity graph.

Remarks:
1. If we compare the central node in both classic representation: in the disaggregated version it represents a landmark, while in the aggregated version it
has become an infrastructure resource (aggregation of four sections),
2. Every arc in the classic representation becomes a node in the new representation,
3. For every relationship of a connexity (arc), one can define a unique measure
point (frontier) between two resources, as we will see later.
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3.2 Methodology and rules of aggregations


The next question is how to treat aggregations and consequently disaggregations?
Some basic rules must be pre-defined in accord with experts, once and for all.
They must define how properties of aggregated resources, and hence, mathematical
constraints, will evolve in an aggregation of resources, i.e. define the aggregation
functions to implement.
These rules must be in relation with the properties and operational constraints
one wants to model and what is considered to be relevant in regard of the addressed
problem.
We will illustrate this methodology with two obvious examples of aggregations
where one wants to address a capacity problem, hence one considers mainly maximum flow and maximum storage capacity properties (plus a sequence property).
Of course, other aggregations of properties should be eventually defined following
the same kind of methodology.
3.2.1 Serial aggregations, itineraries
aggregation of infrastructure resources: serial aggregation is very close to
the concept of itineraries; this is the aggregation of an ordered list of
infrastructure resources (with a maximum flow property and a static capacity
property).
e.g. in figure 5, where: ra =
r2.i =< r2.1 , r2.2 , r2.3 >
i

aggregation of measure points: measure points (i.e. arcs, noted frontiers)


connecting the aggregated resource to the adjacent resources are the same
as before aggregation.
e.g. F r(r1 , ra ) = F r(r1 , r2.1 ) and F r(ra , r3 ) = F r(r2.3 , r3 ).
Properties:
1. F low(ra ) = min F low(r2.i )
i

2. Capacity(ra ) =

Capacity(r2.i )
i

3. re-ordering is not allowed: the sequence of entrance remains strictly


the same for the clearance (with the next trains).

Figure 5: Serial aggregation.


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3.2.2 Parallel aggregation
1. aggregation of infrastructure resources: the best example consists of the
aggregation of parallels ways that compose a line (with a maximum flow
property) or a storage (with a static
capacity property).

r2.1
e.g. in figure 6 : ra =
r2.i =
r2.2

i
r2.3
2. aggregation of measure points: point of measure (arcs) should be melted.
e.g. F r(r1 , ra ) =
3. properties:

F r(r1 , r2.i ) and F r(ra , r3 ) =


i

F r(r2.i , r3 ).
i

(a) F low(ra ) =

F low(r2.i )
i

(b) Capacity(ra ) =

Capacity(r2.i )
i

(c) re-ordering is allowed: the sequence of entrance is not necessarily the


same as for the clearance.

Figure 6: Parallel aggregation.

3.3 Conventions regarding schedules


Finally, we must define how to connect explicitly schedules with the previous
representation.
3.3.1 Convention
Each arc in Gconnexity represents a unique point of measure. At this point
we evaluate when the head of any train crosses the frontier between two
resources (i.e. any effective entrance in a new resource). In order to construct a
timetable, one horary (one variable) must be associated with the pass of every
circulation on any measure point. This allows every move of every circulation to
be described and a timetable to be associated with any graph Gconnexity .
Needless to say, every aggregation of resources yields directly to a mathematical
model with fewer variables. This permits one to determine a trade-off between
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precision (the more disaggregated, the more precise), size and calculations (the
more aggregated, the faster the computation).
3.3.2 Measure of entrance and resource occupancy
The length of trains must not be neglected. One measures the date when the head of
a train crosses the measure point; according to the length and the speed of the train,
the whole train may completely leave the resource a long time after this measure
(especially in the case of freight trains).
A circulation occupies a resource until liberation (or clearance), which happens
a certain amount of time after its effective exit of the resource. In the same way, the
resource occupies a certain amount of time called reservation before the effective
entrance. The headway between circulations is then the sum of these amounts of
time plus a buffer time (see blocking time theory, in [7], for example).
3.4 About the choice of a mathematical model
Once a multi scalable representation, as detailed here, is available, any mathematical model reviewed in [1] can be applied (adapted) on. The alternatives depend on
what kind of operational problem is treated, and the types of operational constraint
to consider are those that are more convenient and efficient, but in the end it should
not depend on the representation nor the convention proposed.
On the other hand, different operational problems can be addressed (each with
a different level of representation and a different mathematical model), as soon as
a microscopic description based on this multi scalable representation is available.

4 Conclusion
We have defined a methodology and a representation that permits one to scroll
from microscopic to any aggregated modelization. We have shown basic examples
of aggregation rules that make automated aggregation possible. Finally, we have
defined a convention for schedule that allows one to address the model of
timetabling problem (and rescheduling problem).
Another aim of this paper was to explain why a complex software system will
be needed to help online operations efficiently. We are convinced that a multi-level
capable model will play a key role and is the first theoretical prerequisite towards
their development.
Another prerequisite is a microscopic digital description of railway infrastructures; this would mark the entrance of railway operations in the digital age. Models
of description and numerical databases are now under development in Europe, e.g.
RailML [15] or Eifel (the SNCF dataset that will be compliant with the present
concepts). However, compatibility issues could arise. Consequently, we encourage
anyone to consider this new representation, which should enhance compatibility
(at least with descriptions that are not of the same level).
Finally, as developed through an object-oriented mind, this model can be applied
to any traffic management problem (involving resource allocation), and is probably
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also applicable to a more general set of industrial problems outranging the scope
of the railway industry, exclusively treated in this paper.

References
[1] Tornquist, J., Computer-based decision support for railway traffic scheduling
and dispatching: A review of models and algorithms. 5th Workshop on Algorithmic Methods and Models for Optimization of Railways, eds. L.G. Kroon
& R.H. Mohring, Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum fuer
Informatik (IBFI), Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, 2006.
[2] Caprara, A., Kroon, L., Monaci, M., Peeters, M. & Toth, P., Passenger
Railway Optimization, Elsevier, volume Transportation, 2006.
[3] Cordeau, J.F., Toth, P. & Vigo, D., A survey of optimization models for train
routing and scheduling. Transportation Science, 32(4), pp. 380404, 1998.
[4] Bussieck, M.R., Winter, T. & Zimmermann, U.T., Discrete optimization in
public rail transport. Mathematical Programming, 79(1-3), pp. 415444,
1997.
[5] Assad, A.A., Models for rail transportation. Transportation Research Part A:
General, 14(3), pp. 205220, 1980.
[6] Bjrener, D., The Domain Book: A Compilation of Reports and Papers on
Domain Models, Technical University of Denmark, chapter Railways, pp.
157185, 2007.
[7] Hansen, I. & Pachl, J., Railway Timetable and Traffic. Analysis, Modelling,
Simulation. Eurailpress, 2008.
[8] Lindner, T. & Zimmermann, U., Mathematics-Key Technology for the Future:
Joint Projects Between Universities and Industry, Springer: Berlin, chapter
Train Schedule Optimization in Public Rail Transport, pp. 703716, 2003.
[9] Gely, L., Real time train rescheduling at sncf. Robust planning and
Rescheduling in Railways, 2007.
[10] Burkolter, D., Herrmann, T. & Caimi, G., Generating dense railway schedules. Advanced OR and AI Methods in Transportation, Publishing House
of Poznan University of Technology, 10th EWGT Meeting and 16th MiniEURO Conference, pp. 290297, 2005.
[11] Caimi, G., Burkolter, D., Herrmann, T., Chudak, F. & Laumanns, M., Design
of a new railway scheduling model for dense services. ISROR, 2007.
[12] Brannlund, U., Lindberg, P.O., Nou, A. & Nilsson, J.E., Railway timetabling
using lagrangian relaxation. Transportation Science, 32(4), pp. 358369,
1998.
[13] Carprara, A., Fischetti, M. & Toth, P., Modeling and solving the train
timetabling problem. Operations Research, 50, pp. 851861, 2002.
[14] Carprara, A., Monaci, M., Toth, P. & Guida, P.L., A lagrangian heuristic
algorithm for a real-world train timetabling problem. Discrete Appl Math,
154(5), pp. 738753, 2006.
[15] RailML.org, http://www.railml.org/.
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205

Universal communication infrastructure


for locomotives
U. Lieske
Head of System Integration, PC-Soft GmbH, Germany

Abstract
As international freight transport becomes increasingly essential for the
competitiveness of the European economy, operators must further address the
challenges of efficiency and quality of their vehicle fleets in the years ahead.
Here, modern information and communication technologies offer major
opportunities for the future. The German PC-Soft GmbH is a specialized
company on the market that provides operators with a mobile solution that is
situated directly on the vehicle. With 20 years of history and an experienced
team of railway consultants and maintenance specialists, PC-Soft develops and
implements customer-oriented solutions that support the computer-aided asset
management of vehicle fleets.
Keywords: asset management, maintenance, teleservice, locomotives.

1 Introduction
Manufacturers, operators and service providers know the requirements for high
availability of their vehicles with optimum use of resources. Above all, the
frequently great distances between service centre and vehicle, the difficult
situation regarding availability of resources (spare parts, operating and auxiliary
equipment, specialists) require efficient monitoring of the running operation and
fast and targeted remedying of faults. To cater even more flexibly to increased
teleservice requirements, PC-Soft has developed a unique communication
solution, named zedasmobile [1]. System data and status information relevant to
the effective organisation of servicing and maintenance strategies are recorded
immediately on the vehicle, processed and electronically made available to
service personnel. The central aim is to ensure system availability and
optimisation of maintenance strategies based on real operating data and status
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206 Computers in Railways XII


information from dispersed systems. The mobile status capture has been
developed as an industrial solution that fully meets the demands of tough
operating conditions. It can be used without any retroactive effect on process
control on any type of vehicle. The possibility of decentralised recording of
operating and status data for all components, as well as location-independent
provision of information, has been taken into account when developing the
system.
In the immediate vicinity of the object to be maintained, the system performs
the following tasks:
Capturing and processing of operating data
Gaining of status information
Automatic status monitoring and alarming
Reconciliation of plant data with the service centre
Temporary monitoring and analysis of critical plants
Remote diagnosis of systems by external specialists
GPS-aided position capturing and recording
Driving/operational reporting
Warranty monitoring of plants
Calculable and profitable full service contracts

2 Starting position
Mobile systems operating over a wide geographical spread, such as locomotives,
need online communication links to various back-end systems. The
communications technology linking these systems must therefore be open and of
universal applicability for different tasks and the technical communication
solutions strategically planned and adopted for the long term. Conformity with

Figure 1:

Functionality of mobile plant management with zedasmobile.

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established technical standards is taken for granted. For the purposes of actual
use, the communications technology link is a system infrastructure task and not
part of the solution. Exceptions to the above are safety-related applications (e.g.
ETCS), most of which require special communication solutions on account of
the particular demands on transmission reliability and availability.
It makes particular sense to separate the communications infrastructure from
the concrete application as various demands are made on the technical solution,
the ideal situation being that the application is developed with a bias towards
solutions, new and innovative processes are integrated quickly, and allowance is
made for upgrading but also for replacing the entire application at a later date
without involving great complexity or cost. The communications solution itself
needs to have universality and longevity, and the availability of spare parts must
be guaranteed over a long period. Extensive work needs to be done on the
technical system, e.g. for the installation of power supply and cabling for
antennas, therefore it is normally very costly to replace the communications
system. Indeed, most information technology applications host several
applications in one technical system, e.g. for logging of operational data, remote
diagnosis or scheduling, and operate via a shared physical infrastructure.

3 Solution
Hence the need, given this backdrop, for a universally applicable
communications solution like zedasmobile which is compatible with
international standards (e.g. GSM, UMTS, WLAN). Users engaged in varied
tasks for different organisations can communicate with several others.
zedasmobile consists of two components:
- an on-board computer [2] fit for industrial applications and railway use (see
Figure 2)
- a secure, i.e. encrypted, mobile communication link [3] via WLAN, UMTS or
GSM (see Figure 3).

Figure 2:

Diagram of compact, industrial-strength onboard computer.

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Figure 3:

Diagram of compact, industrial-strength onboard communication


unit.

Various communication modules can be added to the on-board computer,


adding flexibility and enabling data to be exchanged via various field bus
systems (e.g. MVB, CAN) or via serial interfaces. Direct analogue or digital I/O
signal interfaces are also possible. The on-board computer is fitted with a GPS
receiver which enables the locomotive to be located and acts as a time standard
for all applications. The computer is powerful enough for on-board signal
storage and pre-processing, leaving only alarm messages needing to be
transmitted to the control centre. Not only does this speed up communications
but it also helps to lower the cost of communications.
If you have an Ethernet port it is possible for additional on-board computers
or control units to be connected directly to the communication box if required.
Data can also be exchanged with mobile terminal equipment in close range via
WLAN. To all intents and purposes, the locomotive or technical installation is
then practically a satellite station in communication with the company network,
with security guaranteed by the use of modern encryption methods like Virtual
Private Network or Wi-Fi Protected Access (see Figure 4).

4 Conclusion
The communications solution discussed above constitutes a universal
infrastructure development for locomotives and other mobile technical systems.
A sophisticated infrastructure means enhanced efficiency and reduced costs of
communication. The solution boasts flexibility, long-term viability and security
of collaboration for users in different organisations for e.g. diagnosis and
servicing of technical systems. From a maintenance point of view, resulting
operations free of breakdowns and owing to status- and load-oriented
maintenance and modern teleservice ensure planned system performance and
savings on cost-intensive call-outs and manual inspections.

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Figure 4:

209

Example application - universal communications infrastructure for


a locomotive.

References
[1] PC-Soft, www.pcsoft.de
[2] EMTrust, www.emtrust.de
[3] FMN, www.fmn.de

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Section 4
Computer techniques

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Research on a novel train positioning method


with a single image
B. Guo1, T. Tang2 & Z. Yu1
1

School of Mechanical and Electronic Control Engineering,


Beijing Jiaotong University, China
2
School of Electronics and Information Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
Comprehensive train monitoring is an important infrastructure detecting facility
that ensures normal operation of the high-speed railway. An accurate position is
the basis of precise detection. A research on the autonomous train location
method is of great theoretical and practical significance for the positioning of
comprehensive monitoring train and enhancing the infrastructure detecting level
of the existing line. Comprehensive train monitoring synchronizes all diagnosis
parameters by sharing time and position. However, it cannot correct the
odometers accumulative error with the track circuits insulator in high-speed
railways. This paper presents a novel position correction method with a single
image. It analyses the three dimensional (3D) camera projection model and its
disadvantage. A simplification from the 3D to the one dimensional (1D) model is
proposed. The actual distance between the landmark and the camera optical
center is calculated with image coordinates of the landmark acquired by the
camera fixed on top of the train. Then, the actual position of the train can be
calculated with the pre-stored landmark position and the calculated distance.
Both academic and experimental errors indicate that the position correction
method with a single image can satisfy the train positioning requirement.
Keywords: train position, single image, projection model, one dimension
simplification, landmark.

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214 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
Odometry is a familiar method for vehicle location. However, there is a
limitation of accumulative error for odometry. The track circuits isolator is a
traditional and effective way to correct accumulative error in railways. The track
inspection car always locates at the tail-end of train. Hence, it cannot use the
track circuits isolator to correct the accumulative error of the odometer.
Otherwise, the track inspection car needs to survey all railway lines, including
lines without a track circuit (such as the Qing-Zang line, which is based on
GSM-R). It is impossible for these lines to add devices to correct the odometer
accumulative error at the target point only for the track inspection car that is
running. So a novel correction position method at the target point with
recognition of an existing landmark in an image is proposed in this paper.
Estimating the 3D pose and position of an object with an image is a key
process and a kernel problem in machine vision applications. The advantages of
wide range, the lack of intervention needed and high precision make image
measurement applicable in many fields. Object positioning with images includes
the process of 2D image projection and 3D reconstruction. Firstly, a 2D image of
a 3D object in a real world coordinate is produced by the camera. Then, the 2D
images can be analyzed and processed for 3D reconstruction and geometric
measurement. The interior and exterior camera parameters are a precondition for
calculating an object world coordinate in the 3D reconstruction process (Zheng
[1]). These parameters are obtained by the calibration process of the camera.
However, there is hard calculation load for the interior and exterior parameters
[2, 3].
Sun and Wang [4] point out that position with a single image is the simplest
and most convenient way for object position. It is not necessary to look for
corresponding conjugate image points in binocular image pairs and it also not
necessary to carry out a transformation between different coordinates. Ogawa et
al. [5] proposed a self-positioning system using a digital mark pattern and a CCD
camera. The horizontal distance from the mark pattern is measured using the
ratio between the length and width of the mark pattern image. Lee et al. [6]
proposed an algorithm to recognize and track the road lane by interpreting a 2D
image to a 3D image by angle and position of the CCD camera. Fang et al. [7]
proposed an algorithm for vision location on the condition of uncalibrated
camera fixation and coplanarity. It gives the 3D calculation model, using the
property of projective geometry.
For train position, we are only concerned about the longitudinal distance
ahead of the train. We propose a 1D simple calculation model based on the 3D
calculation model with camera fixation and coplanarity. It greatly reduces the
computation load and gives the error analysis. In this paper, we firstly gives the
3D position model with a single image, then the 1D simplification and its error
model is introduced. Finally, an experiment result on the railway field is used to
validate this method.

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H
D
A

B
O

Figure 1:

F
F

X
B

3D positioning model of the camera.

2 Train positioning method with a single image


2.1 3D position model with a single image
In perspective projection, the straight line connecting the optical center and the
image points is used to establish that the corresponding object point is not the
one and only. The depth information cannot indicate in image. However, when a
fixed camera takes pictures of objects on a plane, the plane provides a constraint
in the direction of height. For train position, the objects on the ground can be
deemed as coplanar to a certain extent. Under this condition, the points on the
ground and on the image are corresponding one by one. Under the constraint of a
fixed camera and coplanar image (to a certain extent), the position of an object
can be achieved via the camera image so long as the relation between objects and
images is determined.
Figure 1 shows the 3D positioning model of camera, in which H is the height
from the projection center S to the ground, is the angle between the optical axis
and the vertical direction, ABCD is the cameras field of vision on the ground
and ABCD is a virtual reference plane vertical to optical axis. The optical axis
intersects with the ground level and virtual reference plane at points O and O
respectively and X is the position of a landmark point on the ground. The virtual
reference plane is not in geometric proportion to the ground plane. However, due
to its being vertical to the optical axis, the virtual reference plane is in geometric
proportion zoom to the image. So
E ' X ' E ' F ' E '' X '' E '' F ''
:

:
O ' X ' O ' F ' O '' X '' O '' F ''

(1)

where EOXF are points on the image corresponding to points EOXF on the
ground plane respectively. According to the collinear equation and invariable
cross ratio of central projection, we get eqn (2):

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216 Computers in Railways XII


EX EF E ' X ' E ' F '
:

:
OX OF O ' X ' O ' F '

(2)

According to eqn (1) and (2), we can get


EX EF E '' X '' E '' F ''
:

:
OX OF O '' X '' O '' F ''

(3)

Eqn (3) shows the proportional relation between points EOXF on the ground
and points EOXF in the image. In eqn (3), so long as the position of the
pixels of landmark feature in the image is determined, the actual position of this
landmark on ground will be worked out. Furthermore, the train position will be
calculated.
However, while calculating with eqn (3), EF and EF must be known. They
are intersection points of the extending lines of OX and OX with plane
boundary respectively, which can be calculated by the equation group of two
intersection lines. However, for each landmark point X and X, EF and EF
must be calculated once, which results in a heavy calculation load and long
calculation time. This is not of advantage to real-time calculation.
2.2 1D simplification of the 3D model

When we position a train with an image, only the longitudinal position in the
direction of train running is concerned. If the 3D model can be simplified into a
1D model, the calculation load and complexity will be reduced.
Figure 2 is the schematic diagram of 1D longitudinal positioning with a single
image. In this diagram, the camera is fixed rigidly on the frontage top of the
locomotive. Within a short distance in front of the locomotive, the position of the
camera relative to the ground is determinate when ignoring the track gradient and
outer rail super-elevation on the curve, where H is the height from the projection
center S to the ground, is the angle between the optical axis and the vertical
direction, the vertical field angle of camera is and P is the vertical projection
of the projection center S on the track plane. In the direction of train running, the
nearest point in the field of vision corresponds to point E on the ground and the
furthermost point in the field of vision corresponds to point F on the ground. In
this figure:
| PE | L1 H tan( / 2)

| PF | L2 H tan( / 2)

(4)

Therefore, the longitudinal field range of the camera is as follows:


L L2 L1 H [tan( / 2) tan( / 2)]

(5)

The distance from landmark X to point P is


| PX || PE | | EX | L1 | EX |

(6)

where |EX| means the distance from the target point to the nearest point in field
of vision, which can be worked out according to the pixels coordinate of the
landmark in the image.
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In figure 2, is the angle between the projection ray of landmark X and the
optical axis; X is the projection of landmark X on the virtual reference plane; EF
is the projection of the virtual reference plane on the longitudinal 1D section.
The distance on line EF is in direct proportion to the distance of the
corresponding point in the image. Therefore, the distance on the virtual reference
plane can be represented as the pixels distance in the image. Assuming OX is y,
the direction of OF is positive and the direction of OE is negative. Assuming
| EF ' |
W / 2 , then
| SO ' | d , | PE | L1 , | PF | L2 , | O ' E || O ' F ' |
2
d

W /2
W

tan( / 2) 2 tan( / 2)

(7)

In triangle SOX,

arctan

y
2 y tan( / 2)
arctan
d
W

(8)

Therefore, the distance of landmark X to the projection point of camera P is as


follows
| PX | H tan( )

(9)

The real position of landmark X can be calculated with eqns (8) and (9).
2.3 Error analysis for the 1D simplification model

In eqn (9), the factors affecting error include: H, and . The assumed height
variation is H . The variation of and is integrated as angle variation .
Therefore, the error formula is as shown in eqns (10) and (11).

P
L1

Figure 2:

L2

X
L

1D positioning model with a single image.

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218 Computers in Railways XII


L ( H H ) tan( ) H tan( )
a11 H tan( ) H tan( ) H tan( )
a11

H tan( ) H tan 2 ( ) tan( ) H tan( ) H tan( )


(10)
1 tan( ) tan( )

a11 H tan( )

1 tan 2 ( )
tan( ) tan( )
H
1 tan( ) tan( )
1 tan( ) tan( )

Ignoring the infinitesimal of the second order in eqn (10), then


L

H tan( ) H tan 2 ( ) tan( ) H tan( )


1 tan( ) tan( )

(11)

In error equation eqn (11), there are two factors affecting the error: height and
angle. The height variation mainly depends on two aspects: firstly, height
variation would be caused by super-elevation of the outer rail while the train is
passing a curve. In the Chinese railway, the maximal super-elevation on a singleline track is 125mm, and 150mm for a double-line track. The maximal superelevation only appears on small curvature curves. Secondly, high variability
would be caused by the swaying of the car body, but this value is less than that
caused by super-elevation. Since the camera is fixed on the central line of the car
body, considering the two factors comprehensively, it is assumed that the
maximal height variation is 75mm.
As for angle variation, due to the camera being fixed rigidly with the car
body, it will move together with the car body. So the affection on angle by
gradient and car body vibration can be ignored theoretically. The variation of
angle between the landmark projection line and the optical axis is introduced
by the quantization error of pixels. Assuming that the pixels quantization error is
1, the maximal angle error caused by boundary pixels is 0.025 degree. Therefore,
for angle variation, only the variation caused by boundary pixels is considered.
Putting height and angle variation into eqn (11), the boundary error is
0.249m, which is the maximal theoretical error.

3 Experiment results
In order to verify the validity of the above-mentioned 1D simplified calculation
model, MV-752 high-speed camera with 752582 black and white pixels was
adopted for the experiment, which has the maximal frame frequency of 350
frames per second. During the experiment, the height from the camera to the
ground is H=2.81m, the visual field angle is 14.3 and the angle between the
optical axis and the vertical direction is 77.8 , as a result, L1 8.00m and
L2 31.80m .
Figure 3 shows the picture taken during the test on the railway experiment, in
which the white line on the right rail acts as a landmark point. The distance from
the real point corresponding to the lower image boundary to the camera is 8m.
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219

The distance from the first landmark to the corresponding lower image boundary
point is 0.56m. There are in total 24 landmark points with 1m interval in the field
of vision.
Table 1 shows the experiment result and the error of landmark points. The
maximal error is -0.15m, which is within the range of error model analysis. The
precision can meet the train positioning requirement.

4 Conclusion
This paper introduces a 1D simplification method for the 3D position model with
a single image. The 1D calculation formula and its error equation are also
deduced. Both the theoretical calculation and the experiment result on the
railway show that this method has very high precision, and can meet the
precision requirement of train position spot correction.

Figure 3:
Table 1:
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Picture with landmark on tracks.

Measurement result and error of the 1D projection position model.

actual
row measurement
value
No. value(m)
(m)
534
0.557
0.56
461
1.553
1.56
403
2.513
2.56
354
3.479
3.56
312
4.45
4.56
274
5.474
5.56
242
6.470
6.56
214
7.464
7.56
189
8.470
8.56
167
9.465
9.56
147
10.474
10.56
130
11.428
11.56

error(m) No.
-0.003
-0.007
-0.047
-0.081
-0.11
-0.085
-0.09
-0.096
-0.090
-0.095
-0.084
-0.132

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

actual
row measurement
value
No.
value(m)
(m)
113
12.481
12.56
98
13.506
13.56
85
14.479
14.56
73
15.456
15.56
62
16.427
16.56
51
17.480
17.56
42
18.410
18.56
33
19.408
19.56
24
20.483
20.56
16
21.510
21.56
9
22.470
22.56
2
23.494
23.56

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error(m)
-0.079
-0.054
-0.081
-0.104
-0.133
-0.080
-0.150
-0.152
-0.077
-0.050
-0.090
-0.066

220 Computers in Railways XII

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by the National 863 Program of China (No.
0912JJ0104-ZH00-H-HZ-002-20100105) and the Science & Technology
Program of Beijing Municipality (No. D07050601770705).

References
[1] Zheng, N., Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. National defence
industry Press: Beijing, pp. 14-20, 1998.
[2] Li B., Wang X., Xu, X., Wang, J., A linear three-step approach for camera
calibration. Journal of Image and Graphics, 11(7), pp. 928-932, 2006.
[3] He, J., Zhang, G., Yang, X., Approach for calibration of lens distortion
based on cross ratio invariability. Chinese Journal of Scientific Instrument,
25(5), pp. 597-599, 2005.
[4] Sun, F., Wang, W., Pose determination from a single image of a single
parallelogram. Acta Automatica Sinica, 32(5), pp. 746-752, 2006.
[5] Ogawa, Y., Lee, J., Mori, S., The positioning system using the digital mark
pattern the method of measurement of a horizontal distance. System, Man,
and Cybernetics, IEEE SMC99 Conference Proceedings: Tokyo, pp. 731741, 1999.
[6] Lee, J., Choi, S., Lee, Y., Lee, K., A study on recognition of road lane and
movement of vehicle using vision system. Proc. of the 40th SICE Annual
conference: Nagova, pp.38-41, 2001.
[7] Fang, Sh., Cao, Y., Xu, X., A new vision algorithm for uncalibrated camera.
Chinese Journal of Scientific Instrument, 26(8), pp. 845-848, 2005.

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221

Software redundancy design for


a Human-Machine Interface in railway vehicles
G. Zheng1 & J. Chen1,2
1
2

Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China


Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Abstract
The Human-Machine Interface (HMI), which displays the real-time status of
electrical systems, interacts with the driver or operator, and collects and reports
system fault information, is an important device in railway vehicles. The HMI is
a critical component of the control and diagnosis system in the railway vehicle,
thus the reliability of the HMI software affects the reliability and safety of the
whole railway vehicle. Therefore, it is necessary to design the HMI software
with high reliability for railway vehicles so as to ensure the reliability, stability
and safety of the railway vehicle operation. This paper analyzes the HMI
software function requirements, which include information display, the humanmachine interaction, and communication. A kind of redundancy mechanism is
proposed, which employs two structural redundancy methods: N-version
programming and recovery blocks. The HMI software is divided into the
information display module, the human-machine interaction module and the
communication module, and each module is made up of some components.
Based on the analysis of the reliability requirement, complexity, and the
implementation cost for each component in the HMI software modules, the
corresponding redundancy design mechanism is proposed, which consider the
tradeoff between the reliability and the cost. In order to evaluate the reliability of
the designed redundancy mechanism, a scenario-based reliability analysis
method is used to calculate the reliability of the HMI software, which constructs
five scenarios and employs the component dependency graph to compute the
reliability. The reliability of the HMI software after redundancy design is
compared with that before the redundancy design.
Keywords: human-machine interface, reliability, software fault tolerance,
redundancy design, reliability analysis.
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222 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
A Human-Machine Interface (HMI) in the driver cab is an important device for a
railway driver to interact with the railway vehicle, and also an integral part of the
vehicle control system. During the vehicle operation, the driver can monitor the
state of the vehicle in real time and send control messages to ensure safety. As a
whole, the HMI executes operation states information display, human-machine
interaction and communication with other electrical devices in the vehicle. In
order to ensure the safety and stability of the railway vehicle operation, it is
necessary to design highly reliable software in the human-machine interface for
railway vehicles.
At present, there are mainly the following methods for the software
reliability: error avoidance, error detection and correction, and fault tolerance.
Error avoidance employs the standardization design and coding process to
reduce software errors. Error detection [1] discovers software errors by setting
checkpoints in the software program, moreover, some techniques are used to
isolate and correct the errors [2]. Note that it is very difficult to completely
ensure software does not have any errors. Fault tolerance [3] is currently a valid
technique to improve the reliability of the computer software, which can detect
faults automatically and execute the corresponding fault tolerance program. The
structural redundancy technique is used commonly in software fault tolerance,
which generally includes N-version programming (NVP) and the recovery block
technique (RCB) [4]. In the N-version programming technique, N software
versions (N>1) are developed independently and work simultaneously after
being installed in the same environment, where N versions accept the same
input, and the final output is selected from the N outputs by a majority voting
algorithm. In the recovery block technique, several recovery blocks are
developed for the same software function, where each recovery block accepts the
same input and gives an output, and the output is the input of the acceptance test
unit. If the output passes the test, the software continues to run, else the software
environment is restored, and then the other recovery blocks repeat the above
process until a valid result is accepted or there are no other recovery blocks.
Considering the functions and the safety requirements of the HMI, several
different redundancy mechanisms are employed to improve the software
reliability. When developing the HMI software, it is necessary to select different
redundancy mechanisms, e.g., N-version programming or recovery block
technique, for different function components in terms of the software complexity
and cost to implement structural redundancy. After completing the software
redundancy design, the reliability of the software is evaluated. In this paper, a
scenario-based analysis technique [5] is employed to evaluate the reliability
result of a component-based application in the HMI software.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The components function of the
HMI software is introduced in section 2, and the redundancy design is presented
in section 3; next, the reliability evaluation of the HMI software is given based
on a scenario and, finally, the conclusion is drawn in section 5.

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2 Functions of HMI software in railway vehicles


The HMI is connected to the electrical systems over the vehicle communication
bus, as shown in the Fig. 1. The HMI monitors the operation status of the
vehicle, displays the fault diagnosis results and receives the driver inputs and
gives the associate responses. The HMI software functions are given as follows.
(1) Information display: displays the status of electrical systems, faults
diagnosis results and fault recovery information;
(2) Human-machine interaction: gives responses to the operation of the driver
on the HMI screen to transit the interfaces, input data, and send control
instructions;

Figure 1:

Connection between the HMI and other electrical systems.

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

Structure of HMI the software.

Sub-functions of the HMI software.

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224 Computers in Railways XII


(3) Communication: communicates with control units in the vehicle,
input/output devices and other electrical equipments to transmit message
data and state data over the vehicle bus.
The structure of the HMI software is shown in the Fig. 2 in terms of the HMI
function. Each function is divided into some sub-functions so as to implement
the redundancy design, please see Fig. 3.
The sub-functions of the information display are presented as follows:
(1) Basic display: displays interface name, line, date, time, vehicle number
and other simple information.
(2) Status display: displays status information of the corresponding electrical
system according to the requirement of the driver.
(3) Fault display: displays fault information when an electrical system error
happens.
The sub-functions of the human-machine interaction are presented as follows:
(1) Interface transition: implements the corresponding interface transition
when the driver presses the transition key.
(2) Electrical system control: calls the communication module to send control
commands when the driver presses the control key.
(3) Data input: responds to input information from the driver, such as vehicle
number, driver number, system time.
The sub-functions of the communication are presented as follows:
(1) Status receive: receives real-time status information of all electrical
systems.
(2) Fault information receive: receives the fault information and then transfers
it to the appropriate processing.
(3) Command transmit: sends control commands to the appropriate electrical
system.

3 Software redundancy design for a human-machine interface


3.1 Analysis on the compromise between costs and reliability
The HMI software is divided into three modules corresponding to the functions,
where each module is made up of some components. The structure of a
component is more compact than the one of a module and contains some similar
features, which can employ the same redundancy design technique. Therefore,
the redundancy design of the HMI software is based on the structure of the
components.
In terms of the functions of the human-machine interface software in railway
vehicles, two structural redundancy methods, N-version programming and
recovery blocks, are employed to improve the reliability. When designing the
software redundancy, the reliability requirements, the complexity of the various
function components and implementation methods for structural redundancy are
considered.

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(1) Reliability requirements


High reliability is demanded on some components that have a direct effect on
the safe and stable operation of the train, and some assistant function
components demand relatively low reliability. According to the standard
EN50126 [6], the whole HMI software has a reliability requirement.
(2) Complexity of components
A simple structure component can achieve a high reliability before the
redundancy, so there is no need to implement redundancy design on it.
Meanwhile a complex component requires redundancy design to improve its
reliability. The complexity of a component is considered to determine the need
for redundancy design.
(3) Implementation costs
N-version programming requires N teams to complete the same function
component, at the same time; recovery block technique requires several blocks
with the same function, which leads to more development cost. N-version
programming makes a selection among several outputs. Numerical value may
facilitate carries on the selection, while some display functions are unable to
make selection. An acceptance test unit in recovery block technique is used to
test result. The result of a number of function components cannot be used for
testing, so that these components cannot use the recovery block technique.
Because some acceptance units are difficult to write, a compromise should carry
on between the reliability and the cost.
3.2 Software redundancy design
The software redundancy design for three modules, i.e., information display,
human-machine interaction and communication, is presented as follows.
(1) Information Display
The information display module includes three components: basic display,
status display, and fault display.
Because of the simple structure, basic display component can easily obtain
high reliability. The operation of the vehicle will not be influenced even if the
basic information is displayed inaccurately, so high reliability is not demanded
on this component. This component does not need redundancy design.

Figure 4:

Redundancy design structure of the status display component.

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226 Computers in Railways XII


Status display component receives the electrical system status, processes and
displays the status information on the screen. Since this component has many
kinds of status to process, and each kind of status has a variety of forms, this
component is highly complex. Whether the status of electrical systems is good or
not affects the operation of the railway vehicle, the HMI can reflect the operation
status of electrical systems in real time; therefore, the recovery block technique
is employed in this component. Fig. 4 shows the redundancy design structure:
According to the process showed in fig. 4, before entering the recovery bock,
current electrical status should be stored by memory unit. For the first time, the
primary recovery block is chosen to figure out a numerical result. If the
acceptance test unit accepts the result, the result is displayed and the following
process is executed. If the acceptance test unit does not accept the result, the
component returns the access point of recovery blocks and chooses another
recovery block. If the results do not pass the acceptance test, this component
throws an exception and executes the exception treatment, which means the
component has broken down.
The fault display component has a high reliability requirement as it shows the
operation status of the electrical systems. This information reminds the driver to
response to a fault. Before the new fault is diagnosed, the component can query
the diagnosed faults. The 3-version programming (3VP) is employed to improve
the reliability of the component. Three versions receive the same error number as
their own inputs and figure out the display result. The final result is obtained
based on the majority voting algorithm [7], which is chosen among the results of
three versions. Fig. 5 shows the redundancy structure with three versions.
(2) Human-Machine Interaction
The human-machine interaction module consists of three components:
interface transition, electrical systems control, and data input.
The information cannot be displayed if the interface transition component
breaks down, which could result in the entire vehicle out of control. Therefore,
the interface transition component is required with high reliability. However, the
number of the interfaces, which interfaces in the HMI device can switch to, is
limit, thus the component should be designed with low complexity so that the
reliability requirements can be satisfied easily. The cost to multiple recovery
blocks is low because the structure of the interface transition component is not
complex. The algorithm of acceptance test unit is described as follows: 1) read

Figure 5:

Redundancy structure of the fault information display component.

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227

the name of the interface which is switched to; 2) judge whether the name is the
same as the one the pressed soft key corresponds to; 3) If two names are not the
same, the program return to the access point and choose another recovery block.
Note that the algorithm is easy to implement.
It is so important for the driver to control the electrical systems via the HMI
screen, which is relative with the reliability and stability of the vehicle operation,
and even the comfortable level of the passenger. Therefore, the reliability
requirement for the electrical system control component is so high. Meanwhile,
the complexity of this component is high because there are so many electrical
systems to control. This component employs 3-version programming to improve
the reliability of this component. The process is the same as the one of the fault
display component. When the driver presses the soft key to control the electrical
system, three versions receive the same input, and each version sends a control
instruction to the electrical system. The selection unit in the component receives
these three control instruction, decides which instruction is sent.
If the data input component fails, the input, e.g., the vehicle number, is not
consistent with the last saved results, but the inconsistence has little effect on the
vehicle operation, thus, the reliability requirement of this component is low.
Meanwhile, the complexity of the component is not high because the data, which
the driver can enter, is so limited. Therefore, it is not necessary to implement
redundancy design.
(3) Communication
The information display module consists of three components: status receive,
fault information receive, command transmit.
Status receive component is very similar to fault information receive
component. They both receive important information which directly reflects the
Table 1:
Function
Module

Information
Display

Redundancy design of the HMI function components.


Component

Reliability
Requirement

Complexity

cost of
redundancy
design

Redundancy
design

Basic Display

low

low

--

--

high

high

high

RCB

high

medium

high

medium

medium

RCB

high

high

high

3VP

Data Input

low

medium

--

--

Status Receive

high

high

medium

RCB

high

high

medium

3VP

high

medium

medium

RCB

Status Display
Fault Display

HumanMachine
Interaction

Communication

Interface
Transition
Electrical System
Control

Fault Information
Receive
Command
Transmit

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medium

3VP

228 Computers in Railways XII


operation status of the vehicle .Because of the large number of electrical systems
and devices, they both have much information to deal with. Thus, the reliability
requirements and complexity of these two components are high. 3-version
programming is employed in these two components to avoid data loss and ensure
accuracy of the information.
The failure of the command transmit component can cause that electrical
systems are out of control, which is so dangerous. This component has medium
complexity because the process of information transmission is not complex. A
recovery block technique is employed to ensure that control command is
transmitted normally.
Table 1 shows the components redundancy design on the HMI software.

4 Software reliability analysis


The effect of redundancy design is measured by means of assessment of HMI
software reliability. The reliability is estimated using Scenario-Based Reliability
Analysis (SBRA) [5], which is specific for component-based software whose
analysis is strictly based on execution scenarios. In this paper, the reliability of
HMI software after redundancy design is compared with the one before
redundancy design.
SBRA consists of three steps:
(1) Usage of scenarios to analyze the dynamic behaviour of HMI software,
construct a sequence diagram to each scenario.
(2) Calculate some parameters using the sequence diagrams, construct a
component dependency graph (CDG) using these parameters.
(3) After constructing the CDG model, use an algorithm [5] to analyze the
reliability of HMI software.

Figure 6:

Scenarios of the HMI software.

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Computers in Railways XII

Table 2:

229

Parameters of each scenario.

Scenario Name

Probability of a Scenario ( PS k )

Average Execution Time of a


Scenario ( ECi )

Status display

0.85

Fault display

0.03

Switch

0.05

11

Input

0.02

Control

0.05

4.1 Construction of scenarios


There are two types of input can stimulate HMI. One is the data receiving from
the other system: electrical system status and fault information; the other is the
driver input: interface switching input, data input, and electrical system control
command. Based on these inputs, five scenarios can be constructed to describe
the interactions between components. Fig. 6 shows the five scenarios.
4.2 Component dependency graph construction
Let Sk be an element of the application scenarios set S , k 1,..., S , where |S| is
the number of the set S. The probability of the kth scenarios PSk is calculated
based on the implementation of HMI software, the probabilities of execution of
the 5 scenarios are listed in the following table.
Let RCi be reliability of the ith component in the HMI software, i=1,,9. RCi
is calculated based on the one of a single version/ recovery block. Suppose that
the reliability of each version is r, the reliability of a component that has
implemented 3-version programming is calculated by eqn (1).

RCi r 3 3* r 2 * (1 r )

(1)
Suppose that the reliability of each recovery block is rb, the reliability of
acceptance test unit is ra , the reliability RCj of a component implementing
recovery block technique is calculated by eqn (2):

RC j rb * ra (1 rb ) * rb * ra

(2)

where j=1,,9.
The reliability result of each component is shown in table 3.
Let RTij be a reliability estimate of a transition from component Ci to
component Cj. In order to simplify the analysis, supposes the reliability of the
interface is 1. Let ECi be the average execution time of the ith component,
i=1,,9,
|S |

ECi PSk Time(Ci )


k 1

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(3)

230 Computers in Railways XII


where PS k is the execution probability of the kth scenario, k 1,..., S , Time(Ci )
is the execution time of component Ci . The average execution time is shown in
table 3.
Table 3:

Parameters of each component.


the average
execution time of

Component
Reliability before
redundancy design

Component
Reliability after
redundancy design

Basic Display

0.95

0.95

0.52

Status Display

0.9

0.98

0.85

Fault Display

0.92

0.982

0.03

Interface Transition

0.92

0.984

0.05

Electrical
Control

0.9

0.972

0.05

Data Input

0.92

0.92

0.02

Status Receive

0.9

0.972

1.7

Fault
Receive

0.9

0.972

0.06

0.92

0.984

0.1

Component Name

System

Information

Command Transmit

Figure 7:

CDG of HMI software.

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each component

ECi

Computers in Railways XII

231

Let AEappl be the average execution time of the HMI software,


|S |

AEappl PS k Time( Sk )

(4)

k 1

where Time( Sk ) is the average execution time of scenario S k .


Based on eqn (4), the average execution time of the HMI software is 3.38.
The transition probability between components RTij is obtained based on the
analysis of each scenario. The component dependency graph of the HMI
software is shown in Fig. 7.
4.3 Reliability analysis
Based on the scenario-based reliability analysis algorithm [5], the construction
process of reliability is shown in Fig. 8.
The reliability of the HMI software after redundancy design is 0.95035352.
Follow the above steps, the reliability of HMI software before redundancy
design is 0.81572.

Figure 8:

Construction progress of HMI software reliability.

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232 Computers in Railways XII

5 Conclusion
The redundancy design on the various function components in the HMI software
is proposed in this paper based on the N-version programming and recovery
block techniques, and the HMI software reliability is analyzed by employing the
SBRA method. The result shows that the kind of redundancy design can improve
software reliability effectively. Note that only the N-version programming and
the recovery block techniques are considered in this paper, the other fault
tolerance techniques, such as the N self-checking programming and retry block,
will be introduced in order to access higher reliability and reduce the cost in the
future work.

References
[1] Cobb, P.R., Lennon, C.J. & Long, K.J., System and method for software
error early detection and data capture, US Patent: 5119377, June, 2, 1992.
[2] Moon, T.K., Error Correction Coding: Mathematical Methods and
Algorithms, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2005.
[3] Lyu, M.R., Handbook of software reliability engineering, McGraw-Hill,
Inc., NJ, USA, 1996.
[4] Pham, H., System Software Reliability, Springer-Verlag New York, 2006.
[5] Yacoub, S., Cukic, B. & Ammar, H., A Scenario-Based Analysis for
Component-Based Software, IEEE Trans. Reliability, vol.53, no.4, pp. 465480, 2004.
[6] CENELEC EN50126, Railway Applications: The specification and
demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety
(RAMS), 1999.
[7] Goseva-Popstojanova, K. & Grnarov, A., N-Version Programming with
Majority Voting Decision: Dependability Modeling and Evaluation,
Microprocessing and Microprogramming, Vol.38, No.1-5, pp.811-818,
1993.

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233

Study on the method of traction motor load


simulation on railway vehicles
F. Lu, S. Li, L. Xu & Z. Yang
School of Electrical Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
Based on the physical model of the motor-wheelset system, the expression of the
load torque of traction motor is drawn out. According to the two parts the
damping torque of the load torque and inertia loads the control method of DC
load motor electromagnetic torque is proposed separately. Following the
principle that the acceleration time should be the same as the actual time, it
indicates how to reduce the traction performance curve to fit the power of the
load simulation system in the laboratory. Consulting with the actual parameters
of CRH2 EMUs, it simulates and authenticates the system control following the
method above. Having controlled the damping load torque on 3.5kW hardware
platform, the results show the agreement of performance of simulated vehicles
and the actual performance curve. This indicates that the method can accurately
and exactly simulate the traction motor load.
Keywords: load simulation, traction motor, damping load, inertial load, torque
control.

1 Introduction
Traction motor load simulation is a method used to obtain the experimental data
in the laboratory without experiments on the actual vehicle, by which we can do
analysis and research on a traction motors characteristic and the control method
of the propulsion system. It overcomes the shortcomings of actual-vehicle
experiments, such as the high cost, low feasibility, difficulty in changing the
condition outside the vehicle and the long cycle of a complete test. By imitating
the different kinds of load of the traction motor in different conditions, the key
physical quantities change can be observed in the corresponding conditions,
even under the affection of some certain disturbance. These are important
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234 Computers in Railways XII


parameters to research on the vehicle characteristic and control method of the
propulsion system.
The traction motor load simulation technology is indispensably used in many
subjects referring to the propulsion system, such as deciding the power of
machines and converters, giving out the method of traction motor torque control,
slip, slide and re-adhesion control, inhibiting the fluctuation of the power grid
voltage, and research on the affection of harmonic current in the DC circuit.

2 Quality of the load torque


Huang [1] put forward the theory of the load simulation system. The load torque
of the traction motor can be divided into two parts: the damping load torque and
the inertia load torque. By checking the results, the conclusion in his thesis is
verified and improved in this paper. Part of the deducing course is shown as
follows (the force analysis in Fig. 1 and the variable definition in table 1).
By considering the force condition about the whole vehicle,
N m Ft f M

dv
dt

(1)

Translation force equation of single power shaft:

Ft f m m

dv
dt

Table 1:

The symbols used in the theory analysis.

Symbols

Unit

Nm

Ft , Fmw , Fwm

f , fm

TLf , TLd

Nm

M,m

kg

R, rg1 , rg2

Jm , Jw

kgm2

v, vw , vs

m/s

m , w

rad/s

ig ,Gear ,

Instructions
The number of traction motors

Traction force per power shaft, force


between active and passive gears
Total resistance of vehicle and that divided
onto each power shaft
Damping load torque, inertia load torque
Total weight of the train and that divided
onto each power shaft
Radiuses of wheel, active gear, and passive
gear
Inertial-mass of the active mechanism and
that of the passive mechanism
Forward velocity, linear velocity of the
wheelset and the sliding velocity
Mechanical angular velocity of the traction
motor and the wheelset

Gear ratio, gear efficiency and creep ratio

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(2)

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Fmw

Active Gear

235

Wheelset

Tm
vw v vs

rg1

m , m

rg2
ma

Motor Shaft

v, a

fm

Wg

Passive Gear

Fw m

Ft

Force analysis of the wheelset.

Figure 1:

Rotation force equation of a power wheelset:


Fmw rg2 Ft R J w

dw
dt

(3)

Coming down to the creep ratio between wheel and rail,


vw v vs v(1 ) w R

(4)

To the traction motor, the torque equation is established:


Tm TL J m

dm
dt

(5)

Considering about the affection of gear efficiency (traction condition),


TL Fwm rg1 Fmw rg1 / Gear

(6)

Combine the equations (1)-(6), and refer to the power transmission


characteristic of the gear:
w m / ig

ig rg2 / rg1

(7)

TL TLf TLd

(8)

It is put forward that


In the equation,
R
f
Gear N m ig

(9)

J
d
MR 2
w 2 ]( m )
2
Gear (1 ) N m ig Gear ig dt

(10)

TLf
TLd [

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236 Computers in Railways XII


The two expressions separately stand for the damping part and the inertia part
of the load torque of traction motor. Eqn. (8) is the expression of the load torque.
J is used to express the equivalent rotating inertial-mass besides that of the
traction motor in the system:
J

J
MR 2
w
Gear (1 ) N m ig2 Gear ig2

(11)

3 Torque control of the traction motor


Like the actual condition during the starting course of the train, the traction
torque which is generated by the traction motor is firstly added onto the load
simulation system, and it directly gives an effect to the load motor. By obtaining
the torque and speed information of the traction motor, the load machine
immediately gives out the load torque, which should correctly and rapidly
imitate the actual load of the traction motor. So, before the control method of the
load machine torque is put forward, it should be sure that the control method of
the traction motor torque has been proposed at first.
The traction motor characteristic curve of the actual vehicle is given by Zhang
[2] and shown in Fig. 2. This paper will take the CRH2 (China Railway Highspeed) EMUs as an example to discuss how to reduce the actual traction
characteristic curve equivalently so that the curve can be used on the experiment
platform with reduced power.

Figure 2:

The traction performance curve of CRH2.

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237

According to the actual condition and the experimental condition, the torque
equations of traction motors are separately established:
d
Tm (v) TLf (v) ( J J m ) m
dt

Tm (v) TLf (v) ( J ad J ms )

dm
dt

(12)
(13)

In the equation, Jms means the inherent rotating inertia-mass of the experiment
platform and Jad shows the inertia-mass which should be added on to the system
with some inertia mechanical equipments such as flywheel referred in studies [3
5], or with the inertia load torque generated by the load machine. Jad is called the
additional rotating inertia-mass.
Traction torque can be expressed in the following form:
m nv, v vb
Tm (v)
p / v, v vb

(14)

m nv, v vb
Tm (v)
p / v, v vb

(15)

Setting v = kvv, Tm(v) = kTTm(v), kv is called the velocity zoom ratio, and kT
is called the torque zoom ratio. Replace the corresponding symbols in eqn. (14)
with them.
vb

m nk v v , v k

v
Tm (k v v ) kTTm (v )
v
( p / k ) / v, v b
v

kv

(16)

vb
m nkv
k k v, v k
T
T
v
Tm (v)
p
k
k
v
/
(
)
v T

, v b

v
kv

(17)

So,

nk
v
m
p
, n v , p
, vb b .
kT
kv
kT
k v kT
The damping load torque can be expressed in the following form:

It can be inferred that m

TLf (v) a bv cv 2

(18)

TLf (v ) a bv cv 2

(19)

Solving it with the same zoom ratio, a

k
k2
a
, b v b , c v c .
kT
kT
kT

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238 Computers in Railways XII


Consulting the equations (12) and (13),
Tm (v) TLf (v)

( J J m )kv dm
d
(
) ( J ad J ms ) m
kT
dt
dt

(20)

Consequently,
J ad

kv
( J J m ) J ms
kT

(21)

Jad is just the additional rotating inertia-mass, which should be added onto the
experiment platform.
Fig. 3 shows the original traction characteristic curve and the reduced one
with the parameters kv = 3.46, kT = 100. On this condition, the relationship
between the actual acceleration and the reduced acceleration is
a (v)

1
a (v )
kv

(22)

For application, the value of the velocity zoom ratio and the torque zoom ratio
is decided by the rated electromagnetic torque and the rated speed of the traction
motor. The reduced traction torque curve will be made the given torque for the
traction motor, and the reduced damping torque curve will be made the given
torque for the load motor.

4 Torque control of the load motor


This paper only makes a research on the condition of using a DC motor as the
load machine. It tells how to control the torque of DC motor to add the load for
the traction motor. It is easier to control the torque of DC machine than that of
induction machine, so the way to control DC load motor can provide a reference
for controlling AC load motor.

Figure 3:

Traction curve before and after being reduced.

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Ia
I a*

K1

1 1s U a
1s

1
Ra sLa

Ia

CT

TLd
Tm (n)

1
F K n J ms s

239

1
Ce

CT
*
Ld

Figure 4:

H ( s)

Closed loop control system of DC generator.

It may be easily inferred from eqn. (8) that the electromagnetic torque of the
load machine opposes that of the traction motor. In addition, it is composed by
the damping load torque and the inertia load torque. It is relatively easy to
control the DC load machine following the damping load curve, for which in this
paper it is selectively discussed how to drive a DC machine imitating the inertia
load accurately.
In fact, the inertia load torque should not surely be imitated by the
electromagnetic torque of a load motor. As what has been referred above, inertial
mechanic equipments just like flywheels may apply such an inertial torque as
well. Not only that, it could greatly simplify the system control. However,
according to eqn. (21), the additional rotating inertia-mass is usually great. The
volume and weight of the equipment might be unacceptable for a laboratory
platform if all the inertia torque is generated by a flywheel. At the same time, the
inertia-mass of flywheels is unchangeable if the simulation conditions are
changed. So, such a disadvantage may limit the function of the load simulation
platform, and will degrade the flexibility of the experiments based on it.
Consequently, it is very important to make a research on the technology of
electrical inertia-load simulation.
Fig. 4 shows the block diagram of a closed loop control system of DC
generator in the complex frequency domain. In the dash dotted square, it is the
model of the DC machine. The signal Tm(n) is not only the output torque of the
traction motor, but also the load torque of the DC load motor. According to the
superposition principle, the forward channel of the inertia controller is analyzed
specially.
The H(s) is assumed as
H ( s ) K n J ad

s
1 Hs

(23)

In it, Kn (2/60) is the conversion coefficient from the rotor speed to the
mechanical angular velocity. In the following sections, it will be put forward that
how to choose a suitable value for the time const H according to the system
output response.
In spite of the viscous damping coefficient F, the time constant of rotor of the
DC generator is made as e = La / Ra. Then let 1 = e. When the value of K1 is

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240 Computers in Railways XII


large enough, the transfer function of the system can be inferred with the
Masons gain equation:
(1 H s )(1 e s )
n
1
Tm

K n ( J ms J ad ) s

K n ( J ms J ad ) s

J ms
J ms
H e s 2 (
H e )s 1
J ms J ad
( J ms J ad )
1Hs
.
J
1 H ms s
J ms J ad

(24)

Change eqn. (24) into the form shown in Fig. 5 n* is the expected value of the
rotor speed, and n is the actual speed response. It is obvious that in case of H = 0,
the two values of rotor speed will be totally the same. By debugging the output
response, the best value of the inertial time constant will surely be found out.
Affected by such a value, the response time of the derivative control should be
short enough and the high frequency noise must be as weak as possible. The best
value of H mainly depends on the inertia-mass of the imitated load, and is also
affected by the parameters of the PI regulator and the response time of the
control method, and so on.

5 Simulation and experiment


The structure of the load simulation system is designed as Fig. 6. The system is
composed by a traction motor (induction motor) anda load motor (DC motor),

Tm ( n)

Figure 5:

1
K n ( J ms J ad ) s

n*

1 Hs
J ms H
1
s
( J ms J ad )

Transfer function of the inertia controller.

Flywheel

Figure 6:

Structure of the load simulation system.

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Table 2:

Parameters of the actual and experimental motors.

Items

CRH2-200 motor

AC motor

DC generator

Rated power(kW)

300

2.2

3.5

Rated voltage(V)

2000

380

230

Rated current(A)

106

15.2

Rated speed(r/min)

4140

1420

1450

Rs

0.144

3.2

275

Lls

0.0014

0.0166

Separate excitation

Parameters
of the
equav
circuit

241

Rr

0.146

2.2

3.96

Llr

0.0013

0.0166

0.012

Rm

527.7

5.19

Ce = 0.165

Lm

0.0328

0.361

CT = 1.58

s
and s
*
f

Calculator

1
CT

Figure 7:

Simulation model of the load imitation system.

the shafts of which are joined together in order to act the traction torque and its
opponent. Parameters of the traction motors on CRH2 EMUs and motors in the
laboratory are listed in table 2.
5.1 Simulation of the load imitation system

Based on the theory of load torque control method above, a model of the low
power load imitation system of CRH2 traction motor is established with
MATLAB/ SIMULINK. The control system is drawn in Fig. 7.
Consulting the experimental equation of the basic resistance of vehicle on flat
and straight railway, fb = 8.63+0.07295v+0.00112v2(N/t), the total resistance of
the vehicle can be calculated out. Substitute the parameters of CRH2 in equations
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242 Computers in Railways XII


(8)-(10), referring to the rated torque and rated speed of the experimental traction
motor shown in table 2. The relationship between the rotor speed of the traction
motor and the vehicle velocity is like:
nm

1000ig (1 )
60(2R)

(25)

Let 250km/h (corresponding actual motor speed: 4912.5r/min), the highest


speed of the vehicle correspond the rated rotor speed (1420r/min) of the
experimental motor. The rotor speed zoom ratio should be set 3.46. Because of
the proportional relation between the rotor speed and the vehicle velocity, set kv
= 3.46 and kT = 100. The reduced traction curve is shown in Fig. 3. Set Jad =
17.37 kgm2 according to eqn. (21), and set k1 = 100, and 1 = e = 0.06s. Valuate
the inertial filter time constant H = 0.1. Simulate the starting course of the
experimental traction motor following the reduced curve in Fig. 2 and the result
is expressed in Fig. 8.
Obviously, it takes 375 seconds for the traction motor to reach the speed of
1420r/min (corresponding v: 250km/h and v: 72.24km/h) at full speed in Fig.
8(a). The acceleration time is generally the same as the actual time. Fig. 8(b)
shows the simulative acceleration is about 1/3.46 of the actual acceleration,
which is in agreement with eqn. (22) and Fig. 3. Based on all above, the
conclusion is that the method to control the torques of traction motor and load
motor is reasonable, effective and accurate.
5.2 Experiment of the load simulation system

On the hardware platform, the induction motor is controlled following the


method shown in Fig. 7. The DC load motor is separately excited, and its torque
is controlled by changing the armature current with constant magnetic flux so
that the electromotive force constant and the electromagnetic torque constant will
never be changeful, by which the torque of the motor is much more easily
inferred. The circuit structure is shown in Fig. 9.

(a)
Figure 8:

(b)

Simulation result of the load imitation system, (a) traction and load
torque with rotor speed, (b) simulative acceleration of vehicle.

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Figure 9:

Circuit structure of the hardware experiment platform.

(a)
Figure 10:

243

(b)

Result of the damping load torque control experiment, (a) speed


and torque current of the traction motor, (b) speed and armature
current of the load motor.

As continuous running with a speed over the rated value may destroy the
structure of the machines, lowering the level of the traction curve or simulating
the ramp resistance will be helpful to let the highest speed be lower than the
rated speed of motors. The level 8 traction curve is used in this paper as the
given traction torque. The balance speed will just be the rated speed in spite of
the inherent mechanical resistance of the coupling system. The speed and current
waveforms of the damping load experiment are shown in Fig. 10.
In Fig. 10(a), the stator phase current changes from about 5.6A (1A/100mV)
when starting to lower than 2.8A when the torques are balanced. During this
course, the actual torque current IT perfectly follows the given IT*. So, the
output torque of the traction motor can be judged following the reduced traction
curve of level 8. The final speed is 1023r/min (1500r/min corresponds 3.3V), and
the corresponding traction torque is about 4.9Nm. The armature current totally
follows the given current in Fig. 10(b), and its value is about 1.52A when the
speed is changeless. Consulting the torque constant in table 2, the corresponding
torque of the DC load motor is about 2.4Nm. It seems still 2.5Nm lost in the
inherent mechanical resistance of the system if the change of motor parameters
and the error position of the observed flux linkage are ignored. The results tell
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244 Computers in Railways XII


that the control effect of the damping load torque is the same as what is
expected.

6 Conclusion
Traction motor load simulation system with double motors and double torque
controllers has no closed loop control for the speed, and the speed signal is just
one of the input variable which participates in the system control. At the same
time, the speed control is one of the most important aims. By dynamic control of
the traction torque as well as the load torque, the speed is decided indirectly
reflecting the status of the actual vehicle.
Although the inertia load is simulated well in the simulation system, limited
by the working time of the DSP program codes, the discrete sample time, the
highest frequency of the MOSFET and the sample precision of the rotor speed,
the hardware platform cannot absolutely satisfy the demands of the control
methods. As above, the method of controlling the inertia load has to be
improved. Whats more, the paper has given out the additional inertia-mass by
eqn. (21), which could be a reference to decide the weights and radiuses of the
inertial equipments (such as flywheels). The method of the inertia load torque
control by Digital Signal Processor will be discussed in another paper.

Acknowledgements
This paper and its related research are supported by Technology Research and
Development Plan of MOR (2009J006-M): Research on the method of DC
voltage pulsation suppression in high-speed train propulsion system. We express
our sincere appreciation for the substantial support.

References
[1] Huang, Y.P., A study on load simulation of traction motor of railway
vehicle, M.S. thesis, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China, June 2009.
(in Chinese)
[2] Zhang, S.G., CRH2 Electricity Multiple Units (China high-speed railway
technology: CRH series), China Railway Publishing House: Beijing, 2008.
(in Chinese)
[3] Li, Z.S. & Dong C., Actuality on mechanical loads emulation basin on
electric powered technology abroad. Machinery, 34(5), pp. 1-3, 2007. (in
Chinese)
[4] Padilla, A.J., Asher, M.G. & Sumner, M., Control of an AC Dynamometer
for Dynamic Emulation of Mechanical Loads with Stiff and Flexible Shafts.
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 53(4), pp. 1250-1260, 2006.
[5] Rodic M, Jezernik K & Trlep M., Control Design in Mechatronic Systems
Using Dynamic Emulation of Mechanical Loads. Proc. of IEEE ISIE 2005,
pp. 1635-1640, 2005.
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245

Formalizing train control language:


automating analysis of train stations
A. Svendsen1,2, B. Mller-Pedersen2, . Haugen1,
J. Endresen3 & E. Carlson3
1

SINTEF, Norway
University of Oslo, Norway
3
ABB, Norway
2

Abstract
The Train Control Language (TCL) is a domain-specific language that allows
automation of the production of interlocking source code. From a graphical
editor a model of a train station is created. This model can then be transformed to
other representations, e.g. an interlocking table and functional blocks, keeping
the representations internally consistent. Formal methods are mathematical
techniques for precisely expressing a system, contributing to the reliability and
robustness of the system through analysis. Traditionally, applying formal
methods involves a high cost. This paper presents a formalization of TCL,
including its behavior expressed in the constraint solving language Alloy. We
show how analysis of station models can be performed automatically. Analysis,
such as simulation of a station, searching for dangerous train movements and
deadlocks, is used to illustrate the approach.
Keywords: interlocking, domain specific language (DSL), model analysis, alloy,
Train Control Language (TCL).

1 Introduction
An interlocking system prevents dangerous train movement on a train station by
giving a clear signal to a train only if the requested route is safe. The
interlocking system ensures that the route is safe by reading the status of the
elements in the route (e.g. tracks, switches, signals) to see if they comply with
the logic of the interlocking system. This logic is depicted by an interlocking
table, and realized by the interlocking source code, in the form of functional
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246 Computers in Railways XII


blocks of code that are executed (interpreted) by the PLCs (Programmable Logic
Controllers) in their control of the station.
Since the interlocking system is a safety system of the highest classification,
several rounds of formal review and testing are needed. The functional
specification is formally reviewed, before the functional blocks are produced and
also formally reviewed in several steps. In addition, systematic testing of the
station products is performed to ensure that they are correct. Both the review and
testing processes are time-consuming and have a high cost.
The Train Control Language (TCL) [1, 2] is a domain-specific language
(DSL) for modeling train stations. TCL automates the production of functional
specification and interlocking source code. From a graphical editor, where train
stations can be modeled, model transformations generate other representations of
the stations, e.g. interlocking tables, functional specifications and functional
blocks of interlocking source code.
In this paper we present an extension to our original TCL to automate
analysis of train station models. The contribution is the formalization of the TCL
language and models, and the analysis performed on these models. Even though
the current review and testing processes cannot be eliminated, allowing for
automatic analysis on model level may allow reduction of costs in these
activities.
The outline of the paper is as follows: Section 2 describes the background for
this work, the current development techniques, including the review and testing
activities. Section 3 introduces TCL and how it automates the production of
interlocking source code. Section 4 briefly introduces the constraint-solving
language Alloy that will be used for formalizing TCL in Section 5. Section 6
illustrates how the formal Alloy models can be used for automatic analysis of the
TCL models. Finally, Section 7 concludes the paper and look at some topics for
future work.

2 Background
From an input requirement specification, consisting of an interlocking table, a
structured drawing of the station and a generic Computer Based Interlocking
(CBI), incorporating national rules, a functional specification is produced. The
functional specification is a mapping of the interlocking table into a set of logical
equations. The functional specification is further developed into a design
specification, which is close to the interlocking source code. The functional
specification and design specification are formally reviewed following the Fagan
inspection method [3]. This method includes a set of rules, guidelines and
checklists for use in ABB RailLock. Both the production and review of the
functional specification and design specification are performed manually, and are
thus of high cost.
Following the functional specification and the design specification two teams
develop the interlocking source code using different libraries and developing
methods. This reduces the chance for common code errors. A formal review of
the produced interlocking source code, checking it against the functional
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specification and design specification, is then performed using the Fagan


inspection method once more. An independent party then validates the source
code against all safety requirements using a formal mathematical method that is
accepted as adequate by the Norwegian Railway Authority.
Following the review of the interlocking source code, the source code is
deployed and several steps of systematic testing are performed. This includes
testing the response of the elements in the station, to ensure that they give the
correct responses, and simulating train movement systematically, to verify that
the system behaves as expected. The behavior of the interlocking system is
described by the dynamic semantics of this system, and we model a set of
dynamic semantic rules for the interlocking system in Section 5.

3 Train control language


Since the development of interlocking source code is a time-consuming process
requiring a large amount of resources, the Train Control Language has been
developed to automate this task. This was shown by [1, 2], and in this section we
show a summary of this work.
TCL is a domain-specific language for modeling stations in the train domain.
TCL is defined by a metamodel (see Figure 1), which defines the concepts in the
language and how they are connected.
The topmost concept is Station, which represents the station, containing the
other concepts. A TrainRoute is the route a train must acquire to be allowed to
move into or out of the station. A TrainRoute consists of several TrackCircuits,
which are a collection of Tracks, where a train can be detected. A Track can

Figure 1:

TCL metamodel excerpt.

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either be a LineSegment or a Switch, and these are connected by Endpoints. An
Endpoint can either divide TrackCircuits (TCEndpoint) or be within a
TrackCircuit to connect LineSegments and Switches (MiddleEndpoint). A
TrainRoute starts at a TCEndpoint with a connected Signal and ends at another
TCEndpoint with a connected Signal in the same direction.
Based on the metamodel, Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) [4] and
Graphical Modeling Framework (GMF) [5] have been used to develop editors, in
particular a graphical editor for modeling the structure of a train station (see
Figure 2). The figure also illustrates the concrete syntax of TCL by showing a
station with two tracks. A station is created by choosing an element on the
toolbar (to the right), dragging it into the canvas (middle) and connecting it to the
other elements. Attributes for the elements are then set according to its property
(property view at the bottom). When the station model is complete according to
the input specification, other representations can be generated automatically by
pressing a button (on top).
TCL includes three kinds of model transformations, generating one of the
three following representations: Interlocking table, functional specification and
interlocking source code (functional blocks). The interlocking table is used to
compare with the provided interlocking table to visually verify the correctness of
the station in an early phase. The functional specification is also used for

Figure 2:

TCL graphical editor.

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verification purposes. The interlocking source code has to be formally verified


and tested before it can be used for controlling the station.
Notice that for TCL to be put into full production, a formal verification of the
language and code generators is needed, to formally confirm that it complies
with the same safety standards as the current development process.
We will, however, see how analysis can be performed on the TCL models
automatically by translating the models into models of the constrain-solving
language Alloy. Since the train domain has to follow high safety standards, this
will not eliminate the time-consuming process of reviewing and testing the
station products. However, by performing analysis on model level early in the
development phase, both design and implementation errors can be discovered
early and thus reducing cost.

4 Alloy
Formal verification and validation involves expressing a system (e.g. a train
station) precisely through mathematical terms and proving the correctness of the
system. Formal methods have traditionally provided accurate analysis of systems
at a high cost. Extensive knowledge of mathematical techniques, with their
complex notations and theorem proving raises the threshold for performing
analysis.
Alloy is a lightweight declarative constraint-solving language for relational
calculus [6]. Through the Alloy Analyzer automatic and incremental analysis can
be performed without the need for proving theorems or handling complex
mathematical notation. Unlike traditional theorem proving, the Alloy Analyzer
only offers analysis within a given scope, which is the number of instantiated
elements of each type. The small scope hypothesis ensures that such analysis is
sufficient, since if a solution exists, it will be within a scope of small size [7].
An Alloy model typically consists of signatures (types), fields (references to
signatures), facts (global constraints), predicates (parameterized constraints) and
assertions (claims). A type hierarchy is modeled by letting a signature extend
another signature. A fact consists of constraints that must always hold. A
predicate consists of constraints that must hold if the predicate is processed, and
can therefore be used to represent operations. An assertion consists of
constraints that is claimed to hold. As an example, Figure 3 shows a signature of
a train route corresponding to train route in the TCL metamodel (Figure 1).

Figure 3:

Signature of a train route in Alloy.

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In the search for a solution, the Alloy Analyzer populates the signatures with
elements up to the given scope where all the facts are satisfied. Two kinds of
analysis can be performed: Finding a model instance satisfying a predicate or
finding a model, which represents a counterexample to an assertion. If an
analysis does not find a solution or counterexample, there may not be any
solution or counterexample within the selected scope, or the constraints
(facts/predicates) may over-constrain the model. Thus, the constraints can be
adjusted and the Alloy model can be built stepwise based on the feedback from
the Alloy Analyzer.
The Alloy Analyzer requires the maximum number of each type of element
(scope) to be specified, and it guarantees that if a solution or counterexample
exists within the scope, the analysis will find it. This process does not require
any test cases, since it checks a property for all possible solutions within the
scope. The space of cases examined by the analysis is usually huge (billions of
cases) [6].

5 Formalizing TCL
For the formalization of TCL we follow the approach by Kelsen and Ma [8].
They illustrate how to use Alloy to formalize modeling languages and compare it
to traditional formalization techniques. As they point out, the Alloy approach
offers a uniform notation and automatic analyzability using the Alloy Analyzer.
We choose to formalize TCL in Alloy by three separate models; a static
model, a dynamic model and an instance model (see Figure 4). Semantic rules on
language level can then be separated from the rules on instance level, such that
several instances can use the same static rules. Besides that, we get a clear
separation between static and dynamic semantics, making them easier to
maintain.
The static model holds the static semantics for the TCL language, including
the concepts and how they relate (from the metamodel) in addition to language
constraints. Figure 3 shows how the concept train route is modeled in Alloy by
using a signature. This signature relate to other signatures through its fields (e.g.
to track circuit and endpoints). Additional constraints restrict the number of valid
TCL models instantiated by the Alloy Analyzer.

Figure 4:

Alloy specification divided into three models.

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The Alloy Analyzer populates the signatures with elements when it searches
for solutions or counterexamples. Thus an arbitrarily TCL model is instantiated
when using the static model. However, since we want to analyze a particular
TCL model created by the TCL editor, the number of valid model instances in
Alloy must be further constrained to be only this one. We therefore import and
extend the static semantics of the static model using an instance model, which
specifies one particular station. The instance model therefore specifies the
number of model elements in the TCL model and how they are connected (e.g.
the exact number of train routes and how they are connected to other elements).
The result of these constraints is that Alloy only instantiates one valid model for
the analysis, which is the TCL model subject to analysis.
To be able to perform proper analysis on a TCL model, the behavior of the
station needs to be formally specified as well. This specification is modeled in
the dynamic model using a state machine. The dynamic model constrains the
behavior of the concepts of the static model, and the Alloy Analyzer satisfies
these constraints when it uses the instance model to instantiate an instance.
Therefore, the dynamic model imports the instance model and uses the concepts
of the static model.
The dynamic semantics of TCL involves train movement. Intuitively, trains
can move simultaneously on a station as long as they follow the basic rules of the
interlocking table (table defining safe train movement). More specifically, a train
has to request a train route before it can move into or out of the station. Given
that no other conflicting routes are already taken and all track circuits in the route
are free, the route can be given to the train. The allocation of the train route
involves setting switches to the right position and signals to the correct status
before the train gets a clear signal. The train moves from track circuit to track
circuit within the route until it reaches its destination. The track circuits are
occupied and freed during the movement.
The state machine defined in Alloy, to describe the behavior of a station,
contains a set of states and trains in addition to the instance of the TCL model.
The states define the conditions of the station (e.g. position of trains) and the
transitions between them define the operation to be performed. There are three
operations (represented as predicates): Insert a new train on either side of the
station, allocate a route to a train, and moving a train. Through these three
operations we can simulate the train movement on the TCL model modeled by
the TCL editor.
The development of the Alloy models is illustrated in Figure 5. The static and
dynamic models are defining the TCL language and are thus only produced once.
The static model is generated from the TCL metamodel, while the dynamic
model is produced manually. The instance model is different for each TCL
model, and is therefore generated once for each TCL model. However, the
instance model is generated automatically from the TCL model modeled in the
TCL editor using a MOFScript transformation [9].
As a comparison, Jackson presents an Alloy case study on railway safety [10].
In this example constraints are specified such that only safe train movement is
allowed. This is very similar to our Alloy approach. However, our approach
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252 Computers in Railways XII


performs analysis on real train stations, which are typically more complex than
the example presented in [10].

6 Performing analysis of TCL models


From the Alloy formalization of TCL we can perform analysis on the TCL
models. The Alloy Analyzer can, as mentioned in Section 4, perform two kinds
of analyses: searching for a solution that satisfies a predicate or searching for a
counterexample that falsifies an assertion. In our analysis we will use both of
these to prove certain properties.
To perform analysis on a TCL model, the TCL model is exported and
transformed to an Alloy instance model (as described in Section 5) and the Alloy
Analyzer is invoked with this model as input. This process has been integrated
into the TCL editor giving a user-friendly interface for performing the analysis
on TCL models. Figure 6 illustrates the integration with the TCL editor, and how

TCL to Alloy
Language level

Model level

MOFscript
transformation

Written by hand

MOFScript
transformation

Static

Dynamic

Instance

Transformed once

Figure 5:

Figure 6:

Transformed once
for each station
model

Development of the Alloy models.

Integration with the TCL editor.

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to perform the analysis. By right clicking on the station canvas, the illustrated
menu is given where one of the menu items can be selected. Only a few options
for analysis are included in this interface for now. However, we plan to add more
options in the future, including a possibility to specify arbitrarily predicates and
assertions.
Our analysis is mainly concerned with the behavior of the station (dynamic
semantics) in some particular situations. The Alloy Analyzer gives a solution or
counterexample by giving a trace through the state machine specified by the
dynamic semantics. By following this trace, we can observe how the condition of
the station changes, and thus see the train movement through the station.
Constraints for the conditions in the first and last state in the trace can be
specified (e.g. both the first and last state includes no trains in the station).
Intuitively, we specify the conditions for the first state and for the last state in
the trace and how many trains are moving through the station. These parameters,
in addition to whether we run a predicate or check an assertion, decide what kind
of analysis we are performing.
As an example, imagine that we have a start condition with a train on track 1
(see Figure 7). Typical test-cases will be to test whether any train routes
involving track 1 (train route 1 and 2 in Figure 7) can be given to other trains
while the train is located on track 1. This property can be checked through
specifying an assertion in Alloy (see Figure 8). This assertion claims that no
model can be instantiated where the following constraints are true: The first state
in the trace includes a train on track 1, the last state in the trace still constrains
the train to be on track 1, and the last state in the trace also includes an allocated
route (to another train) involving track 1. The Alloy Analyzer is invoked to find
a possible trace through the state machine where such behavior is allowed (a
counterexample). Fortunately, for our two-track station, Alloy does not find any
counterexample that falsifies our assertion, proving that no train routes involving
track 1 can be allocated when a train is located there.
Other analyses include the search for the number of active trains the station
can include simultaneously without leading to a deadlock. A predicate can be
used to search for a solution for a certain number of simultaneous trains. If no
solution is found, the specified number of simultaneous trains will lead to a
deadlock. For our two-track station, the maximum number of simultaneous trains
turns out to be three (solution illustrated in Figure 9). This figure illustrates the

Figure 7:

Two-track station with a train on track 1.

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assert checkRouteAllocation {
//assert that no model with the following constraints exist
no t,t2:Train, tc:tc_01, tr:TrainRoute{
tc in tr.trackCircuits
//constraints for first state in trace
t->tc in first.trainOnTrack
tc in first.occupiedTrack
no first.trainOnRoute
no first.allocatedRoute
//constraints for last state in trace
t->tc in last.trainOnTrack
tc in last.occupiedTrack
t2->tc in last.trainOnTrack
t2->tr in last.trainOnRoute
tr in last.allocatedRoute
}
}

Figure 8:

Figure 9:

Assertion on train route allocation involving track circuit 01.

Maximum number of trains on the station simultaneously.

condition of the station in the state (in the trace) where it included three trains
simultaneously. Notice that this figure has been created based on the trace
information given by the Alloy Analyzer, and is not created by Alloy itself.
Arbitrarily analysis can thus be performed automatically by specifying the
condition of the first and last states in the trace, the number of trains to be
involved and what kind of assertion/predicate to check/process. We have seen
two examples of analysis that can be performed on a TCL model. However, we
see that these two examples do not differ from other test cases on stations. Thus,
a big amount of the testing of stations can be similarly checked by analyzing the
TCL models, with considerable less amount of effort.

7 Conclusion and future work


This paper presented a formalization of TCL, both static and dynamic semantics,
in Alloy such that automatic analysis can be performed on TCL models. We
looked at how the process of performing this analysis has been simplified by

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integration with the TCL editor. Furthermore, two examples of analysis were
presented to illustrate the approach.
As pointed out, this approach may not replace the traditional validation,
verification and testing processes. However, it adds extra value by allowing
automatic analysis in the early development process, which can be performed
both in the designing phase and in the development phase. By simulating train
movement traces on different station architectures (models), errors can be
discovered and corrected early, making a considerable potential for reducing cost
and time-to-market.
Furthermore, since this approach analyzes TCL models, it will shift the
necessity of validation and verification from the code level to the model
transformations. However, validation and verification of the model
transformations only needs to be performed once. This approach thus has a huge
potential of optimizing the development and testing of interlocking source code.
As future work we plan to extend the analysis we perform on TCL models.
Since the analysis is performed automatically, we can easily extend it to include
other test cases and properties that were earlier checked manually. Furthermore,
we are currently working on verifying the interlocking source code generated by
the TCL code generators. With verified code generators, parts of the verification
and testing process can be performed automatically on model level.

Acknowledgements
The work presented here has been developed within the MoSiS project ITEA 2
ip06035 part of the Eureka framework.

References
[1] Endresen, J., et al. Train control language - teaching computers
interlocking. in Computers in Railways XI (COMPRAIL 2008). 2008.
Toledo, Spain: WIT Press.
[2] Svendsen, A., et al. The Future of Train Signaling. in Model Driven
Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS 2008). 2008. Tolouse,
France: Springer.
[3] Fagan, M.E., Design and Code Inspections to Reduce Errors in Program
Development. IBM Systems Journal, 1976. 15(3): p. 182-211.
[4] EMF, Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF): http://www.eclipse.org/
modeling/emf/.
[5] GMF, Eclipse Graphical Modeling Framework (GMF): http://www.eclipse.
org/modeling/gmf/.
[6] Jackson, D., Software Abstractions: Logic, Language, and Analysis. 2006:
The MIT Press.
[7] Andoni, A., et al., Evaluating the Small Scope Hypothesis. 2003, MIT
CSAIL.
[8] Kelsen, P. and Q. Ma, A Lightweight Approach for Defining the Formal
Semantics of a Modeling Language, in Proceedings of the 11th
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international conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and
Systems. 2008, Springer-Verlag: Toulouse, France.
[9] Oldevik, J., MOFScript Eclipse Plug-In: Metamodel-Based Code
Generation, in Eclipse Technology Workshop (EtX) at ECOOP 2006. 2006:
Nantes.
[10] Jackson, D., Micromodels of Software, in Models, Algebras and Logic of
Engineering Software, M. Broy and M. Pizka, Editors. 2003, IOS Press. p.
351-384.

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Design and operation assessment of


railway stations using passenger simulation
D. Li1 & B. Han2
1
2

State Key Laboratory of Rail Control and Safety, China


Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
To assess the design of infrastructure and operation efficiency of railway
stations, passenger simulation models are useful tools. This paper presents a
microscopic passenger simulation model for railways. The simulation process is
described as event planning, route choice and behaviour decision. Complex
passenger behaviours are modelled, as well as simple motions. The model is
calibrated using field data collected from Beijing railway station. Software called
SRAIL is developed to validate the model. By using input passenger
characteristics, station facilities, train timetables, traffic flow rules and
simulation parameters, some useful indicators can be obtained. The indicators
can reflect facility usage, delay, congestion, safety and coordination of the
station. The total level of service is also evaluated. The first passenger dedicated
railway station of the China Beijing South Railway station is studied as an
example. The result shows that the model can assess the station design and
operation efficiently.
Keywords: railway station, design and operation assessment, microscopic
passenger simulation, event planning, route choice, behaviour decision.

1 Introduction
The largest scale passenger dedicated railways are being constructed in China.
Meanwhile, lots of new railway stations are being built. Most of these stations
are passenger dedicated, modern designed, large scale, multi-floor structures and
have a multi-modal traffic service. However, engineers are often faced with
several problems: how to improve the efficiency of railway stations; how to
avoid station travel time increasing time for the entire trip; how to keep large
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258 Computers in Railways XII


crowd passenger flows safe in the case of limited resources. Railway operators
also hope to improve the level of service by using new technologies in new
stations. They want to reduce the risk of operation accompanied by the lack of
experience.
It is hard work to solve these problems through traditional methods, because
there are many factors influencing station efficiency, such as passenger flows,
passenger behaviour, layout of facilities and operation strategy. Moreover, the
passenger crowd system is nonlinear; passenger flows on different facilities
affect each other. Thanks to the development of simulation technology, by using
passenger simulation, it is possible to forecast the potential problem of station
facilities, operation schedule and emergency plan.
The paper is outlined as follows. In section 2, the literature is reviewed. In
section 3, a passenger simulation model and its calibration is described. In
section 4, the simulation tool SRAIL, based on the proposed model, is
introduced. Section 5 is a case study of Beijing South Railway Station, which is
the first passenger dedicated railway station in China. Finally, conclusions are
provided.

2 Literature review
Traditionally, station assessment is done by mathematic method. The station is
thought of as a cluster of facilities. By calculating the smallest capacity, the
bottleneck is identified. However, the basic problem of capacity calculation is
still not solved. Such method lasted for a long time, until the use of simulation in
engineering. In particular, in the 1970s when Henderson [1] published the
statistics of crowd fluids, many pedestrian simulation models were developed.
The advantage of simulation is that the research object is modelled as an
integrated system from passenger facility to operation strategy.
Although there are only a few researchers studying passenger simulation in
railways, pedestrian simulation is widely studied, since it is a common
technology. Many specialists from physics, civil engineering and social science
have made great contributions in this field. Different methods were used to study
pedestrian flows, such as computational physics, hydromechanics, cellular
dynamics, artificial intelligence and society. However, much attention has been
Table 1:
Year
1985
1993
1994
1994
1995
2000
2000
2003
2009

Researcher
Gipps [3]
Okazaki [4]
Lovas [5]
Rothman [6]
Helbing [7]
Hoogendoorn [8]
Blue [9]
Kirchner [10]
Izquierdo [11]

Researches review.

Model
Benefit cost
Gravity
Queue network
Lattice gas
Social force
Gas kinetic
CA
Floor Field
PSO

Year
1990
1998
1999
2000
2003
2004
2007

Researcher
Maw [12]
Gordge [13]
Schelhorn [14]
Still [15]
Steps [16]
Hoogendoorn [17]
Li [18]

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Tools
PedRoute
Station
STREETS
LEGION
STEPS
Nomad
SRAIL

Computers in Railways XII

259

paid to theories until recently, when physicist Helbings [2] book Managing
Complexity: Insights, Concepts, Applications was published. Although the
mechanism of pedestrian behaviour is not very clear, useful models and tools
were developed. Typical researches are classified as theories and applications,
which are listed in table 1.
Most of the above tools are used on egress, which has a simple flow. The
most widely used tool is Legion, which is based on crowd dynamics. However, it
is not especially designed for railway traffic. Many scenarios of railway station
operation could not be effectively simulated. Nomad is the first tool specifically
for railway. A systematic indicator set is proposed for assessing the railway
station, as this is important to facility configuration. Despite a microscopic
model, the simulation of complex systems, such as stations, need more detailed
work. These include an activity model, route choice model, behaviour model,
integrated model and so on.

3 Modelling and calibration


3.1 Model hierarchy
To assess the railway station design and operation, it should be very flexible on
both infrastructure modelling and simulation dynamics. The model is divided
into macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic levels (see fig. 1). At each level,
models are set up for station facility, passenger and operation strategy. The
advantage of this structure is any changes of station design or operation strategy
are related to passenger behaviour, so the assessment of station facility design
and operation efficiency can be more easily achieved.
(1) Station model. The station is defined as a graph G(N, E) at macroscopic
level. A node indicates functional blocks such as the railroad, bus, taxi, metro
and park system. These nodes are the places where passengers appear or
disappear. A link is the connection between these systems. At mesoscopic
level, facilities relationship is described as a logic network. Facilities, such as
escalators, staircases, concourses and platforms, are modelled as units with
different properties so that the passenger can identify them. This level is also
designed to deal with the connection between different floors. At microscopic
level, each facility system is described as a grid with dynamic cell size. The
movable passenger can occupy the cell, and have real time interaction with
facilities through it.

Figure 1:

Model hierarchy.

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260 Computers in Railways XII


(2) Passenger model. The passenger is modelled as entities with three
property groups. The first is basic properties, including physical properties
(gender, age, body size, vision range, and walk-ability) and psychological
properties (psychological distance, temper). The second is social properties, such
as familiarity with environment, educational background, partners, attractiveness
and trip experiences. The third is traffic properties, such as trip aim, origin,
destination, desired speed, acceleration, position, ticket, and luggage size.
The passengers process model in the railway station is classified into three
steps, thus it can seamlessly interact with the station model. The three steps are
event planning, route choice and decision-making. The event planning is as
follows: when a passenger enters the station, he should clearly know what his
aim is, then make an activity plan of what he would do in the station before
leaving. The activity plan is highly related to the traffic aim and time need. To
depart, passengers who have a long time before they leave might make a rich
activity plan. In contrast, passengers who have little time or just arrive at the
station would only do the necessary activities. The route choice is a process
when the event is relatively determined. Passengers should try to find a
reasonable target to achieve their aim. However, on most occasions, there is
more than one target. Passengers should select a target that would maximize their
utilities. The last step is decision making: the passenger should decide how he
gets the target and which behaviour is reasonable. The decision is made
according to the state of the passenger and the station. In this step, passenger
behaviour modelling is also very important. Passenger behaviour is designed to
have add-ons. It means users can develop their own behaviour models. Although
different passengers would have different behaviours, they have some behaviour
in common. In a railway station, behaviours are modelled, such as buying a
ticket, waiting to board, queuing, checking in, looking at the information screen,
alighting and boarding. These complex models are made up of simpler models,
such as walking, obstacle avoidance, waiting, wandering, seeking and path
following.
Actually, such a process is not always from top to bottom. Passengers might
change their activities or decisions temporarily according to the situation they are
confronted with. For example, passengers with a lot of spare time would adjust
their activity, even their walking speed. Passengers who feel bored may wander
here and there. Passengers who feel tension may try to get ahead of others in
queues. In order to model the various activities, a dynamic activity network is
established. The network is the description of all necessary activities. Passengers
can either follow the network or separate from the network temporarily, as long
as they do not deviate from the target. In fact, there are a lot of factors that may
influence a passengers planning and decision making process. Some are even
not very clear. In this model, the user can define exactly which rule the passenger
should obey at each level.
(3) Operation model. This manages the operation strategy of the station. By
providing a user interface, many operation methods could be implemented from
passenger flow line management to timetable adjustment. The result would affect
the facility state of the station and behaviour of each passenger. It decides
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261

questions such as when the ticket gate opens, how long it takes to get a ticket and
where should the train stop. For example, one can adjust the stop time of a train
from the interface, or adjust the direction of the automatic fare gates. At service
systems, it also controls the reasonable queue to make the simulation more
realistic. Connections are also set up from the event and passengers model by the
operation model. For example, a train arrival event, passenger generation event
and facility state switch event may trigger at the same time.
3.2 Four steps model calibration and validation
It is important to perform a passenger simulation calibration before using the
model, although it is more difficult to use than the general pedestrian simulation
model. The model should not only reflect the basic passenger behaviours under
different conditions, but also obey the fundamental diagrams of pedestrian flow.
Moreover, the activity of the passenger and his time consumed in the station
should be kept consistent with real operation. We present a four step calibration
method to ensure the availability of the model.
(1) Fundamental diagram test. Passenger flow should obey traffic flow
characteristics at macroscopic level, although individual behaviour might be
completely different. Special experiments, such as passenger movement on loop
facilities (a certain width corridor with unlimited length), are designed. After
some warm up time, the passenger movement is simulated under a different
crowd level. The density, flow and speed data is recorded. The relationship is
compared with an empirical study of prior researchers, as shown in fig. 2.
It is found that the capacity flow is about 110p/min/m when space is 0.5m2/p.
This is very close to the fundamental diagram of the HCM. The capacity value is
also equal to the practical measurement in Beijing.
(2) Self organization test. One of the most famous characteristics of passenger
flow is self organization phenomenon. Unlike other traffic modes, when the flow
approaches the capacity or on other occasions, some special phenomena, such as
lane formation, bubbles, bottleneck oscillations and moving stripes, can appear;
this is not deliberately designed. Taking the bubbles and bottleneck oscillations
as examples, the proposed model is tested. The bottleneck is set to a 0.5m narrow
120

100

flow(p/min/m)

80

60

40

20

0
0

3
space(m/p 2)
HCM

Figure 2:

Blue V J

the Model

Space flow relationship of the model.

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262 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 3:

Bottleneck oscillations and bubbles.

door. When the bi-directional passenger flows pass the bottleneck during a large
crowd scenario, instead of deadlock, passengers from one side pass the door first
and after a while the opposite side, until the bottleneck has cleared. The result is
shown in fig. 3.
This phenomenon is widely found in prior researchers studies. In the test, the
highest frequency found is about 45 seconds, which reduces multi-nominally
with an increase of the door width. It is also found that even in very high
densities, some spaces would not be effectively used. These spaces were called
bubbles. This is consistent with the real world.
(3) Field data test. It is generally accepted that peoples traffic behaviour is
different under different areas, environment and cultures. It is also found that
passengers use of different facilities is very different. So it is necessary to
validate the model using field data test.
Firstly, a data collector and analysis tool is developed for the validation. The
video data is first collected from the CCTV in the station. Then each passengers
coordinates at different times are extracted from the video. The data relationship
curves, for example for evacuation versus time and distance versus flow, are
analyzed and compared with the simulation result in the same scenario.
Secondly, a special purpose survey is carried out, such as for time consuming
investigation. Each surveyor would select a passenger randomly, and try to
follow him. The surveyor would record the time of each activity and each target
position. For example, at the entrance, ticket vendor, waiting room or gate. Other
data, such as station structure, timetable and parameters, are also obtained from
the station operation agency.
The simulation scenario is carefully imported in to the model and, after a 24h
simulation, the simulation data for time consumption is collected and analyzed.
By comparing the result with the field data statistics, the model is validated or
revised.
(4) Empirical formula test. Railway operators have summarized much useful
knowledge about passenger flow, facility use and operation method. For
example, the unidirectional flow is more effective than mixed flow, long distance
corridors can ease passenger flow congestion and sometimes a set of obstacles
might be useful to improve the safety of the flow. Besides, some empirical
formulas were also given, such as the station egress time confirmation. Although
these formulas are not absolutely correct, they reflect the effects of some factors
relatively. The results with different input parameters should be consistent with
some existing knowledge.
The model is tested with special experiments. For example, the escalator
width is changed in different scenarios, while keeping other parameters the same.
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263

The empirical knowledge told us that the level of service is lower when the
width is narrower, and passengers would rather gather at escalators than select
the staircase. Some field data can also be collected to make the knowledge
quantitative.

4 The SRAIL system


SRAIL is a passenger simulation system for railway stations, developed using
the proposed model. The system is made up of a station editor module, data
collector module, passenger flow generation module, passenger activity design
module, passenger behaviour simulator, station service simulator, data replay
module, 3D simulator, simulation data analyzer and auto-report system.
4.1 Input
The input of the system depends on how complicated the simulation scenario is.
Basically, it includes the station facilities profile, passenger flow generation
profile, activity profile and system parameters.
The station editor module provides a tool to edit station facilities, such as the
entrance, exit, concourse, escalators, staircase, gate and platform. The user
should also define the position and parameters of the station service.
The passenger flow generation system provides three types of model.
Passengers could be generated by probability distribution, by train timetable or
by OD-matrix. This is dependent upon how accurately the operators know the
rule of passenger arrival flow.
The passenger activity profile gives the user the opportunity to change
operation strategies. For example, in most of the railway stations in China,
passengers should wait for the train before checking their ticket; this is called
wait first then check. However, new passenger dedicated railway stations
reserved the check first then wait method. This can be edited conveniently by
the activity module.
4.2 Simulator
The passenger behaviour simulator is the core simulator of the passengers
motion. According to the model, passengers behaviours are determined. The
station service simulator is also very important, because it controls the
changeable facilities or services of the station. In the railway station, there might
be a lot of service systems with queues or without queues. The station service
simulator controls and updates the queue systems. In some stations, a ticket
gates open time is related to the train departure time, thus the simulator provides
the connection between them. It can also maintain user defined service systems,
such as a security check.
4.3 Output
The system provides a lot of useful indicators as output. Basically, it can be
divided into three categories: quantity indicators, time indicators and integrated
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264 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Assessment indicator system of SRAIL.

indicators. Quantity indicators include density, flow, speed and queue length.
Time indicators include time consumed at each trip step and the aggregate time
of level of service at a specific region. Integrated indicators include level of
service, comfort and station bottleneck position. These indicators can reflect
facility usage, delay, congestion, safety and coordination. In order to assess the
station more fully, a complete indicator system has been designed, which is
shown in fig. 4.
Not all of these indicators are required in a simulation. This depends on what
problem is faced and what problem causes most concern.

5 Case study
5.1 Object station
Beijing is a city with nearly 300 million inhabitants. There are six passenger
train stations. As the first passenger dedicated railway station, Beijing south
railway station connects Beijing and Tianjin city, which are the two most
important cities in the north of China. The station opened before the 2008
Olympic Games. It has five floors with two metro line (M4&M14) floors, one
transfer floor, one platform floor with 24 tracks and one high level waiting floor
with more than 20 waiting areas. After it became operational, the time taken to
travel between Beijing and Tianjin decreased from 2 hours to 29min and now
takes 30 minutes. Every day, more than 162 trains depart from the station. It is
one of the busiest railway stations in China. Nearly all of the high speed trains
from Beijing depart from this station. After the M4 came into operation in
October 2009, the passenger volume of the station was more than 55,000 per
direction per day. An overview of the station is shown in fig. 5.
5.2 Simulation experiment
Before the M4 was opened, the operators of the railway station needed an
assessment of the capacity of passenger facilities. The utilization of the
underground transfer hall should be evaluated after the line is opened. The
highest passenger load of the station should be determined to decide the use of
emergency plan.
To solve the problem, simulation experiments are designed. The key point is
the underground transfer hall, so this floor should be paid much attention.
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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 5:
Table 2:
Scheme

1
2
3

Train
number
70
100
150

265

Overview of Beijing south railway station.


Simulation schemes parameters.

Peak hour train


number
mornin
Evening
g
10
8
20
12
30
22

M4
entran
ce

M4
exit

SNE
SNE
SNE

EW
EW
W

Passenger arrive ratio


M4

Bus

Taxi

Flow
cross
point

0.55
0.66
0.50

0.34
0.24
0.34

0.16
0.10
0.16

6
5
5

S: South; N: North; E: East; W: West

According to the current usage of the hall, the hall is divided into four zones:
departure hall 1, departure hall 2, metro-rail transfer areas and others. In
addition, in order to evaluate the highest passenger load, low, middle and high
passenger volume schemes was designed. Three simulation schemes were
designed according to different train numbers, passenger flow scale and
operation method, as shown in table 2.
Other parameters are investigated and input into the model. The peak hours
are selected (7:00-9:00 in the morning and 17:00-19:00 in the evening). It is
assumed that all train occupancy is 100%. According to the survey, passengers
arrive at the station from 0 to 100 minute before train departure for long distance
travel, because there are only a few trains per day. For short distance travel,
passengers arrive at random. About 30% of passengers buy tickets before they
arrive at the station. Station staff and people only at the station to greet people or
buy tickets are not considered in this simulation. The delay of the train is
randomly distributed, while all the trains should depart or arrive between 6:00
and 23:00. According to actual data, only platforms 2, 3 and 4 with six tracks
could be used. On the second floor, two box offices (with a total of 28 service
windows) are available. The desired speed of the passenger obeys the Gauss
distribution G (1.5, 0.25). The passenger arrival probability of a train obeys the
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266 Computers in Railways XII


exponent distribution and the time spent when buying a ticket obeys the uniform
distribution with N (30, 10) second. The simulation clock is set to 0.5 second.
The ticket gate is only available 15 minutes before the train departs, and only
correct ticket holders could pass the ticket gate. The ticket gate pass time is about
2s per passenger. The simulation starts at 4:30 and ends at 23:59. The simulation
is shown in fig. 6.
5.3 Result
After simulation, the Instantaneous Maximum Passenger Number (IMPN) of the
entire station and of each the concerned zones, Maximum Density (MD) and
occupation time of Level of Service-A (LOSAT), is as recorded in table 3 and
figs. 7 and 8.
From the simulation result, it is found that the three schemes have the same
peak time segment with train views. The time when the maximum passenger
number appears, as well as the passenger volume in the station, is different. In
scheme 1, the morning peak time is at about 8 a.m. with two peaks; the
maximum passenger number is 3011 at 5:11 p.m. In scheme 2, the morning peak
comes earlier at 7 a.m. with three peaks. The maximum passenger number

Figure 6:

The instance density of the transfer hall.

Table 3:
Station
Departure
hall

The statistics indicators.

IMPN
Crowd Point
IMPN
Departure hall 2
Departure hall 1
MD
Departure hall 2
(p/m2)
Departure hall 1
Transfer Areas
LOSAT
Departure hall 2
Departure hall 1

Scheme 1
3011
2
788
660
1
1.4
0.025
78.99%
84.88%

Scheme 2
3964
4
1248
1042
1.6
2
0.058
52.26%
73.44%

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Scheme 3
5134
3
1324
1064
1.7
2.4
0.06
62.08%
79.42%

Computers in Railways XII

267

6000
5000
4000
3000

Scheme1
Scheme2

2000

Scheme3
1000
0

Figure 7:

Figure 8:

Instantaneous maximum passenger number.

Level of service time occupation distribution.

appears at 6:06 p.m. with 3964 passengers. The morning peak time lasts longer
than the evening peak time. In scheme 3, the morning peak is about 6-7 a.m. and
the maximum passenger number is 5134 at 6:14 p.m. The evening peak is stable
in the three schemes at about 5:00 p.m. This result can be explained, as many
long distance trains depart at night and arrive early; these cause the high
density in the morning.
At departure halls, the instantaneous passenger number is also recorded. It is
found that passenger volume rises very fast but reduces stage by stage. This
might be because passengers who would go in many directions will share the
same departing hall. Most of the passengers would like to gather in the
underground departure hall 1. Passenger volume in departure hall 1 accounts for
65.8% of the total passengers in the underground. An interesting phenomenon is
that the peak time of departure hall 1 is just the low volume time of departure
hall 2. This is because of the uneven use of the departure halls. Departure hall 2
serves more tracks than departure hall 1. At the last scheme, the maximum
density of departure hall 1 and departure hall 2 is 2p/m2 and 1.6p/m2; this is
about 30 times the average density of the entire floor. One reason for this is that
passengers take a rest and have to spend almost the longest time in the departure
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268 Computers in Railways XII


hall, another is the facility layout of this floor. This density is very close to the
capacity of the facility, which means the station would be almost in saturation
state under this level.
It is found that the crowd point in the three schemes is 2, 4 and 3,
respectively. Although the passenger volume is the highest in scheme 3, the
crowd point is not the most serious. This is because a special passenger flow line
operation method is used in the last scheme. The mixed directional flow is
changed into unidirectional flow by changing the escalator run direction.
Comparing the level of service occupation time of the facility, it is found that
the level of service is not reduced very sharply with the increasing of the
passenger volume. Even though the maximum density appears in departure
hall 1, the level of service at departure hall 2 is worse than departure hall1 from
the view of the whole day operation. This means the use of departure hall 2 is
more balanced at this time.

6 Conclusion
A passenger simulation model and its implementation in China are described in
this paper. A four steps model calibration and validation is presented for similar
simulation applications. An indicator system is proposed to assess the station. A
simulation tool, SRAIL, is developed based on the proposed model. SRAIL
provides a user friendly interface and contains a lot of useful modules. The tool
has been already used on station design tests, station egress capacity evaluations,
passenger flow line improvements and station operation optimizations in many
projects in China. An integrated simulation of station passenger flow and station
yard operation is being studied and will be used in the future.

Acknowledgements
This work has been financed by the National Natural Science Foundation of
China (NFSC), project ID: 60674012; National Key Technology R&D Program
(2009BAG12A10); Beijing Jiaotong University Research Fund, Project ID:
2007RC039. We would like to thank the related committee.

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271

Modeling of an interoperability test bench for


the on-board system of a train control system
based on Colored Petri Nets
L. Yuan1, T. Tang1, K. Li2 & Y. Liu2
1

State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety,


Beijing Jiaotong University, China
2
School of Electrical and Information Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University, China

Abstract
The interoperability of train control systems is an essential feature for high-speed
railways. It must be proven that the on-board system of the train control system
has the ability to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of each line, which
accomplishes the specified performance. A third-party interoperability test bench
should be built for the customer to test the interoperability of the on-board
systems, which are manufactured by different appliers. In this paper, a formal
model was applied on the design and the verification of the test bench. The
design errors can be detected using this formal model, thus the correctness of
the test bench functionality was ensured. A structured Colored Petri Nets model
was proposed to describe the test bench in the aspects of system, modules and
processes. The model includes three sub-models: test bench, interface and onboard system. Colored Petri Nets was used for system modeling and
CPN-TOOLS was used to support the simulation and the formal analysis. The
hierarchical modeling method not only reduces the complexity, but also
enhances the reliability and reusability. On the basis of these models, the
architecture, the information flow and the algorithms of the test bench can be
verified during the system design and development. The simulation results
showed that the design errors can be found and some algorithms can be verified
and corrected in the modeling and simulation process.
Keywords: test bench, CPN, formal method, train control system.

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doi:10.2495/CR100261

272 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
Train control systems based on communications are advanced signaling systems,
which are an important part of high-speed railways, as they ensure the safety and
the efficiency of the high-speed railway. Communication-based signaling
systems control the train operation through radio communication, such as ETCS
level 2 and the CBTC system. The high-speed trains, which are equipped with
the on-board system, must be able to run on many lines of the high-speed railway
network in the future in order to enhance the operational and deployment
flexibility of the transportation network, for example, European Corridors and
the DPL (Dedicated Passengers Line) of China. This requires the train control
system to have the interoperability features. It must be proven that the on-board
equipment has the ability to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of highspeed trains, which accomplish the specified performance. There are some
differences in the technical detail between each manufacturer, because of the
different understandings of the specification, for example, the sequence of the
message between the train and trackside. Therefore, an interoperability test is
necessary to validate whether the on-board system can run on other lines, and
this is used in tests in the reference laboratory.
Interoperability testing in the laboratory is different from testing by
manufacturers. Interoperability tests are not based on manufacturers design
documents, but the specifications issued by the administration. The laboratory
provides a test bench, which can be connected with the real equipment to run all
test sequences, and therefore provide a standard environment to verify whether
the on-board equipment meets the specifications. To verify the consistency
between the functions of the equipment and the specifications, the
interoperability test does not concern the internal implementation details of
the equipment, but the external characteristics of the device. Therefore, the
interoperability test is a third-party test, and it is also a test that mainly serves
the users. The interoperability test bench should not only ensure the accuracy
of the test, but also should prove the accuracy of itself for the authority of the
laboratory. In addition, the test bench itself should be open, that is, the principle
of the test bench is understandable. All of these are the requirements for the
design and verification of the test bench.

Figure 1:

The interfaces between the test bench and the SUT.

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Petri Nets is a formal, graphical modeling method. Petri Nets advantages are
its visual graphical modeling and its preciseness of theoretical analysis. So, it is
widely used in various fields, especially in describing the complex systems or the
logical relationship between processed activities, such as concurrency,
competition, synchronization, etc. However, the Petri Nets models of a largescale system will be too complex to analyze, and the correctness of Petri Nets
models are based on the experience of the designer. The hierarchical model is a
common way to solve the problem of the state space explosion of the Petri Nets.
By hiding the internal structure of the subnet, the designer can focus on the
higher abstraction level design and the subnets can be designed concurrently and
reused easily, and the resulting model has a good hierarchy (Jensen [1]).
In this paper, a structured Colored Petri Nets model was used to describe the
test bench and to decompose and refine it in the aspects of system, modules and
processes. The model started from the system context level and described the
interfaces and interactions between the test bench and the SUT. Then, the
modules in the test bench are further refined in the second level, to show the
state transition of the internal modules. In the third level, the module working
processes are refined respectively. Colored Petri Nets was used for system
modeling and CPN-TOOLS was used to support the simulation and the formal
analysis. On the basis of these models, the architecture, the information flow and
the algorithms of the test bench can be verified during the system design and
development. The simulation results showed that the design errors can be found
and some algorithms can be verified and corrected in the modeling and
simulation. The models that describe the test bench can not only be used to prove
the correctness of the test bench, but also be used to show the principle of the test
bench to the people participating in the test (David et al. [2]).

2 Functional model of the interoperability test bench


2.1 The structure of the interoperability test bench and the basic principles
of modeling
The interoperability of high-speed railways includes many aspects, e.g., vehicles,
electrical system and operations. The interoperability in China focuses on
whether the trains, which are equipped with different on-board equipment
supplied by different manufacturers, can run continuously and safely on the line,
which is equipped with trackside equipment from other suppliers, and meet the
functional specifications and required performances of the system. Thus, the
interoperability test concerns the ability to exchange information and to use the
information that has been exchanged between trains and trackside. The
interoperability test is focused on the external behavior of the on-board system.
In addition, the interoperability test should not require manufacturers to complete
some additional interfaces for the test. Therefore, all tests should be completed in
the available interfaces of the SUT. In addition, the interoperability test should
not require manufacturers to provide internal design documents. The test should
validate the equipment only through its input and output behavior. Therefore, the
interoperability test should be a black-box test and a data-driven test.
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274 Computers in Railways XII


MONITOR

TEST
SEQUENCES

Interface 1

SCENARIO
CONTROLLER

Interface 2.1

Interface 2.2

BALISE ELEGRAM
GENERATION SIMU.

MESSAGE
GENERATION SIMU.

TRACK CIRCUIT
GENERATION SIMU.

Interface 3.1

Interface 3.2

Interface 3.3

Interface 4.1

EUROBALISE
SIGNAL
GENERATOR

Interface 4.2

Interface 2.3

Interface 4.3

Interface 2.4

SPEED SENSOR
SIMULATOR
Interface 3.4
Interface 4.4

Interface 2.5

TIU
SIMU.
Interface 3.5
Interface 4.5

Interface 2.6

DMI
PROMPTOR
Interface 3.6
Interface 4.6

EURORADIO
COM.
SIMULATOR

TRACK CIRCUIT
GENERATOR

ODO
ADAPTOR

TIU
SIMULATOR

DRIVER

Interface 5.1

Interface 5.2

Interface 5.3

Interface 5.4

Interface 5.5

Interface 5.6

BALISE

EURORADIO

TCR

ODO

TIU

DMI

SYSTEM UNDER TEST (ONBOARD)

Figure 2:

Structure of the test bench.

According to the on-board equipment specifications of the train control


system, the structure of the interoperability test bench includes a test sequence
database, a Scenario Controller module (SC), online executive modules and
interface modules. During the execution of the test, the test bench will send test
data to the SUT in real-time, according to test sequences data, thus creating an
external running environment for the on-board system, so that the tested devices
functions can be executed. The test sequences stored in the database are formed
by concatenation of the set of test cases according to the test specification. The
Scenario Controller is the main module of test execution, which is responsible
for reading all the test data from the test sequence database, configuring other
online executive modules, controlling the start and the end of the test, and
monitoring the entire testing process. The online executive modules
responsibility is to generate messages according to the configuring data by SC,
determining the proper time and occasion for sending messages to the on-board
equipment. The Speed Sensor Simulator (SSS) simulates the dynamics behavior
of the train and calculates the speed and the position of the train in real time. It
provides not only speed information to the on-board equipment, but also position
information of the train to other modules of the test bench. The interface
modules are used to connect the test bench and the SUT, as the equipment to be
tested may come from different suppliers; therefore, it needs to adapt the
interfaces between the test bench and the real SUT, to ensure the communication
between the test bench and the SUT.
Considering the functional decomposition of the test bench and the
improvement of the maintainability and reusability, the test bench is divided into
several functional modules, which can run on different computers. As the test
bench uses the data-driven approach, all the modules work together to drive the
on-board system in real-time through the test sequence data, so it is essential for
there to be synchronization between the modules internal states. To ensure
functional correctness of the test bench, a formal method is used to model and
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analyze the test bench at the beginning of the design. In the analysis process of
using Petri Nets for modeling, a hierarchical modeling approach is used, that is,
the modeling process was divided into three levels: system level, module level
and process level. This is not only to decompose the complex model, and
simplify the problem, but also to model with Petri Nets throughout the whole
process of the test benchs development. As the development of the software and
hardware of the test bench is in accordance with the preliminary design, detailed
design, module interface design, sub-module design, coding and debugging,
modeling should be hierarchical to meet the phase of the development of the test
bench. The hierarchy of the modules is:
(1) System level. This level includes all the components of the test bench. The
components are taken as transitions and the information exchanged between
modules are taken as places. The relationship and the information flow between
the components are considered in this level.
(2) Module level. The transitions in the system level were refined in this
level. The states and the transition of the states are considered in the modules.
The internal states of the component are taken as places, and the events that
triggered the state transitions are taken as transitions.
(3) Process level. The transitions in the module level were refined further
here. The modules of this level are similar to the program function design of the
components of the test bench.
Considering the networks hierarchy, the lower level network is actually the
refinement of the higher level Petri Nets model. That is, if the total Petri Nets is
N = (P, T, F) and the set Y is a transitions boundary set, N[Y] = (P[Y], T[Y],
F[Y]) is a higher level module and the subnet, which just contains the elements
of the set Y, is the lower level sub-model. In this way, the internal behavior of
the subsystem has been further described in lower level models (Girault and
Valk [3]). During the process of the development of the test bench, the module
of the system level was designed to check whether the system design and the
interface definition are correct. In addition, the structure and the functional
partitioning of a component were focused in the module level modeling and the
implementation of the functions of the component was focused in the process
level modeling. By refining the transitions of a Petri Nets, we can gradually get
the hierarchical Petri Nets model of the interoperability test bench to show the
internal logic of reasoning and operation mechanism within the bench. Using the
top-down modeling method, we can reduce the complexity of a system; make the
model intuitive and easy to control and so on.
The sub-net model of a hierarchical Petri Nets model is actually the
operational analysis of each subsystem, and the necessary parts of the whole
Petri Nets model. To ensure the properties of the total Petri Nets model of the
system, such as activity, boundedness and consistency, each sub-Petri Net model
must satisfy the following conditions:
(1) If the places are removed, the structure of the network should be noncircular.
(2) Subnet models should be marking graphs.

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2.2 System level models
Using the top-down hierarchical approach to develop the interoperability test
bench, we should discompose the organizational structure and identify the
important sub-modules and then describe the entire structure of the sub-modules,
as well as the relationships of the sub-modules model, and finally refine the submodels according to the requirements of the system.
In this level, we focused on modeling the interface between the various
component modules of the test bench. With modeling, we defined the interface
relationships and the data flow between the test bench and the SUT at different
stages. The test bench module is divided into four sections: scenario controller,
executive modules, interface modules and the SUT. The information exchanged
between modules is also divided into the offline data and the online data. The
offline data mainly refers to the configuration data of the test bench before the
test. The online data mainly refers to the dynamic data of the modules in the
process of the test. By modeling the system level, we can make a clear
understanding of each module relationship in the configuration stage before the
start of the test, and of the interaction relationship of each module in the process
of testing.
As shown in Figure 3, the transitions in the shadow corresponded to the
application logic of each module and the places in the shadow corresponded to
the information exchange between the modules. In the model of this level, the
messages, which were received from and sent to the external modules, are
merged into a place; this means that we do not have to be concerned with
specific information and can just focus on the source, the destination and the
type of the data (i.e. offline or online).

Figure 3:

The system level model of the test bench.

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The right part is the simulator of the on-board equipment. This simulator is a
part of the test bench when we debug the test bench and the test sequences. So
the test bench for the modeling process should be considered as the SUT
behavior.
2.3 Module level models
Modeling in this level, the functions of each component were refined. The
external interface of this component is refined to a message or information of
train location. According to the state division of the test bench, there are initial
state, waiting state, ready state, operational state and implementing state in the
component, the name of which is MGS (MESSAGE GENERATION
SIMULATOR), as shown in Figure 4. Each state corresponded to a place. The
state transition was triggered by the Scenario Controller. The operation of the
state corresponded to a transition. In this model, the transition will be refined in
the next level to describe the detail functions. Figure 4 shows an example of the
module of MGS.
2.4 Process level models
In the modeling of this level, the function of each module is refined in further
detail. This model refines the upper network in order to refine the inner function
of the component. The nets of this level do not consider the external interface,
because the external interface level has been considered in the previous level
model and the function, which is external interface communication, is ensured by
the previous level model. The example of the model shown in Figure 5 is for the
execution of the test sequence.

Figure 4:

The model of the module level (MGS).

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278 Computers in Railways XII

Figure 5:

An example of the model of the process level.

3 State reduction and model analysis of the test bench


State space analysis is also known as Occurrence Graphs (OG) or Reach ability
Graphs/Trees (RG/RT). State space analysis researches the accessibility of Petri
Nets models to construct a directed reachability graph. The reachability graph
included each state node, which is the reachability state place, and each arc that
binds each element. State space analysis of the Colored Petri Net can be done
through constructing the reachability graph of the reduced nets. In addition, for
modeling with the hierarchical Petri Nets Model, we can analyze the reachability
in the form of a reachability graph.
The correctness of the test bench design can be verified by researching the
reachability of the model states. The reachability graph was constructed through
the research of the transition path from any initial state and the research of all
possible replacements. We can also construct state space by a fully automated
tool, such as CPN TOOLS. The state space can explain many analysis and
verification issues related to the system behavior. The state space analysis can
validate whether the system owns the expected properties through the node, path
and subnet forms. For example, there had been a design error in the early stage
of the test bench design, which was a lack of an essential state, and the error was
found through the deadlock of the state. Once the problem was identified, a new
state was added into the model of the test bench design and the deadlock was
eliminated, so the test bench design was improved.
The major restriction for the state space analysis is the dimension of the state
space. The increase of Petri Nets model (such as the increasing of transitions)
may lead to the exponential growth of the state space. To complete the model
analysis, we should consider the reduction method to simplify the net model.
First, the reduction rules were defined. Then, the places and the transition of the
model were merged and eliminated through applying the rules to the Petri Nets
model to simplify it. Reasonable reduction rules should be made so that the
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resulting model is still in keeping with the properties of the original model. The
reduction rules included are as follows: merging continuous places and
continuous transition, eliminating equivalent places and equivalent transition,
eliminating self-circular places and self-circular transition, etc.
The model reduction is essentially a transform process to apply repeatedly the
set of the reduction rules. Repeated application of reduction rules can maintain
the feature we considered, until the system becomes irreducible. Reducing the
model can mask some details that are irrelevant to the designer. The initial model
of the test bench was reduced through applying these rules and this made it
possible for the analysis to be performed using CPN-TOOLS.
After describing the test bench using formal model, the model checking must
be done to verify the model. Assuming the model has a finite state space, model
checking confirmed that the system will not execute against the state rules
through detecting all the possible routes of the system state space. The system
state of a reliable test bench should be unique at any time; therefore, the
correctness and completeness of the state transition must be validated. For the
test bench, the boundedness of the model and the equality of each state transition
were mainly considered. The boundedness of the model shows that the resource
of places was limited to avoid the system exception. In the reduced model, there
is no specific description about the trigger conditions of the transition, because
the model should describe abstractly the state transition of the test bench.
Actually, each transition was bound with certain conditions and the sequence and
the frequency of the transitions will affect the whole system. This will be shown
in the status report as the fairness of the occurrence of the transitions.
The experience of the implementation of the test bench has shown that the
model-based design and analysis method supported effectively the development
of the test bench. The bug of the design was found in the early stage and the
efficiency of the development was achieved.

Figure 6:

The application for monitoring the execution of the test sequence.

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4 Conclusion
The interoperability test bench is used to test the on-board equipment, which is
from different manufacturers, and to validate whether the system meets the
specifications. In this paper, a structured CPN model was proposed to describe
and analyze the test bench during the development of the test bench. The model
showed the behaviors of the test bench in the aspect of system, module and
process. The model was simulated and verified with CPN-TOOLS to check the
accessibility of the states and analyze the deterministic of the state transition;
therefore, the correctness of the different designing stages was validated.
Modeling provides the basis for the development and debugging of the test
bench, and ultimately promoted the realization of the test bench. It also showed
that this formal method can be used effectively for interactive system design.
The models can be used for the system quality assurance and the system
certification.

Acknowledgements
We wish to acknowledge the support of the National High-Technology Research
and Development Program ("863" Program) of China No. 2009AA11Z221,
National Science & Technology Pillar Program of China No. 2009BAG12A08.

References
[1] Jensen, K. Coloured Petri Nets. Basic Concepts, Analysis Method and
Practical Use (Vol.1-3). Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science,
Second Edition, Springer-Verlag, 1997.
[2] David V., Didier R., Morm B. A Petri Net based model for assessing
OH&S risks in industrial processes: modelling qualitative aspects [J]. Risk
Analysis, 2004, 24(6): 1719-1735.
[3] Girault C., Valk R. Petri Nets for systems engineering: a guide to modeling,
verification, and applications. Publishing House of Electronics Industry:
Beijing, 2005.
[4] Ma M., Chen G. Stochastic Petri-Net of auto-test system and performance
evaluation. Measurement & Control Techniques Journal, Vol.25, No.10,
pp. 19-2l, 2006.
[5] Cai J., Wang D., Li B. Extended hierarchical color petri net-based test case
generation for composite services. Journal of southeast university (Natural
science Edition), Vol.38, No.4, pp. 598-604, 2008.
[6] Hu J., Li H. Design & implementation of Petri-net-based coordinator in
industrial hierarchical control scheme. Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Systems Journal, Vol.13, No.12, pp. 2316-232l, 2007.
[7] Pan X., Li T., Lui Q. A Hierarchical model of Petri Net and a modelling
tool for its design. Computer Applications and Software Journal, Vol.25,
No.8, pp. 33-35, 2008.
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Section 5
Planning

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283

How regular is a regular-interval timetable?


From theory to application
P. Tzieropoulos, D. Emery & D. Tron
Group EPFL-LITEP - Intermodality and Transport Planning cole,
Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract
Initially, choice of regular-interval timetable was mostly addressing operational
concerns, aiming to increase the network throughput and to smooth the day-today tasks of the personnel. Separation between infrastructure management and
train operations, induced by the European Union since the early 90s, and the
future opening of the rail services to competition, pushes more and more
infrastructure managers to operate their network with regular-interval timetable.
Thus, the interest of measuring the degree of regularity.
The paper defines the different steps needed for going from conventional
operations to fully coordinated regular-interval timetable (the so-called clockface timetable). It starts by defining the basic notions, and shows some
fundamental properties of regular-based timetables. Then, based on the
definitions, a methodology is developed to measure and assess the regularity of a
timetable, for a line and over a full-scale network. This is because, in practice,
implementation of a perfectly regular timetable is not possible and, perhaps,
neither desirable. Constraints related to demand or to resources lead to cancel
train paths during off-peak periods or to provide extra stops or longer dwell
times (and thus slowing down travel time) during peak hours, for instance.
More specifically, the paper presents a methodology for determining the
interval used to evaluate and compare reference and actual timetables, per train
class and by corridors. Tolerances in measuring are dealt with. The developed
methodology has been used to develop assessment software, which has been
used in a real life application.
Keywords: regular-interval timetable, coordinated cycling timetable.

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284 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
A regular-interval timetable provides identical train paths for each service,
scheduled at regular time intervals. A coordinated, or so-called clock-faced
timetable [3], is based on the same principle and adds to it scheduled and
guaranteed connections in selected main stations.
Nowadays, several European countries operate their train services on the basis
of a regular-interval timetable. Those who do not yet, are gradually coming to
this type of operation, too. Initially, the choice of regular-interval timetable was
mostly addressing operational concerns. Systematic operations help both
increasing the network throughput, and smoothing the day-to-day tasks of the
personnel. Separation between infrastructure management and train operations,
induced by the European Union since the early 90s, and the ongoing opening of
the rail services to competition, pushes more and more infrastructure managers
to operate their network on regular-interval timetable.
Even based on a regular-interval principle, a timetable almost never strictly
adheres to this principle. Early morning and late night services usually diverge
from the standard train path design. Reinforcement train paths are often
necessary during peak periods. Cost concerns may lead train operators to
alleviate off-peak service by cancelling some train paths. Finally, especially in
suburban and regional services, political pressures may also generate some
diversions from the standard train path service by imposing extra stops.
Transgressions of the regular-interval pattern may negate (and often do) the
main expected advantages from the regularity. To actually assess the cost of
those transgressions, one needs to go for a detailed analysis and comparison of
the actual timetable against a perfectly orthodox one. This is a cumbersome
process that, to the knowledge of these authors, has never been conducted. In
order to help planners and transport authorities to proceed with an initial fast
assessment of the regularity of a timetable, an evaluation methodology has been
developed and implemented as a software package [5]. The developed software
has been applied to the French Rhne-Alpes Region, which in 2008 rescheduled
its regional services on a regular-interval basis [6].
To design the methodology and to develop the software, it was first necessary
to specify precisely the notions of structure, regularity and connectivity. This
was done by referring back to the theory of regular-interval timetabling, and by
developing specific notions as needed in the process. The paper sets the
theoretical framework of regular-interval timetables, shows the fundamental
properties of the latter, presents the options taken for measuring the regularity,
and highlights the advantages and drawbacks of the methodology.

2 Definitions
Urban services have been operated with constant headings almost since their
beginning. Often, this has also been the case of shuttle services. Dutch railways
have been probably the first to apply this principle at the scale of the national
network services in the late 1940s. It was called rigid timetable, by then. Some
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European networks came to the same principle during the last quarter of the 20th
century. They opted for it in order to both achieve productivity gains by
systematising their operations, and to offer full time coverage of the services,
much alike the car which is available for a journey at any time of the day. By
sending the message to the customers that train services are also available at any
time during the day, railways aim to enhance their competitive stance.
Some basic definitions are needed here to set the scenery. The first is the one
of service, kind of product mould for the operator. In this context, a service is
composed by [6]:
a directional path in the network (defined by its origin, destination, and route),
a stopping pattern (defining the intermediate stops and their duration),
a commercial identity, which may be related with
o
o
o
o

travel time objectives,


choice of rolling stock assigned to this particular mission,
fare policy,
package of extra services, etc.

Usually, any given service has its dual one, the return path.
A structured timetable is the one that keeps the service typology under
control [6]:
with a finite (and not too large) number of services, to ensure that the transport
supply remains readable for customers and operators as well;
with fairly distinct services, that are easily identifiable; supplying a range of
products that are easy to identify makes consumer choices simple (and helps
improving the marketing, too);
with each particular train assigned to a given service (by avoiding planning
outlier trains, that are hard to recognize by both customers and operators and
which degrade the readability of the whole transport supply).
With a structured timetable, customers still need consulting the timetable,
though they can easily identify local, fast, high-speed trains, etc.
A regular-interval timetable is a structured one and, what is more, with
successive identical services planned at fixed time intervals [6]; services are
periodical, and the time interval is the period. Theoretically, periodicity may not
be the same for various services although, to fully benefit from the systematic
properties, periods are usually unique or integer multiples of a basic time
interval. Theoretically too, the time interval may be of any value and, for
independently optimised shuttle services, it reflects the round trip time on the
route, or depending on supply level requirements a multiplier or an integer
fraction of it (Figure 1). However, for a network with interconnected lines, there
is a strong impetus to opt for a unique time interval, often set to a round value,
e.g. 60 minutes. In this case, customers only need to remember the departure
minute of their usual service: if it is 12, for instance, for a fast train leaving town
A for town B, they know this same service is available at 7:12, 8:12, 9:12, and so
on.
A coordinated regular timetable (or clock-faced timetable) is a regularinterval timetable that fulfils three additional constraints [6]:
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Let be:
l: line length
[km]
f: time interval between
[h]
services
[h]
r: turnover time for a unit
cu: the unit capacity of a vehicle/
vessel/train-set
[pass]
K: carrying flow (line
[pass/h]
capacity)
Then:

cu
K

(1)

(NB: Substitute passengers by


tons for freight operations)
Figure 1:

Basic structure of a regular-interval timetable for a shuttle line


(space - time diagram) (Source: [7]).

a common axis of symmetry for all the lines in the network,


balanced transport supply in opposite directions, with identical travel times,
scheduled and guaranteed transfers in selected major stations.

3 Fundamental properties
There are mainly two readings of Equation (1):
either K is the actual flow to be carried, and f is the maximum interval between
two successive services, derived from the equation;
or f is the minimum headway, and K is the line theoretical capacity.
Now, let define:
vc as the commercial speed of the service on the line (including turnround
time in terminuses)
n
as the size of the rolling stock (number of units in operation)
The rolling stock necessary to provide the service can be computed by means
of Equation (2), and the turnover time for a unit by means of Equation (3):
r
2l
n
(2)
(3)
r
f
vc
By combining the three equations above, we get the fundamental relationship
for a shuttle service operated with regular interval as (Equation (4)):
K
(4)
n2
l
vc cu
This equation links the size of the rolling stock, to the unitary capacity of a
vehicle/vessel/train-set, the length of the line, the commercial speed, and the
transport supply level.
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Irregular timetable
3 train sets

Figure 2:

5 train paths
per direction

287

Regular-interval
2 train sets

Structuring reduces the need for resources.

Structuring the timetable generates productivity gains, especially when no


additional constraints degrade the optimisation (Figure 2). However, setting the
interval to any given value (i.e. not linked to the turnover time) may be
detrimental to productivity gains at least partly.
In the case of multiple services running on the same line, each service follows
the same regular-interval logic, and the various services are stacked one upon
another, provided that the infrastructure allows for such a superposition. In this
case, an extra constraint comes into play: regular intervals should be identical for
all services or, at least, modulo between regular intervals should be null (i.e.
longer intervals should be a round multiple of the shorter ones, such as for
instance 30/60/120 minutes). This further reduces the optimisation potential.
Nevertheless, real-life experience shows that switching to regular- (hourly-)
interval operation usually led to eventual gains, sometimes substantial, in
resources productivity.
One of the most interesting properties of regular-interval timetables stems
from their periodicity: any particular event is repeating with a period equal to the
interval. Therefore, if ever trains meet at any moment in a station, this meeting
will occur repeatedly, every hour if the interval is set to 60 minutes. Setting such
a meeting in a central node of the network is straightforward: one has just to plan
this unique meeting once, by scheduling nearly simultaneous arrivals of all trains
in the node, letting enough time for passengers exchanges, then letting the trains
go. The timetable for each line joining the meeting station is wedged in time by
means of the arrival/departure times of trains in the central node. If trains
running in opposite direction cross at the central node at a given time, and
provided that running times are identical for both directions (which is fairly the
case in modern networks), crossing of trains will occur at half-the-period time
intervals along the line and through time (Figure 3). This symmetry propriety can
be used to extend the meeting of trains in any station that is distant from the
central station to an integer multiple of half the period. If running times make it
possible to apply the principle to a triangle of 3 lines, what happens to the central
node is exactly repeated to the 2 other nodes of the triangle (Figure 4).

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288 Computers in Railways XII


Interval n+1

Interval n

Interval n+2

Main
Station

Figure 3:

The symmetry propriety.

Central
Station

Central
Station
55 min

55 min
55 min

55 min

Station B

60+55 min

60+55 min

Station A

Figure 4:

Station B

Station A

Coordinated 3-nodes network, with link travel times being an


integer multiple of the 60-minutes period.

Thanks to coordination, railway services offer besides the time coverage


provided by the regular operation spatial coverage. Railway services become
available to join any place at any time.

4 Building elements of a regular-interval timetable

Perrache

Legend:
every hour
every 2 hours

Figure 5:

Part-Dieu

Givors

Saint tienne

Firminy

The first step is to define the fundamental structure of the future transport supply
as a more or less abstract set of services, the service backbone (Figure 5).

The services backbone (Source: [6]).

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08 34 52 22
55 17 05 35

289

00 30 00 00 56 26 46 16 08 12 42 04 38
51 21 57 57 01 31 09 39 54 43 13 47 26

08 38 42 12 16
28 47 08 38 55 34 51 55 24 55 46 50 20 42 12
20 08 49 19 02 25 55 59 24 01 11 07 37 12 43
51 16 15 45 41

35 10 40 24
24 48 18 33
19
29
17
03
33
11
21
52
00
25
41
11
19
37

38
42
15
46
33
03
58
28
15
45
38
21
51

07
04 34 21 51
54 24 06 36

Lyon-Perrache

39
18
37
44
11
56
26

00
30
52

04

06
52
37
07
44

43 51
Firminy
12 05

19
49
12

49
19
34
04

07
22
52
15

04
23
53
08
38

34
49
19

48
21
51
06

09
05
35
50
20

36

41

St-Etienne-Chateaucreux

Figure 6:

Givors-Ville

Reticular diagram (Source: [6]).

Designing the basic timetable framework is the second step. This is generally
done for a 2-hour time slice and becomes the fundamental raw material used to
build the final timetable. Often, the best way to represent the basic framework is
a reticular diagram (Figure 6) that shows the network topology. Each line
represents a train path able to be repeated every hour, or every two hours.
Next steps involve building the 24-hour timetable for a working day, by
repeating the basic framework throughout the day, setting up the early morning
and late night services. The whole process is repeated for Sundays and holidays.

5 Assessment methodology and indicators


Two main indicators have been developed to capture structural differences
among timetables [8]:
a structure index, reflecting how well the different services comply with the
service backbone;
a regularity index, reflecting how well the final timetable complies with the
periodicity defined in the basic framework.
In analysing operational timetables, we may find [8]:
A) Regular train paths belonging to a service, planned at regular time intervals
a) either produced by strictly replicating the train path of the reticular diagram
b) or being loose copies of the initial service, i.e. exhibiting slight
differences either in travel times or in servicing intermediate stations;
B) Gaps in regularity, i.e. missing train paths that should exist according to the
periodicity of the service;
C) Train paths belonging to a service, but planned at irregular time intervals
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a) strictly complying (travel times and stopping patterns) with the definition
b) loosely replicating the initial service;
D) Outliers, i.e. train paths that cannot be traced back to a given service
a) within the normal operational range
b) at the fringe of the operational range, (first and last trains).
Strict compliance with the service backbone or with the regularity
(periodicity) is self-explained. To assess loose compliance or not compliance at
all, one needs to define tolerance rules. Here is an example of tolerance ranges
[8]:
[0 min; + 4 min] interval for the departure time at the origin of the service
[-4 min; +2 min] interval for the arrival time at the end station of the service
no more than 1 extra or less stop in intermediate stations.
In the developed software, users cannot change those rules but are free to set
the tolerance thresholds to those that fit best their scope [5].
The assessment methodology is quite sequential. It involves 6 steps [8].
5.1 Set up a reference reticular diagram
This will be the reference frame; assessment of compliance will be done by
comparing the actual timetable against this reference. The reticular diagram
includes implicitly full information on the service backbone, which makes it
possible to compute both indexes: structure and regularity. For a given timetable,
the underlying reticular diagram may be known or not. In the latter case, some
preliminary analysis is needed to reverse-engineer the basic framework out of an
existing timetable, which may involve some arbitrary decisions.
5.2 Set up the tolerance thresholds
That may be as simple as accepting the default values. Alternately, as already
mentioned, users may set their own tolerance thresholds (Figure 7).

Figure 7:

Setting the tolerance thresholds (Source: [5]).

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5.3 Define the O/D relations that will be used in computing the indexes
This step actually comes to modelling the network as a set of lines. This
operation is largely arbitrary and reflects the users view of the network.
Subjectivity, here, is unavoidable. Notwithstanding, experience shows, however,
that analysts with fair knowledge of the network come up with pretty close, often
identical solutions. Knowledge of the service backbone can help as some
diametric lines in the reticular diagram may result from operational concerns and
does not necessarily reflect functional objectives. Moreover, users may assign a
weight on each line, to take into account volume of demand, or the strategic role
of a given line.
5.4 Define the operational range for each O/D relation
A thumb rule may be that the operational range starts with the first departure of a
train path that belongs to a regular-interval planned service, and ends with the
last arrival at destination of a train path belonging also to a regular-interval
planned service. Implementation for such a rule may be automated, provided that
assignment of a train path to a given service is also automated. Alternately, and
depending on the design of operations, the operational range may also be based
on a fixed number of train paths, or be a fixed time interval, let us say from 6
a.m. to 8 p.m. Ideally, operational range should not be shorter than 13 hours.
5.5 Assign and label; identify the missing train paths
For each O/D relation and within its operational range, the software assigns to a
service every train path and labels it; it also identifies missing train paths within
a service as well as outliers. As already seen, there are 4 labels for train paths [8]:
- A, train paths belonging to a service planned at regular time intervals
- B, missing paths that would exist if a service was planned at regular intervals
- C, paths that can be assigned to a service, but not planned at regular intervals
- D, outliers that cannot be traced back to a service.
Based on this qualification of train paths, we can define:
- a regularity index as being the ratio
- a structure index as being the ratio
- and, possibly, a reinforcement rate with the ratio

RI

SI

A
A B

AC
AC D
RR

C
A

Depending on the tolerance thresholds, measured regularity and structure may


be strict (with 0 tolerance) or loose (with some tolerance allowed).

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5.6 Synthesize and display the results for the whole network
Both regularity and structure indexes are computed for a line and for a service
(Figure 8). In what it is proposed, there is already a first aggregation: indexes are
computed for the full set of services on a given O/D relation.
Structure Index

Regularity Index

Number of missing
train paths

Total number of train


paths if all regular-interval
paths are provided

Actual number of train


paths planned at regular
interval

Figure 8:

D
A
+
C

Number of outliers

Total number of actual


train paths

Number of train paths


assignable to the structure
(service backbone)

Reading key for the regularity and structure indexes.

The issue of further aggregating the results to build up a unique index for the
whole network is still left open. The development team felt that such an
additional aggregation will result in unacceptable information loss and that it is
actually purposeless. Transport policy makers are sufficiently aware and capable
of analysing results on a per line basis; providing a unique performance indicator
offers no significant gains in making an overall assessment of the situation.

6 Limits and drawbacks


Perfectly regular interval timetables obtain 100% on both indexes (Figure 9).
By cancelling 2 off-peak train paths (at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.), the regularity
index drops to 86%, but the timetable structure index remains still at 100%.

Station D
Station N

Station M

Station L

Station K
Station O

06

07

08

09
RI

Figure 9:

10

11

14
100 %
14

12

13

14
SI

15

16

17

18

19

20

14
100 %
14

The perfectly complying example (Source: [6]).

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Station D
Station N

Station M

Station L

Station K
Station O

06

07

08

09
RI

Figure 10:

10

11

12
86 %
14

12

13

14
SI

15

16

17

18

19

20

16
100 %
16

Adding 4 train paths for extra peak services (Source: [6]).

Adding peak-period extra trains (at 6:30, 7:30, 16:30 and 17:30) gives no change
in any of those 2 indexes. The reinforcement rate, however, jumps from 0% to
33% (Figure 10).
Now, if those 4 extra trains provide additional stops to stations K and N, they
do not comply with the structure anymore and the structure index drops to the
75% level. This is one of the limits of the methodology. Actually, the 4 extra
train paths are identical and can be assigned to a new service; counting them as
outliers falsely reduces the structure index. By counting them as a second
service, the regularity index drops indeed to 57% (12+4 planned trains for a
possible total of 14+14 train paths), while the structure index remains at 100%.
This issue is related to the arbitrary identification of the services. Preventing
it in this particular case is easy enough: one needs only to be systematic in
service identification while reverse-engineering the service backbone. The
software package does precisely this. However, in most complex cases and with
the tolerance thresholds set to non-zero values, the issue is harder to settle, and
users decisions here are critical.
Station D
Station N

Station M

Station L

Station K
Station O

06

07

08

This
is incorrect!!
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
RI

Figure 11:

12
86 %
14

SI

16

17

18

19

20

12
75 %
16

Falsely taking into account the 4 extra trains (Source: [6]).

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7 Conclusions
Seamless presence of the rail services is a core objective for a regular-interval
timetable. Users should trust the system and be sure that a service is available, all
day long, without having to read and decode timetables. Breaches in regularity
reduce the systems trustworthiness: customers would need again to consult the
timetable before using the services. This raises the need to assess the regularity
of actual timetables.
Real life constraints however result in a more-or-less distorted application of
the principle and actual timetables often display some irregularities. It is
important for the transport authority to assess how well the initial objective of
regularity has been achieved in its actual implementation as an operational
timetable. Here lies the interest of providing a general methodology to fast and
efficiently measure the regularity.
The developed methodology has been eventually implemented in an
operational tool [5]. Policy makers can use it to assess the degree of completion
of their objectives and, also, to compare alternative timetables. However, the tool
reflects the limits of the methodology, which force the user to accept a couple of
subjective hypotheses in order to run it. Subjectivity being a part of policy
making, having to assume it should not be a major impediment.

References
[1] Daniel mery (2009), Mesure du cadencement, Note technique N 2,
Retour dexprience sur la mise en service du cadencement 2008 en RhneAlpes, EPFL-LITEP, Lausanne (restricted diffusion)
[2] Mohideen Noordeen (1996), Stability analysis of cyclic timetables for a
highly interconnected rail network, PhD Thesis N 1435, EPFL, Lausanne
[3] Werner Stohler (2003), Why is an integrated clockface-driven railway
system more efficient than a divided competition-oriented railway system?
SMA und Partner AG, Zrich
[4] Werner Stohler (1993), La planification de la gestion et de lexploitation
ferroviaire, in Rail International, Paris, 10/1993; pp. 64-70
[5] David Tron, Panos Tzieropoulos (2009), How regular is a regular-interval
timetable? An operational tool to assess regularity, Swiss Transport
Research Conference STRC 09, Monte Verit, Ascona
[6] Panos Tzieropoulos, Daniel mery (2009), De la thorie la pratique, in
Prconisations, Retour dexprience sur la mise en service du cadencement
2008 en Rhne-Alpes, EPFL-LITEP, Lausanne (restricted diffusion)
[7] Panos Tzieropoulos, Daniel mery, Jean-Daniel Buri (2009), Regularinterval timetables; Theoretical foundations and policy implications,
presented in the 12th World Conference on Transportation Research, Lisbon
[8] Panos Tzieropoulos et al (2008), Qualit du cadencement, in Diagnostic,
Retour dexprience sur la mise en service du cadencement 2008 en RhneAlpes, EPFL-LITEP, Lausanne (restricted diffusion)

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Port Hinterland traffic:


modern planning IT methods
A. Radtke
IVE mbH - Ingenieurgesellschaft fr Verkehrs - und Eisenbahnwesen
mbH, Germany

Abstract
This paper will present the latest requirements and methods of a sophisticated
and integrated timetable and infrastructure planning tool. The related
methodology, taking into accounts both passenger and freight services, will also
be discussed. The paper will handle the planning and analysis of timetables,
rolling stock, signalling and infrastructure, through the integration of operational
simulation into the planning process. This will include:
Timetable construction,
Possession planning (timetable for construction sites),
Capacity calculation (UIC 406),
Railway operation simulation,
Vehicle dynamic calculation/energy consumption,
Infrastructure asset management and infrastructure planning and
IT-Integration capability.
The port of Hamburg is one of the most important ports in Europe and is an
important hub for international trading. The growth rate of the goods volume was
increasing yearly until the year 2008. At that stage, the prognostic volume of the
handling of goods will be doubled in some years. The railway is responsible for a
high proportion of the transportation to and from the Hamburg port and other
ports in Lower Saxony. Therefore, the number of daily trains running to and
from the port will increase. However, the current railway infrastructure of the
metropolis region of Hamburg and other regions in Lower Saxony, especially the
track southwards, are already being used very intensively. The prognostic
increase for the number of trains running in the network is expected to reach the
capacity of the existing infrastructure.
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296 Computers in Railways XII


Keywords: timetable
integration.

construction,

railway

planning

methodology,

IT

1 Introduction
For Germany, it is of great importance to have a fully developed traffic
infrastructure. It is not only an important aspect for the economical development
of the country, but for the people with their need for mobility as well. Having, in
particular, ecological factors in mind, it is impossible to follow the ongoing
demand for newly build infrastructure. Therefore, the focus lies on a goaloriented transport policy that stresses the maintenance and optimization of the
already existing traffic systems instead of prioritizing new developments.
The growth in the amount of traffic in the ports of Northern Germany,
however, shows that the sole optimization of already existing railway
infrastructure will not be enough to meet the traffic demands in the future.
Over the previous years, the German economy observed a constantly growing
export volume, and the imports increased even more. Germanys external trade
profited from the enlargement of the European Union over the last few years
with numerous eastern European countries joining. The growth of the global
economy and the German gross domestic product strengthened the external
trade. These developments require increasing capacities of (railway)
transporting.
Further development of the Northern German railway network was planned in
a time when the long-distance passenger transport used to determine the
direction of development. The realisation of the railway lines Cologne
Frankfurt and Nuremberg Ingolstadt was already finished.

Targets and basic parameters of the investigations

In Northern Germany, these developments increased the meaning of the big ports
(Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven). These ports play an
important role when it comes to handling continental and intercontinental freight
traffic. Handling capacities and storage areas especially for the booming
container handling are enlarged to meet the needs of the increasing demand.
It is not only the accessibility from the seaside; the hinterland-connection plays
an important role as well when it comes to handling the growing transport
volume and economical developments in the future. Here, the rail freight traffic
can be seen as the key factor.
A trains efficiency is mostly determined by the route. The axle load is
important as well since it has a direct effect on the efficiency and the profitability
of the freightage. A high line capacity is reached when all trains on one track
travel at approximately the same speed. However, the efficiency of the track
decreases with the growing differences of the maximum speed of trains. To
counteract this development, a timely or regional separation of the individual

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types of trains can be used. Using a timely separation, fast trains operate during
the day and slow trains at night. An optional regional separation differentiates
between tracks for fast and slow trains.
Due to the fact that the railway infrastructure is rather durable, principles for
the use have to be determined before the development of the original
infrastructure. Civil engineering construction works like bridges, tunnels and the
permanent way may have a life expectancy of more than hundred years. The rail
track itself can be accounted with a life expectancy of up to 60 years. The
specific characteristics of the line routing and the Control and Rail Automation
Technology (needed for the safe and economical management) are
comparatively expensive in the field of railway infrastructure. Planning
dependability is needed when it comes to reasonable operation of railway
infrastructure under the aspect of efficiency and sustainability. Traffic concepts
have to be planned permanently and in the long run need to guarantee an
efficient utilization of the railway construction. Above all, the permanent
existence of infrastructure in a quality that is suitable and meets the technical
requirements is to be guaranteed. Each year, investments have to be made to
compensate for the wear and depletion that occurred during that year in order to
guarantee the constant quality and availability of the track system.
Knowledge of the expected investments in the railway network enables
companies working in the field of railway construction to predict and last their
capacities according to the demands. It has to be differentiated between new
construction, extension and renewal. The peculiarities of railway construction
sites occur due to the wheel-rail system and especially when extending and
renewing tracks. A long planning supply and a quick construction site operation
are ideal to keep the railway operation and therefore are the core function of the
railway company running as smooth as possible.

Investigation area

The various studies for the hub of Hamburg and other ports in Lover Saxony
include the development of a different infrastructure and operational concepts for
several time periods and a capacity analysis. The investigation area is described
in Figure 1. The area is limited in the North by the border to Denmark, in the
East by the stations Puttgarden, Schwerin, Ludwigslust and Magdeburg, in the
South by the stations Osnabrck, Minden, Hannover and Braunschweig, and in
the West by the stations Emden and Rheine [1].
The area contains railway infrastructure of the German Railway (DB Netz
AG), of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), the East-Hannover Railway (OHE)
and the Elbe-Weser Railway and Transportation Company Ltd. (EVB).
These studies examine the railway network and focus on the port-hinterlandtraffic. The investigation area covers the federal states of Lower Saxony,
Hamburg and Bremen as well as parts of Schleswig Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt and
North Rhine-Westphalia. Figure 2 shows exemplarily the railway tracks in the
port of Hamburg.

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Figure 1:

Investigation area (Puttgarden, Schwerin, Ludwigslust, Magdeburg,


Osnabrck, Minden, Hannover, Braunschweig, Emden and
Rheine).

Figure 2:

Hamburg Port Authority (source: Google Earth).

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Within the investigation area, a detailed analysis of the sub-networks, tracks


and nodes was always combined with the consideration of requirements for the
hinterland-traffic.
Investigation railway line networks:
Hamburg Hannover
Node Hamburg
Node Bremen
Oldenburg Wilhelmshaven
Extension Hamburg S-Bahn Network
Regio S-Bahn Network Lower Saxony/Bremen
In addition, models were used to represent how railway connections to the
following ports could be made, taking existing and future traffic flows into
account.
Investigation area ports:
Hamburg
Bremerhaven and Bremen
Wilhelmshaven
JadeWeserPort
Emden
Leer
Papenburg
Oldenburg
Brake
Nordenham
Cuxhaven
Stade
Afterwards, various single measures were by means with timetable
construction and railway simulation separated and within the network connection
analyzed. These were followed by a number of different questions. Models were
used to test for example track extensions, the improvement of signalling
equipment and changes of line routing.
Development measures (examples only):

Stelle Luneburg
Y-Trasse
Langwedel Uelzen
Oldenburg Wilhelmshaven
Uelzen Stendal
Oebisfelde Stendal Berlin
Improved signalling equipment Stelle Celle
Multiple-track line extension Stelle Uelzen Celle

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Line routing parallel to the Autobahn/Highway until Hamburg


Use of secondary line in the area of Hamburg Celle (see figure 1,
OHE)
All analyses were conducted with the proven timetable construction and
railway simulation tool, RailSys version 7/8.

The software tool

4.1 The software system RailSys


RailSys is a comprehensive timetable construction and simulation package for
various planning purposes. The system is used by various railway undertakings
and a number of consultancy companies and universities around the world.
RailSys is focussed on timetable construction and optimisation of timetables
(capacity and performance), rolling stock utilisation, engineering design, and
infrastructure management. The following sections highlight the main features
only [2].
4.1.1 Software history RailSys
The RailSys core system was developed by the Institute of Transport, Railway
Construction and Operation (IVE) at the University of Hannover, Germany. The
development of the first model started on mainframe computers using Fortran 77
in the eighties. This developed into a PC based model in 1996/1997, which was
based on a new design and concept and was written in C++ to make use of
modern technology in a well structured new approach (Simu++). Object
oriented, re-useable programming concepts were applied. At the moment (May
2010) RailSys version 8 is used at selected customers (RailSys Classic and
RailSys Enterprise). Version 8 includes a database and multi user functionality.
Several web-based services are also available such as RailSys Map and RailSys
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) [3].
Figure 3 shows the main components of RailSys Classic and Enterprise:
RailSys Enterprise consists of the components shown above and two
additional web-based modules. The component RailSys Map is used to visualize
operational data (infrastructure and timetable data); the CRM-module can be
used for third party requests concerning train paths.
The TOC request train slots and other information from the RIU. In the past,
this process in general was a time consuming manual task using telephone, pen
and paper or simple spreadsheets. The web based RailSys-CRM (Customer
Relation Management) solution offers far more possibilities to support this
process taking into account the increased time pressure for the planning tasks.
TOC and RIU can save time of unnecessary (multiple) data entry and, therefore
avoid mistakes. Furthermore, streaming less flow of data enables the RUI to
perform the time table construction on the basis of the original requests and
follows up changes in a much better quality to construct a non discriminating
timetable. Using this technology, the RIU can provide all necessary information

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RailSys Classic/Enterprise

301

Planning

Timetable
Management

Infrastructure
Data
Management

(Timetable
Construction)

Possession
planning

Evaluation
Management

(Operation of track
possessions)

Simulation
Management

RailSys database

Rolling stock
circulation
planning

RailSys interfaces

Multi User RailSys Enterprise for Timetable Construction, Simulation and Infrastructure planning

Figure 3:

RailSys system (overview).

to rail regulation authorities to prove the non discriminating timetable


construction according to the agreed timetable construction rules (see Figure 4).
4.2 Workflow
The exact microscopic modelling of the railway infrastructure with the RailSys
System creates a database, which contains all tracks and all signalling systems
information for the research area (see Figure 5). The infrastructure data is
available in the RailSys data format (HPA), and had to be transformed by an
interface (DB Netz AG) or integrated into the RailSys system manually (OHE
and EVB).
The timetable data on the infrastructure of the DB Netz AG was transformed
from the timetable construction system RUT-K (DB Netz AG) into the RailSys
data format. The timetable data on the infrastructure of the OHE and EVB was
integrated in the RailSys system manually. The result is a base timetable which
considers all passenger and freight train runs with information about arrival
times, departure and dwell times at all stations in the research area.
The next step was the determination of existing and prospective bottlenecks
for the metropolis region Hamburg and the hinterland (see chapter 3). Following
this is the development of conflict solutions by operational or infrastructural
measures. Furthermore, possible deviations and alternative routes were
considered.

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Figure 4:

RailSys: consistent flow of data.

Various concepts will be developed for a step by step realisation of measures


or a combination of measures which solve these bottlenecks. In the focus stands
the realisation of short term measures with effects until 2015. However, long
term measures until 2025 will be considered as well. The long term planning is
important on the one hand to start with the planning in time to guarantee a
realisation of these measures (realisation period in German is normally more
than 10 years) and on the other hand to evaluate the sustainability of the short
term measures.
The projects were partly dealt with in the multi user mode provided by
RailSys Enterprise, so several persons could carry out the complex planning
tasks at the same time.
Figure 6 shows an example of constructional operation partial planning,
including some track blockings due to constructions.
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Figure 5:

Figure 6:

303

Railway network in RailSys of North Germany.

Example of constructional operation partial planning.

5 Results and implementation


The manifold results of these studies carried out with the use of modern IT
technologies using the example of port-hinterland traffics can be summarized as
follows:

Detailed modelling of all infrastructure variants in networks and their


effects
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Timetable construction and simulation for all train runs in networks


Infrastructure modelling and timetable construction supported by multi
user technology
Comparison of the possible conflict free number of train runs with the
prognostic number of train runs for the time horizon 2011, 2013, 2015 and
2025 and the daily distribution
Determination and analysis of bottlenecks and suggestion to solve these
conflicts by operational or infrastructural measures
Formulation of recommendations for the development of a future based
and suitable infrastructure

According to the listed conditions and thoughts, the study introduces


following results:

The realised analysis of the current traffic densities and the expected
increase in demand result in the outcome that the proposed Y-Trasse and
the three-track extension on the route Hamburg Hannover in the section
Stelle Lneburg do not lead to the required increase in freight
transportation capacity.

To achieve a further increase in freight transportation capacity using the


Y-Trasse, the extension of the section Lauenbrck Buchholz from three
to four tracks and in the region Isernhagen a connection to the track Celle
Lehrte is necessary

Development measures serving as an alternative in enabling a capacity


increase are introduced in this study.

To improve the hinterland-connectivity of the ports of Bremerhaven and


Bremen the Bundesverkehrswegeplanung plans various measures. All
bottlenecks in the railway network cannot be eliminated but the planned
measures can help improving the capacity of the track hinterlandconnectivity.

As a short-term measure for capacity increase in the relation Hamburg


Hannover an improvement of the signalling equipment could be used.
Additionally, preparatory work could be done to redirect some trains on
existing secondary lines.

The three track extension between Stelle and Lneburg will lead to
another capacity increase in the medium term.

It has to be decided now if the Y-Trasse should be realized in 2015 with


the extensions shown in this study or if the requirements of the freight
transportation should be followed, and therefore an alternative new
constructed track meeting the needs of freight transportation should be
realized between Hannover and Hamburg.

The node Bremen has to be looked at much closer concerning the freight
transportation coming from the ports in Lower Saxony and Bremen.
According to todays information, extension measures are necessary.

If the installation of a new S-Bahn-network in the region Bremen is


decided, where no track infrastructure is planned yet, then the situation
will be intensified.
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References
[1] Gterverkehr in Niedersachsen, Bauindustrie Niedersachsen/Bremen 2007,
IVE
[2] Radtke, A. Timetable management and operational simulation:
methodology and perspectives, presentation of COMPRAIL 2006, Prag,
Czech Republic, (2006), proceedings page 579 589
[3] Timetable Construction and Simulation Tool RailSys Enterprise and
RailSys Map and CRM: www.rmcon.de

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Generating optimal signal positions


E. A. G. Weits & D. van de Weijenberg
Movares Nederland B.V., The Netherlands

Abstract
In The Netherlands railway traffic is growing. As the growth has to be largely
accommodated on existing tracks, short headways are increasingly important.
Headways are mainly determined by signal positions. Since signal positions are
subject to many diverse constraints, finding a good signal positioning scheme by
hand is a time-consuming task and it is nearly impossible to prove optimality.
Therefore, an algorithm that generates an optimal signal positioning scheme,
taking care of all constraints, has been designed and implemented in a computer
program for infrastructure planners. The algorithm calculates the sequence of
signal positions that minimises the weighted sum of headways for a set of trains,
each pair of trains with a common track yielding possibly two headways. The
first step of the algorithm consists of a tree search leading to an enumeration of
groups of similar signal sequences. Secondly, a linear programming problem is
applied to all groups in order to find the best solution within each group. A
validation study showed that the signal positioning scheme produced by the
algorithm slightly outperforms the results found manually, as long as the
computer program is restrained to the same number of signals as used in the
manual solution. In a number of cases, the computer program suggested better
solutions using a larger number of signals. The results of the validation study
have led to adoption of the computer program for use in projects. At the same
time further research to improve the computational speed has started.
Keywords: railway capacity, signalling scheme, signal positions, headways.

1 Introduction
The Dutch railway network is heavily utilised and the number of passengers is
growing by between 3 and 5 percent a year. Therefore, the intention is to
increase the frequency of departures from 4 to 6 times per hour, for intercity

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308 Computers in Railways XII


trains as well as for local trains. In this situation it is important to shorten
headways as much as possible.
The key to short headways is the introduction of short blocks, blocks that are
(much) shorter than the typical braking distance of a train. The ERTMS
(European Railway Traffic Management System) will provide an opportunity for
short blocks. However, also traditional signalling systems offer opportunities. A
drawback is, besides increased costs, the difficulty in designing a signal
positioning scheme that minimises the headways.
In this article we consider a railway line section of arbitrary length that
consists of multiple, parallel tracks. For this line section, we aim to find a signal
positioning scheme (a list of signal positions) so that headways are minimised.
See Figure 1 for an overview of a typical line).
Signal positions are heavily constrained by national signalling conventions
(including national safety rules). These national signalling conventions differ
from country to country. Therefore, little international literature has been
published on the subject of finding optimal signal positions.
Notable exceptions are some papers published in China, of which [1] comes
close to the research that is reported in this paper. There are, however, some
relevant differences, concerning the problem statement as well as concerning the
solution method. (The present problem statement explicitly includes the
implications of diverging points and the possibility of allocating a braking
distance to two successive blocks. See section 2.1.)
General information on headways can be found in [2]. In this book Hanson
and Pachl describe how headways can be calculated and how headways are
related to the capacity of line sections.
The Dutch signalling conventions are summed up in several documents,
written by ProRail, the Dutch infrastructure manager of the railway network
[46]. These documents contain information about how the signalling system
works. More historical and legal information about the Dutch signalling system
can be found in [3, 7].

Figure 1:

Line section with speed profiles per track and overall speed profile.

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309

The next section, section 2, gives a detailed description of the problem,


including the relevant Dutch details. Section 3 describes how the problem is
solved. After that, section 4 gives the results of this research. Section 5 presents
the conclusions.

2 Problem description
2.1 Scope and main characteristics of the Dutch signalling rules
The geographical scope is restricted to a railway line section of arbitrary length
that consists of multiple, parallel tracks. See Figure 1 for a scheme of a typical
line section: The line section, as well as the signal positions, is considered in one
direction only. The signals of all parallel tracks have to be placed at the same
position, which means that signal fronts are assumed. The line section starts at
some fixed departure signal (front) and ends at some fixed arrival signal. The
number of signals that are placed between the departure and arrival signal is not
fixed. Furthermore, it is possible that trains enter or leave the line section along
the way.
In The Netherlands signals can show three aspects: red, yellow and green.
Figure 2 illustrates this. When the main block is occupied by a train, the signal at
the beginning of the occupied block, the entrance signal, shows a red aspect.
This means that other trains should stop before this signal. However, because the
braking distance of trains is rather large, it is not sufficient to just show this red
signal. Therefore, the previous signal (the 1st approach signal) shows a yellow
aspect. Whenever a train passes a yellow signal, it should start braking and make
sure it stops before it passes the red signal. A block that is long enough for all
trains to be able to brake from the maximum speed to 0 km/h within the block is
called a long block.
However, sometimes the distance between the yellow and red signal is not
enough to brake from the maximum speed to 0 km/h. Such a block is called a
short block. If this is the case, another signal, the 2nd approach signal, also
shows a yellow aspect. This last signal also shows a number that corresponds to
a target speed. It is assumed, according to Dutch practice, that each train brakes
within one or two blocks. This means that minimum block lengths for long
blocks are also valid for two (possibly short) successive blocks.

Figure 2:

Aspects and blocks (colour online only).

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Figure 3:

A detail of a headway diagram.

Signal positions are subject to constraints. There are several kinds of


constraints. The first type is called a negative constraint, which is defined by an
interval that is not allowed to contain a signal. The second type, a positive
constraint, consists of an interval in which a signal must be placed. In addition,
the third type of constraint relates to the distance between tot successive signals
(i.e. the minimum block lengths as already discussed above).
The first two types of constraints apply uniformly to all parallel tracks.
However, the last type of constraint may be different from track to track,
depending on the speed profile (the maximum allowed speed) of the track. The
maximum speed at which a train is allowed to enter a block, determines the
distance to the next signal or the distance to the signal after the next signal. It is
assumed that a speed profile (the maximum allowed speed) per track is given.
The speed profile of the line section is then defined as the maximum of the speed
profiles per track.
The headways can be computed locally (i.e. at a certain block of the line
section) as well as globally (taking the maximum over all shared blocks of the
line section). In this article the headways are calculated globally, since these
headways reflect the need for an optimal positioning of signals along the entire
line section. Figure 3 shows the elements that play a role in the calculation of
headways. Refer to Hanson and Pachl [2] for an explanation of the terminology.
2.2 Search space and objective function
First of all let us denote by P the set feasible sequences of signal positions. The
set P is determined by all constraints mentioned in the previous subsection.
Next, for each pair of trains, the shared sections are determined. The number
of these shared sections can be 0, 1 or more and each section consists of a
number of successive blocks. For each shared section, two headways ( H ) are
computed. The first headway corresponds to the situation that one train follows
the other, and the other headway corresponds to the situation with the other train
in front. The objective function is now the weighted sum of headways.
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min Wt1 ,ts H t1 ,ts


pP

311
(1)

t1 ,t 2

In eqn (1) t1 , t2 denotes the situation that train t2 is following t1 , having a


certain section in common. The weights are denoted by the symbol W .
Note that this objective function only considers headways and not running
times which sometimes play a role too. However, since in general short
headways imply short running times, the running times are not included in the
objective function.
2.3 Headway calculation
For the trains t1 and t2 , having a certain section in common let H b ,t1 ,t2 be the
headway for the succession t2 after t1 at block b . To calculate the minimum
headway the approach point of train t2 is important, which is defined as the first
point where t2 has to run with a speed that is lower than normal because of train
t1 . The minimum headway can now be calculated as follows. It is assumed for
the time being that all blocks except block b cause no problems. A few seconds
(due to a release process) after the rear of train t1 has left block b, train t2 must
be before its approach point of block b to make sure that it does not have to run
slower than normal because of train t1 . Therefore, two running times are
calculated. The first running time is the running time of t1 from its approach
point of the first shared block until the exit signal of block b ( eb ,1 ). The second
running time is the running time of t2 from its approach point of the first shared
block until his approach point of block b ( ab,2 ). The difference between these
two running times is the minimum headway at block b . Taking the maximum
over all blocks gives the global minimum headway for the train sequence ( t1 ,
t2 ):

H t1 ,t s max H b ,t1 ,t2 max(eb ,1 ab , 2 )


b

(2)

Sometimes the routes of the trains split in block b . If this is the case a virtual
exit signal has to be placed at this point where the routes split, to make sure the
headways are valid.

3 Approach to solving the problem


The approach consists of two parts:
1. An enumeration of discrete paths, each path representing a group of similar
signal sequences.

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2. A LP procedure for finding the best solution within each group.
The following sections describe the two parts.
3.1 Part 1: the construction of disjoint groups of signal sequences
In the first step disjoint groups of signal sequences are constructed that share the
following properties:
The number of signals (number of blocks) is constant.
For each signal a single interval of positions is given.
In each signal interval the speed profile does not change, so that shifting the
signal within the interval does not influence the speed at which a train may
enter a block.
In each signal interval the gradient does not change, so that the minimum
gradient (downwards counts as negative) does not change as a signal is
shifted within the interval.
For all blocks enough information is given to be able to determine the
approach points for all trains. The relevant information says whether a block
is a long block or a short one. If a block is a short block, then, in some cases,
it is determined whether the block's length allows for braking to stand still
from 130, 80, 60 or 40 km/h.
The last property will now be explained in more detail.
From Figures 2 and 3 we learn that the location of the approach point depends
on whether the 1st approach block is a short or long block. If the 1st approach
block is a long block, the approach point is at sight distance of the 1st approach
signal.
If the 1st approach block is a short block, the 2nd approach signal also shows a
yellow aspect as long as the main block is occupied. Therefore, in many cases
the approach point is at sight distance of the 2nd approach signal. However, the
yellow aspect in the 2nd approach signal is accompanied by a number indicating a
target speed (4, 6, 8 or 13 for 40, 60, 80 and 130 km/h, respectively). It may be
the case that a train enters the 2nd approach block without an intention of
surpassing the target speed. Then the approach point shifts to the location where
for the first time the target speed truly restricts the speed of the train. There are
two situations in which a train is not immediately restricted. The train may enter
the 2nd approach block with low speed (e.g. just after leaving from a station) or it
may enter the block while braking according to plan. In these cases it is relevant
what the target speed is. Since the target speed is directly determined by the
length and gradient of the 1st approach block, it is therefore necessary to
determine what the 'speed of the block' is (i.e. does the block's length allow for
braking to stand still from 130, 80, 60 or 40 km/h).
3.2 Part 2: finding the best solution within each group
In the second step the objective function is linearised. Starting from an initial
signal sequence (IS) a better one (S) is computed applying an LP algorithm. If
necessary, the LP algorithm is iteratively applied, until no improvement is
obtained. The following paragraphs describe this process.
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313

In the first step disjoint groups of signal sequences have been constructed.
Within such a group, every signal is placed in a corresponding interval (BI,EI)
which leads to an initial positioning of signals (IS). As a result of the first step,
the relation between the shifting of the signals and the minimum headway is
continuous. The initial positions of the signals lead to some set of initial
minimum headways (IH) at each block, which can be calculated as explained in
section 2.3. The minimum headways of a block b can be lowered in two ways:
1. Shifting the exit signal of block b to the left.
2. Shifting the approach point of block b to the right.
The exit signal (Se) of a block can easily be shifted (unless a virtual exit signal
is placed, which means the exit signal cannot be shifted). However, the approach
point of a block can only be shifted if this approach points corresponds to a
signal (Sa), which is not always the case.
When it is assumed that every train drives with a constant speed within the
specified intervals, the influence of shifting a signal to the minimum headway
depends on two factors:
1. The speed of the trains at the shifted signals.
2. The size of the shifts.
If S e corresponds to the distance over which the exit signal is moved to the
right, the increase of the minimum headway is as follows:

S e
Vt1 ,Se

(3)

If S a corresponds to the distance over which the approach signal is moved


to the right, the increase of the minimum headway is as follows:

S a
Vt 2 , S a

(4)

When we take the above equations together, the objective function can be
linearised as follows. If the approach point of block b corresponds to a signal, we
find

H b ,t1t 2 IH b ,t1 ,t 2

S e (b) S a (b)

Vt1 , Se ( b ) Vt 2 , S a (b)

(5)

and if the approach point of block b does not correspond to a signal:

H b ,t1t 2 IH b ,t1 ,t 2

S e (b)
Vt1 , S e ( b )

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(6)

314 Computers in Railways XII


3.3 The LP-problem
Combining sections 2.2 and 2.3, the objective function reads as follows:

min Wt1 ,ts max H b,t1 ,ts


pP

t1 ,t 2

(7)

To convert the above min-max problem to an LP-problem which is easily


solvable, some adjustments have to be made. These adjustments with the
explanations are described in Winston [8]. The objective function then becomes

min Wt1 ,ts Z t1 ,ts


pP

(8)

t1 ,t 2

In introducing the variables Z, the following constraints are added:

Z t1 ,t2 H b,t1 ,ts

(9)

3.4 Implementation
The solution method explained in the previous subsections was implemented in a
computer programme called DeSign. The programming language is Java. For the
LP subproblems the MILP solver lpsolve 5.5 is used (to be found on
http://lpsolve.sourceforge.net/).

4 Results
The programme was applied to 7 signal positioning problems for which a good
(i.e. reviewed and accepted) manual solution was available. For each application
one reference signal design for one direction was selected. Figure 4 and 5 show
one of the applications. The application shows a four track line section the
SAAL line that connects Schiphol and the province of Flevoland (passing the
station Amsterdam Zuid). The line section has a length of 5.3 km.
The results obtained were evaluated w.r.t. two criteria. The first criterion is
the validity of the results. The second criterion deals with the practical usability
of the computer programme.
4.1 Validity
Two questions are posed. First, are the solutions in the eyes of the experts
plausible? This question in fact concerns the validation of the model assumptions
rather than the model itself. The main issue was that perhaps relevant objectives
might not have been included in the objective function. The experts considered
all model solutions with the same number of signals as the manual solution. It
turned out that all solutions generated by DeSign but one were accepted by the
expert as good, plausible solutions. The solution for Arnhem oostzijde suffered
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Computers in Railways XII

Figure 4:

Dwangpunten

FIS

DeSign
Figure 5:

315

Track lay out, maximum speeds indicated by colours (colour


online only).
0
5
9.
8
5
0
2
0
.
9
5
0
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.5
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3
5

5
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7.
3
5

Constraints (dwangpunten) negative constraints in red and the


positive one in green manual solution (in project of type FIS) and
solution of DeSign for SAAL (colour online only).

from the fact that in this case the model assumption that each train can brake to
stand still in maximally two blocks, prevents a good solution.
The second question was: are the solutions generated by the programme
optimal relative to the objective function? The second question could not be
answered due to the lack of optimal reference solutions. Instead it was evaluated
to what extent the model outperformed the manual solutions. The comparison
between the model solution and the manual solution was split into two aspects.
The first aspect was the reduction of headways the model solutions showed for
the same number of signals as the manual solution. The second aspect was the
further reduction of headways the model solutions showed when the number of
signals increased. Table 1 shows the results.

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316 Computers in Railways XII


Table 1:

Average reduction per headway.

5.2

Reduction
for same
number
of signals
(s)
0

Reduction
for same
number
of signals
(%)
0

Further
reduction
for max.
number of
signals (s)
7

Further
reduction
for max.
number of
signals (%)
5.5

3.5

3.9

3.5

11

9.5

5.9

12

11.5

8.5

5.3

2.5

5.1

5.5

3.4

7.6

Application
(including
direction)

Length of
line
section
(km)

Wormerveer
(dir. Zaandam)
Arnhem
oostzijde (arr.)
Den Bosch
zuidzijde (dep.)
Den Dolder
(dir. Utrecht)
SAAL
(eastwards)
Schiphol (arr.
from Leiden)
Schiphol (dep.
to Amsterdam)
Utrecht
zuidzijde (arr.)

4.2 Practical usability


Apart from interface issues, the main issue was the computation time. In all but
one application in Table 1, the computation time was limited to about 1 minute
on an ordinary PC. The computation time for Utrecht zuidzijde already increased to
several hours. Extension of the Utrecht example to a line section of 15 km led to
computation time of one day or more for even the lower numbers of signals. As
the programme is meant to be part of a design process, the conclusion was that
the present maximum length of the line section is 7 to 8 km.

5 Discussion of the results and future work


An algorithm that generates optimal signalling positions for a given line section
has been constructed and implemented. The main conclusion of the research is
that the computer program DeSign based on the algorithm yields valid results. In
one example DeSign did not yield valid results, because the assumptions
underlying the model were too restrictive.
The computer program DeSign yielded small but significant improvements.
The more important contribution, however, seems to be that with the computer
program infrastructure planners can prove optimality of their designs (relative to
an accepted set of assumptions and constraints. In particular, they can easily
show to what extent increasing the number of signals above the present number

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317

is useful. Moreover, the can much more easily than before devote time to
sensitivity analysis, varying the constraints.
The main present drawback concerns the computation times. Future work will
be directed at reducing the computation times by introducing a branch and bound
feature in part one of the algorithm.

References
[1] Baohau, M., Jianfeng, L., Yong, D., Haidong, L & Kin, H.T., Signalling
layout for fixed-block railway lines with real-coded genetic algorithms,
Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, 13(1), pp. 35-40, 2006.
[2] Hanson, I.A. & Pachl, J., Railway, Timetable and Traffic: Analysis Modelling - Simulation, Eurailpress, Hamburg, 2008.
[3] Middelraad, P., Voorgeschiedenis, Ontstaan en Evolutie van het NSLichtseinstelsel, NS Railinfrabeheer, Utrecht, 2000.
[4] ProRail, Algemene voorschriften 131: Het lichtseinstelsel 1955, 6e editie,
Utrecht, 2006.
[5] ProRail, Algemene voorschriften 132: Remafstanden bij de seingeving, 1e
editie, Utrecht, 2005.
[6] ProRail, Algemene voorschriften 133.1: Plaatsing en Toepassing van
Seinen, 2e editie, Utrecht, 2006.
[7] Regeling Spoorverkeer, Bijlage 4 (Seinenboek), 4 juni 2007
[8] Winston, W.L., Operations research: Applications and algorithms,
Thomson-Brooks/Cole, Belmont, 2004.

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Computers in Railways XII

319

A method for the improvement need definition


of large, single-track rail network analysis
and infrastructure using
Rail Traffic System Analysis
T. Kosonen
Head of Railway Project Planning Unit,
Finnish Transport Agency, Finland

Abstract
A major change in Finnish rail freight transport flows caused a need to have a
thorough capacity analysis of the network and a need to estimate how
infrastructure should be improved to match the future traffic situation. For this
purpose a new method was developed. Its main goals were to have an approach
that combines different levels of traffic planning, is suitable for single track
lines, takes into account the commercial aspects of the traffic and takes into
account the network related dependencies. A large study was successfully done
with the method and it showed that it could match its goals. Therefore, it was
taken into regular use and it is integrated into the long term planning process of
the Finnish rail network.
Keywords: capacity, calculation, cost/benefit, single track, planning, network.

1 Introduction
The total length of the rail network in Finland is about 5 900 km, of which about
90% is single track. Almost all of the track sections are mixed traffic, only a few
sections are dedicated to passenger or freight traffic only. The annual amount of
passenger trips is about 67 Mio and the total amount of annual freight is about
45 Mio tonnes. About 25% of all freight traffic is Russian-related.
Recent changes in Finnish forest sector strategies and wood export customs
decisions made by the Russian government had created a need for significant
change in the Finnish freight transport system. Major traffic flows had to be
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320 Computers in Railways XII


turned around. Traditionally, the wood needed in eastern Finlands large paper
mills has been imported from Russia. Now it has to be transported from western
and northern Finland. This caused major changes to the use of the network.
To evaluate the impacts of this change and to define the improvements
needed for it, a large transport study was started by Finnish Rail Administration
in 2008 [1]. The method used in this study was developed during this project and
it is called Rail Traffic System Analysis. Background work for method
development was done in earlier studies that took place in 20052007 and
handled similar kinds of issues on a smaller scale [2, 3].

2 Concept of Rail Traffic System Analysis


Traditional capacity analysis methods (for example UIC 406) are usually based
on the idea of theoretical capacity and its utilization [4]. Usually, analysis based
on the calculation of the percentage of theoretical capacity and how much is still
available for additional traffic is currently used. This can be done by
compression of timetables or other similar methods.
These methods are very simplified and handle only one line section at a time.
Adjacent sections are handled separately and optimized independently. This is
why these methods are not able to handle network level studies in an accurate
way. These methods also do not take into account the commercial aspects that
are always present in railway traffic. Every train has to have certain commercial
interest or else it makes no sense to operate the train at all.
System analysis is a method that answers the question of capacity and its
availability, but at the same time is able to handle network level studies and
commercial aspects.
It consists of four or five different steps as follows:
Step 1: Traffic flow estimation
Step 2: Train amount calculation
Step 3: Timetable definition and planning
Step 4: Traffic quality analysis
Step 5: (Cost/benefit analysis)

3 Macro level studies


System analysis starts from a high level in step 1. At this stage general economic
forecasts, land use plans and railway transport customers interviews are used to
form different scenarios of future traffic flows. This can be done both for
passengers and for freight. The result of this step is traffic flow estimations for
passengers and different goods types in the observation area.
In step 2 traffic flow estimates are transformed into daily traffic amounts.
This is done for freight by dividing tonnage flows with average train weights and
operation days per year. In passenger traffic, the same thing is done for dividing
passenger flows by average carrying capacity for different train types. Seasonal
peaks are taken into account so that the maximum traffic needs on the network
can be illustrated. The result of step 2 is daily future train amounts in the
observed track network in different scenarios.
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321

KOLARI

2
2
2

2
2
2
2
2
2

KEMIJRVI

6
6
6

8
14
16

14
18
22

KEMI

27
35
37

6
6
6

10
8
8
KOKKOLA

PIETARSAARI
PNNINEN

OULU

RAAHE

32
46
48

23
27
17 29
21
23

Tavarajunat 2006
Ennuste 2015
Ennuste 2030

TUOMIOJA

28
38
40

10
12
16

7
13
11

VARTIUS

KONTIOMKI

7
13
15

YLIVIESKA

8
16
16

18
22
26

IISALMI

SEINJOKI

Tonnage flow estimate

Figure 1:

Train amount forecast

From goods flow to train amounts.

4 Detailed planning and analysis


Step 3 consists of the definition of commercial boundary conditions for future
trains and is based on future timetable planning for the observed network.
Commercial boundary conditions are typically time slots in which the train has
to leave its origin and/or in which it has to arrive at its destination station. In
Finland this step is done in co-operation with operators or transport customers in
freight traffic. In passenger traffic, usually the regular interval timetable is used
so a separate boundary condition definition is not usually done.
Traffic planning is done in a capacity allocation priority order that is
presented in the network statement. In Finland the order is the following:
Synergic passenger traffic entity
Express passenger trains
Transport for processing industry
Local and other passenger traffic
Other regular freight traffic
Freight traffic not requiring strict transport times
Other traffic
In practise this leads to the situation where the passenger traffic regular
interval timetable is planned independently, first and freight trains are added on
top of it. If available capacity does not allow train timetable planning according
to the defined commercial boundary conditions, this is marked down as a serious
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322 Computers in Railways XII

KO LARI

2
2
2

2
2
2
2
2
2

KEMIJRVI

6
6
6

8
14
16

27
35
37

6
6
6

10
8
8
KOKKOLA

PIETARSAARI
PNNINEN

OULU

RAAHE

32
46
48

23
27
17 29
21
23

Tavarajunat 2006
Ennuste 2015
Ennuste 2030

14
18
22

KEMI

TUOMIOJA

28
38
40

10
12
16

7
13
11

VARTIUS

KONTIOMKI

7
13
15

YLIVIESKA

8
16
16

18
22
26

IISALMI

SEINJOKI

Future timetable definition and


planning

Train amount forecast

Figure 2:

From train amounts to train paths.

signal of insufficient capacity. Traffic planning is done with simply usable


planning software (usually Swiss Viriato). The result of step 3 is planned
timetables for estimated future traffic in different scenarios.
The future traffic quality on different scenarios is analyzed in step 4. This is
done by collecting a large amount of train run describing data from the
timetables planned in the earlier step. For this process a macro that produces
these figures automatically from the timetable database is used.
The key figures observed are the following:
Absolute train running time on a defined section
Average running times of all the trains on a defined section
Deviation of train running times on a defined section
Average speed of a train on a defined section
Average speed of all the trains on a defined section
Deviation of train average speed times on a defined section
Absolute non-commercial stop time of a train on a defined section
Average stop times of all trains on a defined section
Total non-commercial stop times of all the trains on a section (daily,
weekly and yearly)
The data from different sections is compared with each other in order to
locate the problematic areas of the network. If a large network is observed,
usually a map illustration of the figures is necessary to be able to form an
accurate picture of the traffic quality. This can be done with GIS systems.
The situation of capacity usage on a single line section can be observed, for
example, from the deviation of the running times of a train group. If there is a lot
of free capacities, all the trains with similar properties get approximately similar
train paths, have almost the same running time and the deviation is small.
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323

If there are certain problems with capacity, the deviations in the running time
are larger as the trains that are planned first get the smoothest train paths and the
rest have to manage with the worse paths that are left. The bigger the deviation
is, the worse the capacity situation is.
The problem is the situation where the capacity is in full use. In that case no
additional trains can be added to the timetable. It means that their running
behaviour figures will not be taken into account, as they do not exist. These
situations must be handled separately.
If the traffic quality is too low on certain parts of the network, it is possible at
this stage to observe the impacts of different infrastructure improvement actions
to the traffic system. This can be done by changing the infrastructure properties
and repeating steps 3 and 4 again. This iterative process can be repeated until an
adequate level is reached. The result of step 4 is a representation of the capacity
and traffic quality situation in different future traffic scenarios. An additional
result can also be a list of required infrastructure improvement actions to reach a
tolerable traffic quality level in the future.
During steps 3 and 4 the relations between different infrastructure
improvements can be pointed out. Usually some improvements are beneficial
only if some other improvements are done first. It is very important to notice
these relations on a network level so that the infrastructure upgrade actions can
be prioritized.

5 Economical aspects
Step 5 is used if there is a need for cost/benefit analysis of the infrastructure
improvement actions. The main figures produced in step 4 are usable for
calculating operating costs for different traffic models. In Finland we have used
an operating cost model that was originally created by Swedish Banverket [5].

Running time min


Running time avg
Running time max

Running time [h:min]

Large deviations of running


time show that capacity is
limited or totally in use

Track sections

Figure 3:

Example of running time deviations.

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324 Computers in Railways XII

Change in the total yearly non-commercial stop


times (h) 20082015 without improvements

Figure 4:

Example of a non-commercial stop time change on a network


level.

It is based on the basic parameters, such as train composition and travel time
of a train. It has preset values for the cost of the rolling stock, personnel,
emission values, etc. With this, the operation cost for a certain timetable
structure can be calculated and different alternatives can be compared with each
other. A macro that calculates operation cost figures straight from the timetable
database is currently under development.
With the operation cost difference in the studied alternatives and the
infrastructure improvement cost needed to achieve it, the cost/benefit ratio can be
calculated.

6 Conclusion
The Rail Traffic System Analysis method has proven to be a usable and most
credible tool for capacity analysis in the Finnish network. Its best features are the
possibility to take commercial aspects of the rail traffic into account and the
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325

possibility to provide illustrative and reliable results of railway capacity in such a


complex environment as a single track network.
It combines different approaches of rail traffic planning together, starting
from macro level studies with traffic flows and ending in detailed planning of
single train operations. This makes it possible to have a thorough understanding
of the real needs of the rail system in the future and how they can be achieved.
The following results have been produced for the Finnish network:
Future traffic amounts on the network
Future capacity bottlenecks of the network
Comparison of the effectiveness of different future traffic models and
routing alternatives
Infrastructure improvement needs of the network
Prioritization of infrastructure improvement action
Cost/benefit ratio for infrastructure improvement actions
With this method the complex case of major freight traffic flow change on the
Finnish network could be handled and a three phase program for rail
infrastructure upgrade to years 20102025 formed. It has been decided that this
method will be used regularly in the future to check the relevance of the upgrade
program and to adjust it in the direction that is most beneficial.

References
[1] Iikkanen, P., Kosonen, T., Mukula, M., Kiuru, T., A 16/2009 Etel-Suomen
rataverkon tavaraliikenteen kehittminen, Finnish Rail Administration,
Traffic system unit, Helsinki 2009 (in Finnish).
[2] Iikkanen, P., Kosonen, T., Rautio, J., A 4/2005 Kaakkois-Suomen rataverkon
tavaraliikenteen kehittminen, Finnish Rail Administration, Traffic system
unit, Helsinki 2005 (in Finnish).
[3] Iikkanen, P., Kosonen, T., Rautio, J., Mhnen, N., A 5/2007 PohjoisSuomen rataverkon tavaraliikenteen kehittminen, Finnish Rail
Administration, Traffic system unit, Helsinki 2007 (in Finnish).
[4] UIC leaflet 406, Capacity, UIC International Union of Railways, France
2004.
[5] Banverket guidance for calculation Appliance for socio-economic
calculations in the railway sector, BVH 706, Sweden 2007 (in Swedish).

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Computers in Railways XII

327

Automatic location-finding of train crew using


GSM technology
F. Makkinga1 & B. Sturm2
1
2

Innovation Rail division, Movares, The Netherlands


NS, The Netherlands

Abstract
Passenger carrier NSR (Dutch Railways Passengers) on a daily basis deploys
approximately 1000 drivers and 1300 guards to run approximately 5000 trains.
Normally speaking, the current deployment is in line with the crew schedule as
laid down in the transport management system. This schedule is generally
immediately (manually) updated to suit the situation. In the event of major
disruptions, however, problems may occur as a result of which the disruption
management organisation loses sight of the current personnel deployment. As a
consequence, a situation can arise whereby the crew schedule no longer reliably
reflects the current situation. This can lead to errors in the crew rescheduling and
possibly to the cancellation of trains because crew have not been organised on
time. For NSR this was an undesirable situation and the reason to launch the
investigation into how this bottleneck could be solved. A research and
development project was undertaken by NSR and Movares with the aim of
developing a method for the automated detection of train crew on trains and the
registration of deviations in respect of the crew schedule. During this project, a
system was developed that on the basis of GSM technology in combination
with the monitoring of trains via the infrastructure automatically detects which
train crew members are located in which train. In the spring of 2009, a very
successful test was implemented using the system.
Keywords: planning, crew scheduling, location determination.

1 Introduction
Dutch Railways, Passengers division (NSR) is far and away the largest passenger
carrier in The Netherlands. Every day, NSR carries approximately one million
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328 Computers in Railways XII


passengers with approximately 5000 trains. NSR serves approximately 280
stations. The Dutch railway network covers a total length of approximately 5000
km, of which more than 2000 km are twin-track and almost 1000 km singletrack.
1.1 Complexity
To successfully manage the complex transport process in The Netherlands, trains
and the accompanying train crew are planned accurately to the nearest minute.
Every train has train crew on board: one driver and one or more guards. Train
crew change trains at the end of the train journey, or en route, at one of the
approximately 30 larger stations. During their shift, train crew are not linked to a
single route, but several times a day switch to trains operating on another route.
Every day, approximately 1000 drivers and 1300 guards are at work in trains.
1.2 Management of the train service
The operational management of the train service is undertaken in collaboration
between the operator (NSR) and the railway controller (ProRail). NSR monitors
the deployment of train crew and wherever necessary makes adjustments
(Makkinga [1]). The operational management is supported by a transport
management system according to which execution of the timetable and the
deployment of rolling stock and train crew can be monitored and as necessary
adjusted. During the peak hours of the day, approximately 300 trains are
operated simultaneously.
Due to the intensity of train traffic (short follow-on times) but also because
train crew are not linked to fixed routes, train traffic and crew deployment are
relatively susceptible to disruptions (Jespersen-Groth et al. [2]). In the event of
major disruptions (intersections or track sections becoming blocked), the result
can be that during the execution dozens or even more than one hundred work
lines for train crew members have to be revised. A work line for a driver or
guard describes on which train he or she is consecutively set to work today,
together with the times and the stations. If a work line has to be revised, the
responsible officer (the so-called crew dispatcher) comes up with the change,
duly notifies the driver or guard in question by telephone, and registers the
change (following acceptance by the driver or guard in question) in the transport
management system.
1.3 Who is where?
For adjusting crew shifts, it goes without saying that it is crucial to know on
which train or at which station a driver or guard is currently located. Normally
speaking, the current deployment is in line with the crew schedule in the
transport management system. This schedule is generally immediately updated if
made necessary by the situation. For example, if current execution deviates from
the schedule as in the event of a delayed train, or if the schedule requires
adjustment, for example because it has been decided to run an extra train. In the
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329

event of major disruptions, however, the situation can arise that the crew
schedule no longer reliably reflects the current situation. Train crew may then
possibly be located on a different train or at a different station than shown in the
crew schedule.
One major cause is the often poor telephone connectivity during disruptions,
for both train crew who are required to notify passengers, and for crew
dispatchers, who are hard at work rescheduling crew. This can lead to situations
whereby the train crew themselves take decisions on their own deployment,
without those decisions at that moment being known to the crew dispatcher or
recorded in the crew schedule. It is also possible that in the event of major
disruptions, changes to the timetable and crew deployment are not immediately
fully processed in the schedule. The fact that the crew dispatcher has no clear
picture of the current situation leads to errors in crew rescheduling, and
sometimes even to the cancellation of trains because crew have not been
arranged in time.
1.4 Automatic localisation of train crew
For the operational management of rolling stock deployment, a tracking and
tracing system has been in use for a number of years, which compares the rolling
stock schedule with measurements of actual rolling stock deployment, and as
necessary, updates the schedule on the basis of the findings. This led to the need
for a comparable method of detecting on which train a driver or guard is
currently operational, comparing this information with the crew schedule, and as
necessary, updating that schedule on this basis. Preferably, these processes
should be fully automated.

2 Successful implementation of the innovation project


In the second half of 2008, on behalf of the Transport Control department of
NSR, engineering firm Movares carried out an innovation study. This study
aimed to identify the possibilities of determining which train crew members are
on board which train in real time, fully automatically. The further requirement
was imposed that no equipment was to be built into the train. Besides the already
available PDA and GSM telephone, crew were not allowed to be supplied with
additional equipment. As a result, the space for solutions was considerably
limited. Within these parameters, the most likely solution for determining the
presence of crew members on a train seemed to be matching position reports
from trains with position reports from the GSM telephones of the train crew.
In January 2009, in a collaborative venture between NSR, NS Information
Management & Technology (NS IM&T), Movares, SmartPosition and InTraffic,
a development programme was launched. As client, NSR formulated the
requirements and parameters. Movares submitted its knowledge of the railway
infrastructure, and developed the system concept together with NS IM&T, the
organisation that was also responsible for project management. Software
company SmartPosition supplied its knowledge of GSM technology and, in close
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330 Computers in Railways XII

TNL
Train no. & Location
train, time stamp, lat,lon

GNL
GSM & Location
GSM ID,time stamp,Cell ID

LBS
Location
Based
Service

WER
Display &
Registration
Staff ID, time
stamp, train

Database
Staff ID, GSM ID

Figure 1:

Trial system layout.

collaboration with the software company InTraffic, implemented the system. In


five months, the collaborative venture succeeded in developing, testing and
assessing a system in practice, in the innovation project. With the system
developed, it is possible to reliably determine in real time which train crew
members are located in which train.

3 The system
The technical feasibility of the selected suggested solution was tested with the
system layout in figure 1.
3.1 Where is the train?
The train position details required for the trial were obtained from ProRail.
ProRail collects this information with a network of approximately 10,000
measuring points in the railway network. The measuring points are located
approximately 500 metres apart, but there are sections where the separation
between the measuring points is considerably larger (never more than
approximately 15 km). Because ProRail delivers position data in respect of the
railway network, and because LBS (see par. 3.3) has no knowledge of this
railway network, a conversion to geographical coordinates was necessary. This is
provided by the TNL system.
3.2 Where are the train crew?
Drivers and guards are localised according to the position of their GSM. In this
process, use is made of the data from the GSM masts with which the GSM
devices have a connection. To be able to receive this information on the LBS
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331

platform, an application was developed known as GSM Number and Location


(GNL). This application on the GSM sends the current cell ID of the GSM mast
to which the crew members GSM device is connected, at a fixed frequency, to
the LBS platform. The frequency with which the messages are sent can be preset.
During the trial, the GSM sent a message to the LBS platform every 90 seconds.
3.3 Location Based Services platform
A central element of the trial layout is the LBS system. This system matches
train position data with GSM position data. On the generic Location Based
Services platform from SmartPosition [3], an algorithm was implemented with
this in mind to specify this matching. Because of the specific know-how required
for this application (e.g. using cell ID data), it was decided to outsource this task,
in this case to SmartPosition. To limit the resultant dependency, an attempt was
made to restrict the complexity of the matching functionality and interfacing.
With that in mind, alongside the cell ID data, LBS is only supplied with
geographical train position data. LBS does not have data about the railway
network, timetable or the crew schedule.
3.4 Confrontation with the crew schedule
An interface between LBS and the transport management system to make it
possible to confront the matching results with the crew schedule is not part of the
trial layout. Instead, a simple display and registration component (WER) was
developed, to make it possible to consult the matching results. A component
was also developed to make it possible to analyse the matching results (see
section 5).
3.5 The matching of GSM and train movements
The localisation of GSMs was restricted to matching with trains or, if that was
not possible, pointing out the movement of the GSM at a speed greater than a
specified (preset) threshold value. The latter requirement is important to be able
to identify the suspected presence in a train, even if it is not possible to specify
precisely in which train. This situation can arise if a second train is travelling in
the same direction or if train position data are missing because there are no
measuring points in the vicinity to detect train passages. Presence anywhere
other than in the trains of NSR is not detected.
The matching algorithm was designed to also identify the breaking of a
previous match (interpretation: GSM no longer in train), and an extended period
of non-confirmation of a previous match (interpretation: train has probably
reached its final destination or is stationary, unplanned).

4 The practical trial


Over a period of four weeks, the system was tested in an area in the centre of The
Netherlands. The trial area is shown in Figure 2.
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332 Computers in Railways XII

N
E

W
S

Figure 2:
Table 1:
From
Ermelo
Bussum Zuid
Bilthoven

To
Bilthoven
Lunteren
Apeldoorn

Trial area.

Distance table for the trial area.


Distance (km)
40
44
43

Comment
Northeast-Southwest
Northwest-East
Southwest-Northeast

Amersfoort station is at the centre of the trial area. Table 1 provides an


outline idea of the size of the trial area.
The trial area has no relevance whatsoever for the timetable. It matches a socalled traffic controllers area. In other words, the operation of signals and points
in this area takes place from a single regional office of ProRail. The trial system
was provided only with train position data from this area. For trains passing
through the area, the only information provided was position reports from the
moment of entry into the area until the moment the train left the area.
Given the central location of the area and the fact that train crew are
employed on a range of different routes, a large proportion of the approximately
3300 drivers and 4500 guards employed at NSR regularly pass through this area.
However, the trial only involved drivers and guards operating from Amersfoort,
one of the approximately 30 crew bases. The application (GNL) was only
installed on the GSM responsible for providing GSM position details to LBS,
belonging to the participants in the trial.
The trial system was therefore used within this group of drivers and guards
for determining on which train they were located, at least in as much as they
were on a train at that time travelling through the trial area.
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Computers in Railways XII

IST

333

SOLL

WER
Display & Registration
Staff ID, time stamp, train

Crew schedule
Staff ID,time stamp,
train, on/off shift

Analysis
Function
TNL
Train no. & Location
train,time stamp,lat,lon

Personnel & GSM data


Staff ID,GSM ID,
GSM-number

Report on the
matching
results

Figure 3:

System analysis.

During the execution of the trial, every identified match between GSM
number and train number was immediately compared with the transport
management system. If a discrepancy was identified, by way of verification,
telephone contact was immediately sought with the train crew member in
question.

5 The findings
The system was tested for a period of four weeks (May/June 2009).
During the first three weeks, the LBS system was adapted on the basis of
errors in the system software and errors in the matches between crew members
and train. In addition, it was noted that given a frequency of transmission of
GSM position reports of once every 90 seconds, the GSM battery could rapidly
become exhausted before the shift (approximately 8.5 hours) ended. The GSM
cannot be recharged during the journey. The guard constantly has the GSM in his
possession, and needs it to carry out his tasks in the train and on the platform.
For that reason, the trial was subsequently restricted to four hours in any day.
Another restriction on use of the GSM device as a source of GSM position data
is that the speech communication via the GSM, a common occurrence during
disruptions to the train service, hinders the transmission of cell ID data.
After three weeks, the system was considered stable and suitable for
implementing extensive testing. In week four, the system was no longer altered,
and between 3 June and 7 June 2009, daily trials were held between 12.00 and
16.00 hours. The transmitted matching results for that week are summarised in
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334 Computers in Railways XII


Table 2:

Number of detected participants per day.


Date
Mon 18 May
Tue 19 May
Fri 22 May
Sat 23 May
Sun 24 May
Mon 25 May
Tue 26 May
Wed 27 May
Wed 3 June
Thur 4 June
Fri 5 June
Sat 6 June
Sun 7 June
Average

Total
104
111
112
95
101
120
111
115
112
114
115
104
105
109

this paragraph. Figure 3 shows the structure of the analysis system. For each
match specified by LBS, it was verified whether this matched the crew schedule
as laid down in the transport management system.
5.1 Participation in the trial
In total, 218 drivers and guards operating from Amersfoort participated in the
trial. During the hours in which the trial system was operational, their presence
on trains was detected in the trial area. Table 2 shows the numbers of participants
detected on trains over a number of days.
5.2 The reliability of the matching results
During the implementation of the trial, it was assumed that a match recorded by
LBS between GSM number (and the corresponding employee according to the
administration) and the train number was correct if:
- it matched the crew schedule, or, in the event of a deviation,
- it was confirmed by the driver or guard in question, by verification.
In analysing the matching results, it rapidly emerged that the crew often also
travelled by train off shift. The crew often travelled by train from and to their
crew base, and also on their days off, crew often travelled by train. If the GSM
mobile is then switched on, the system can identify a presence on trains which (it
goes without saying) is not reflected in the crew schedule, and which may also
not be verified. For such situations, the matching results have been corrected.
Table 3 shows the matching results for a number of selected days. The
column with the heading number of employees shows the number of detected
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Computers in Railways XII

Table 3:
Date
26 May
27 May
3 June
4 June
5 June
6 June
7 June
Total and average

335

Matching results.
Number of
employees
7
35
31
32
36
28
22
191

Result
100%
100%
97%
100%
97%
96%
100%
99%

employees (drivers or guards) in the trains. The column with the heading result
shows the percentage of correctly identified presence of crew members in the
train.
5.3 Timeliness of the matching
The matching of crew with a train is possible as soon as a train leaves a station
located in the trial area (for example Amersfoort) or as soon as a train enters the
trial area.
On the basis of 191 measurements, it was calculated that:
a. a 68% matching occurs within 5.5 minutes of departure/entering the
trial area
b. a 95% matching occurs within 11 minutes of departure/entering the trial
area
c. a 99% matching occurs within 16.5 minutes of departure/entering the
trial area
Because of the limited scale of the data set, for a reliability of 95%, an error
margin of around 14% is included in the specified times.
For the first case, this means that 5.5 minutes, which equates to 330 seconds,
includes an error margin of 47 seconds and for the second case, 11 minutes, an
error margin of 94 seconds.
For correction, the above means that 11 minutes following departure of the
train (or entry into the trial area), 95% of train crew members has been chartered
out, and linked to a train by the trial system.

6 Conclusion
The trial showed that it is possible on the basis of cell ID data and train position
data to detect in real time, with an automated system and with a reliability of
99%, in which train crew members are located.
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336 Computers in Railways XII

7 Future work
In a system whereby the GSM registers and transmits the cell-ID every 90
seconds during the entire shift of the train crew, it emerged that the load on the
GSM battery is unacceptably high. This could perhaps be implemented more
intelligently by installing smarter software on the GSM. In addition, speech
communication via the GSM, a common occurrence during disruptions to the
train service, hinders the transmission of cell-ID data. Further investigations are
therefore necessary into possibilities for tackling these problems. One option
would be to obtain cell-ID data from telecom providers. Other possibilities
include the selective registration and transmission of cell-ID data, specifically
only during major disruptions to the train service, by managing the GSM
application by means of an SMS broadcast to the train crew.
Meanwhile NSR has started a project which aims to speed up the
rescheduling of crew after a disruption has occurred. An important part of this
project is the installation of a software module for automatic crew rescheduling.
This module will be based upon operations research algorithms (Potthoff et al.
[4]). Also for the successful use of such a module, it is important that correct
location data of the crew are available. The improvement of those data, including
further necessary investigations, will therefore be part of this project.

References
[1] Makkinga F, Network control for improved performance A new concept
for on-line scheduling and dispatching, Proceedings of Comprail, pp 943
952, 2002
[2] J. Jespersen-Groth, D. Potthoff, J. Clausen, D. Huisman, L. Kroon, G.
Marti and M.N. Nielsen, "Disruption Management in Passenger Railway
Transportation", in: R.K. Ahuja, R.H. Mhring and C.D. Zaroliagis (eds.),
Robust and Online Large-Scale Optimization, Lecture Notes in Computer
Science, 5868, Springer-Verlag, Berlin (2009), pp 399-421.
[3] LBS system of Smartposition, system information available on
http://www.smartposition.nl/site/nl/services/117/lbs-platform
[4] Potthoff, D., Huisman, D., Desaulniers, G. Column generation with dynamic
duty selection for railway crew rescheduling, Econometric Institute Report
EI 2008-28, December 19, 2008

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337

Alignment analysis of urban railways based on


passenger travel demand
J. L. E. Andersen & A. Landex
Department of Transport, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Abstract
Planning of urban railways like Metro and especially Light Rail Transit often
result in multiple alignment alternatives from where it can be difficult to select
the best one. Travel demand is a good foundation for evaluating a railway
alignment for its ability to attract passengers. Therefore, this article presents a
computerised GIS based methodology that can be used as decision support for
selecting the best alignment. The methodology calculates travel potential within
defined buffers surrounding the alignment. The methodology has three different
approaches depending on the desired level of detail: the simple but straightforward to implement line potential approach that perform corridor analysis, the
detailed catchment area analysis based on stops on the alignment and the refined
service area analysis that uses search distances in street networks. All three
approaches produce trustworthy results and can be applied as decision support in
different stages of the urban railway alignment planning.
Keywords: public transport, urban railways, metro, light rail transit, alignment,
catchment area, service area, travel demand, travel potential, GIS, planning.

1 Introduction
Conventional railways are usually large and rigid with few degrees of freedom in
planning of alignments. This is due to the characteristics of such rail systems:
high average stop distance and stop positioning dominated by strategic
requirements of service (e.g. stop in the big cities the railway passes). However,
smaller flexible urban railways like Metro and especially Light Rail Transit
(LRT) have much lower average stop distance and the stop positioning may not
be evident when consistently running in build-up areas. Therefore, it is often
seen that the screening phase of a new urban railway consists of multiple
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338 Computers in Railways XII


strategic alignment options or alternatives (e.g. see [1]). It may be difficult to
choose the best alignment between multiple high quality alternatives and a
decision support tool is often required. Traffic modelling of each alternative will
usually provide the best decision base. However, traffic modelling is very time
consuming and expensive and is, therefore, usually not introduced until a later
phase of the planning process where the number of alternatives are low or nonexisting. A quick-to-implement decision support for selecting alignment
alternatives that can be used in an earlier planning phase is, therefore, desirable.
Among other important decision elements of the urban railway alignment
planning such as transfers, travel time and construction cost travel demand has
the highest influence. This is because travel demand constitutes the customer
base in the surrounding areas of a railway line. Therefore, a decision support
methodology based on passenger travel demand to aid the selection of the best
alignment between multiple others is relevant. In the following such
methodology with different approaches depending on the level of detail is
presented and evaluated for its applied use in the planning of alignments for
urban railways.
A case example will be introduced to show the applied use of the
methodology. The case example is based on a light rail solution since this type of
urban railway gives rise to most alignment alternatives.
1.1 Introduction to case example
The case example is taken from Copenhagen, Denmark and deals with a light rail
proposal going from the city centre to the main airport running on the northern
part of the island of Amager. The focus area of the case can be seen in figure 1.
INDRE STERBRO

REFSHALEEN

REFSHALEEN

INDRE STERBRO
INDRE NRREBRO

NYHOLM

NYHOLM
INDRE BY

City Centre
INDRE BY
CHRISTIANSHAVN

CHRISTIANSHAVN

SUNDBY NORD

SUNDBY NORD

VESTERBRO

VESTERBRO

KONGENS ENGHAVE

KONGENS ENGHAVE

SUNDBY SYD

VESTAMAGER

KASTRUP

SUNDBY SYD

VESTAMAGER

KASTRUP

TRNBY

TRNBY
Regional trains

TMMERUP

Airport

Metro
TMMERUP

KBENHAVNS LUFTHAVN SYD

Figure 1:

KBENHAVNS LUFTHAVN SYD

Focus area of case example the northern part of the island of


Amager (left side), and the existing high quality public transport in
the focus area (right side).

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339

There are already rail connections between the city centre and the main
airport by regional trains and Metro. However, these are relatively fast
connections with few stops whereas a light rail solution is intended to service
more locally on the island of Amager and will not (and cannot) compete for
travellers going all the way between the city centre and the main airport.

2 Passenger travel demand


Travel demand can be used to investigate the need for public transport services
in specific areas. Travel demand for public transport can be an indication of
potential passengers hence the term passenger travel demand. There are many
different factors that affect travel demand. Some are very dominant and have a
regular impact (residences, workplaces, student places etc.) while some are only
dominant in a time specific period thus having an irregular impact (stadiums,
beaches, amusement parks etc.). Furthermore, the passenger travel demand is
dependant on the socio-economic composition of the examined area (car
ownership, income, ages, family types, driver licenses etc.). For instance, the
passenger travel demand is more likely to be utilized in areas with low car
ownership than in areas with high car ownership.

00
75

>

50

-7

00

-6

60
0

50
45
0

-4

00

50

-3

30
0

-1

11

15
0

<

10

Travel Potential per km^2

DTU Transport

Figure 2:

Travel potential within the focus area.

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340 Computers in Railways XII


In applied analysis of public transport it can be difficult to include all travel
demand factors. Therefore, a simplified but relatively good and understandable
delimitation such as travel potential can be used. Travel potential includes the
most important and regular impact on travel demand: Population and
workplaces. To get one overall expression of these two factors they can be
weighted together in a mutual relation:
Travel potential = Population + 1.75 Workplaces

(1)

Studies have shown that a workplace gives rise to 75% more traffic than an
inhabitant mainly due to work travel [2] why the workplaces are given a higher
weight in equation (1).
The travel potential for different areas can be visualized and especially travel
potential density is relevant to show on maps as seen in figure 2.

3 Alignment alternatives
Planning urban railways, and especially LRT, can result in multiple alignment
alternatives. Usually the end stops are given but how to get from end to end can
vary and is depending on various conditions. Aside from travel demand it can be

Alternative 2
Alternative 3
Alternative 1

DTU Transport

Figure 3:

Light rail alignment proposals (alternatives) in the focus area.

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341

with regard to factors such as connection to other public transport lines (feeder
lines), travel distance/time, construction cost, special location service (hospitals,
stadiums etc.) and especially for LRT availability of space (road width etc.).
Although many alignment alternatives can be opted out in an early phase there
will nearly always be cases where alternatives offhand appear equally good and
this are when decision support is needed to determine the final alignment.
3.1 Case example: Alignment alternatives
In the case example three different alignment alternatives has been chosen for
investigation, cf. figure 3. The placing of the alignment revealed more variations
within each of the three alternatives just as the three alignment alternatives could
be combined in various sequences. All these different variations have been
deselected for this purpose since they produced too many alternatives for the
case example.
3.2 Stop positioning
Methods to select between alignment alternatives without considering stops
exist. But the most accurate analyses are performed on stops since they are the
passengers access and egress to the railway system. Therefore, it can be relevant

DTU Transport

Figure 4:

Stop positioning on the three alignment alternatives in the focus


area.

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342 Computers in Railways XII


to appoint stops to the alignment alternatives. Where to position stops is
dominated by the same factors as for the alignment except that it is the number
of stops that affect the travel time. The stop positioning itself can be subject to
generating alternatives since one alignment can have multiple stop patterns
(different positioning but also different number of stops). However, this issue is
not addressed in this paper.
3.3 Case example: stop positioning on alternatives
There are many options how to position stops on the three alignment alternatives.
The positioning has been performed using travel potential maps (see figure 2), by
securing transfers to other public transport lines and by common criteria of
average stop distances (approximately 700 meters). All in all this gives a best
criteria stop positioning on the three alignment alternative as seen in seen in
figure 4.

4 Evaluation of alignment alternatives


In the end, only one final railway alignment can be implemented in the public
transport system so when there are multiple alignment alternatives the best has to
be chosen. To find the best alignment alternative, decision support that includes
travel demand can be useful. It is also important to take possible transfers into
account since they can supply a non-negligible part of the passengers especially
in terminals. Unfortunately, transfers cannot easy be joint into a methodology
with travel demand and the affect of transfers must, therefore, be assessed apart
from the travel demand assessments.
In the travel demand methodology there are different computerised GIS based
approaches depending on the desired level of detail and accuracy of the analysis.
The approaches include buffer analysis and overlay analysis to apply travel
demand data within defined buffers surrounding the railway where the buffer
approach determines the level of detail of the analysis.
Regarding the buffer analysis a distance of 350 meters is used for all buffers
in the case example. 350 meters has been chosen since studies (e.g. [3] and [4])
indicate a willingness to walk to LRT stations at about that distance. However,
other distances could easily have been chosen and implemented too. The three
different approaches are presented in the following.
4.1 Corridor analysis
A simple but straight-forward approach is to investigate corridors of urban
railway alignments. This can be done by the line potential approach. The line
potential approach simply investigates travel potential within a whole corridor of
an alignment. Corridors of the three alternatives can be seen in figure 5.
An overlay analysis gives the travel potential within each corridor and the
results can be listed in a table (see table 1).

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Table 1:

Alt 1
Alt 2
Alt 3

343

Corridor analysis travel potential within the corridors of the three


alignment alternatives best alternative highlighted.
Length
[km]
8.00
6.38
6.39

Travel Potential
62,808
76,964
61,269

Travel Potential /
Length
7,851
12,063
9,588

DTU Transport

Figure 5:

Corridors of the three alignment alternatives (within an Euclidean


distance of 350 meters from alignments).

highest travel potential per length and is, therefore, regarded as the alternative
best suited for selection.
Corridor Analysis is not a fully accurate approach since it is only possible to
access a railway line at defined points (stops). However, corridor analysis still
gives a good indication of travel demand for an alignment and it can be
performed before positioning of stops and is, therefore, available as an easy-toimplement decision support tool in an early planning phase with many potential
alternatives.

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4.2 Catchment area analysis
A more detailed approach is to include stops and investigate catchment areas of
urban railway alignments through catchment area analysis. Catchment area
analysis can determine travel potential within circular catchment areas of stops
on an alignment. Catchment areas for the three alignment alternatives and their
proposed stops can be seen in figure 6.
An overlay analysis gives the travel potential within catchment areas of each
alternative and the results can be listed in as in table 2.

DTU Transport

Figure 6:

Catchment areas of stops on the three alignment alternatives


(within a Euclidean distance of 350 meters from stops).

Table 2:

Catchment area analysis travel potential within circular catchment


areas of stops on the three alignment alternatives best alternative
highlighted.

Alt 1
Alt 2
Alt 3

Length
[km]

Stops

8.00
6.38
6.39

11
9
9

Avg.stop
Travel
Travel LinePot
Travel
distance
Potential / Potential / utili
Potential
[km]
Length
Stop
sation
0.73
49,865
6,233
4,533
79%
0.71
58,200
9,122
6,467
76%
0.71
45,656
7,145
5,073
75%

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345

Travel potential per length and travel potential per stop is most relevant for
comparison between alternatives that are not equally long or have equal number
of stops. As seen in table 2, Alternative 2 has the highest travel potential per
length and per stop hence regarded as the best alternative. However, Alternative
1 has a higher line potential utilisation meaning it better utilises the travel
potential of the corridor.
Since catchment area analysis is conducted on the actual access/egress points
of public transport (the stops) it is a much more precise approach than corridor
analysis thus providing a more accurate decision base. However, it also demands
more work since the stop positioning has to be performed prior to the analysis.
Catchment area analysis is, therefore, suitable for more thorough and realistic
analysis of alignments in a later planning phase where the number of alternatives
are low.
4.3 Service area analysis
A refinement of the catchment areas of stops is service areas. Service areas are
based on searches in street and path networks and are, therefore, more realistic in
terms of actual travel distances for the feeder traffic (for more information about

DTU Transport

Figure 7:

Service areas of stops on the three alignment alternatives (within a


street network search distance of 350 meters from stops).

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346 Computers in Railways XII


service areas see [5] and [6]). Service areas of stops on the three alignment
alternatives and their stops can be seen in figure 7.
An overlay analysis gives the travel potential within service areas of each
alternative and the results can be listed in as in table 3.
Table 3:

Service area analysis travel potential within service areas of stops


on the three alignment alternatives best alternative highlighted.
Length
[km]

Alt 1
Alt 2
Alt 3

8.00
6.38
6.39

Avg.stop
Travel Travel
Travel
Stops distance
Potential Potential
Potential
[km]
/ Length / Stop
11
0.73 33,568 4,196 3,052
9
0.71 41,478 6,501 4,609
9
0.71 27,377 4,284 3,042

LinePot CA
Utili
Utili
sation sation
53%
67%
54%
71%
45%
60%

As seen in table 3 Alternative 2 has the highest travel potential per length and
per stop making it the best suitable alternative. It also utilises the travel potential
of the corridor and catchment areas (CA) best.
Since the service area analysis is based on the actual travel distances of the
feeder traffic it is the most detailed and accurate approach. It also requires more
detailed input data, especially the street and path network. For best performance
of the approach (and to make it as realistic as possible) all areas surrounding
stops must be scrutinized for data availability and realism. The service area
approach can be used to conduct more detailed analysis of alignment alternatives
than the catchment area approach but it also requires more preparation of data
and is, therefore, best suited for analysis with high accuracy requirements usually
conducted in a late planning phase. The largest applied benefit of the approach is
its ability to describe the effect of changes in the street and path network
surrounding stops; thereby being suitable for analyses of accessibility to public
transport (see [5]).
4.4 Results and discussion
From the case example it is seen how Alternative 2 turned out to be the best
using all three approaches. This is a strong indication that this alternative is the
best one when investigating travel potential. It also shows a consistency between
the approaches. However, there may be cases where there will be differences
between the results of the approaches and where e.g. the stop positioning of a
poor alternative can utilise the travel potential of the corridor so good that it will
show better results once analysis of stops are taken into account. This never
becomes an issue in the case example since Alternative 2 simply is much better
than the other alternatives.
The evaluation criteria are mostly based on the travel potential per length and
travel potential per stop. A key performance indicator taking both length and
number of stops into account can also be desirable. Such an indicator could be
based on e.g. construction cost or a travel time based operating cost both
implementing a length and a stop depending contribution. A key performance
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347

indicator like that can provide a more clear and understandable overview of the
alternatives and ensure that a long twisted alignment with many stops will not be
much better than a shorter straight alignment. This can be illustrated by
comparing the next best alternatives in the case example. Alternative 1 is longer,
has more stops, and as a result this alternative has higher travel potential
compared to alternative 3. However, taking both travel potential per length and
travel potential per stop into account the alternatives seem quite equal. Using a
common key performance indicator may even prove that Alternative 3 is better
than Alternative 1 depending on the weights applied to length and to stops.
The case example shows how the approaches can be used as decision support
tools when examining different alignments with the same terminal stations.
However, the methodology may also be used to examine alignments with
different terminal stations but the more different the alignment alternatives are,
the more careful one must be to achieve comparable results. The methodology
cannot compare different types of service and its effect on passenger
attractiveness, e.g. fast service with few stops (end to end service or shuttle
service) and slower service with more stops (local service). The methodology
should, therefore, only be used to compare alternatives of roughly the same type
of service. Travel time for each alternative and comparison with the existing
service can be included in the evaluation criteria as well, but whether the service
of an alternative is the best suitable for passengers must be evaluated through the
more time consuming traffic modelling. Otherwise the desired service
characteristics of the railway must be decided on before making the alternatives.

5 Conclusions
A quick-to-implement decision support methodology based on travel demand
can be used to select the best alignment of an urban railway between multiple
alignment alternatives. The methodology is based on computerised GIS analysis
and comes in different approaches depending on the level of detail of the
investigations. In an early screening phase the simple corridor analysis can be
used to deselect the less suited alignment alternatives. In a more advanced
planning phase where stops are appointed to the alignment alternatives the
catchment area analysis can be used as a realistic foundation for selecting the
best alignment. An even more detailed approach is to refine the catchment area
analysis using service areas of stops as base for the selection. The detailed level
of the service area approach also makes it relevant for analysis of the
accessibility to each stop but it also demand more detailed input data.
The output of all approaches is travel potential within the defined buffers
surrounding the railway line and it provides an overall sound decision support in
the alignment selection process. However, a factor such as transfer to other
public transport lines must not be ignored since large passenger volumes can be
generated from transfers especially in terminals. But as the main part of the
decision support of alignment alternatives the methodology is essential and can
relatively easy be applied in the planning process of urban railways.

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348 Computers in Railways XII

References
[1] Andersen, J.L.E., Landex, A. & Nielsen, O.A., Light rail project in
Copenhagen the Ring 2 corridor, Proc. of the Annual Transport
Conference at Aalborg University, 2006.
[2] Jacobsen, B. & Larsen, F., Catchment area and transport modelling
(Stationsoplands- og trafikmodelberegninger), Proc. of the Annual
Transport Conference at Aalborg University, 1999 (in Danish).
[3] OSullivan, S. & Morral, J., Walking Distances to and from Light-Rail
Transit Stations, Transport Research record, 1538, pp. 19-26, 1996.
[4] Christiansen, H., Laursen, J.G. & Jrgensen, H.E., Feeder geography at bus
stops (Tilbringergeografi ved busstoppesteder), Institute of Planning, DTU,
2000 (in Danish).
[5] Landex, A., Hansen, S. & Andersen, J.L.E., Examination of catchment areas
for public transport, Proc. of the Annual Transport Conference at Aalborg
University, 2006.
[6] Andersen, J.L.E. & Landex, A., Catchment areas for public transport, Proc.
of the Urban Transport Conference at Malta, 2008.

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349

Maintenance plan optimization for a train fleet


K. Doganay & M. Bohlin
Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Kista, Sweden

Abstract
Maintenance planning is an important problem for railways, as well as other application domains that employ machinery with expensive replacements and high downtime costs. In a previous paper, we have developed methods for efficiently finding
optimized maintenance schedules for a single unit, and proposed that the maintenance plan should be continuously re-optimized based on the condition of components. However, fleet-level resources, such as the availability of expensive spare
parts, have largely been ignored. In this paper, we extend our previous approach by
proposing a solution for the fleet level maintenance scheduling problem with spare
parts optimization. The new solution is based on a mixed integer linear programming formulation of the problem. We demonstrate the merits of our approach by
optimizing instances of maintenance schedules based on maintenance data from
railway companies operating in Sweden.
Keywords: maintenance planning, condition based maintenance, optimization, mixed
integer programming, railways.

1 Introduction
Maintenance planning is an important issue, especially for application areas where
high cost machinery is used, and when time spent on maintenance disrupts the
operation and causes losses, monetary or otherwise. Industry often fears that introducing condition based maintenance (CBM) will lead to more frequent service
interventions, which could counter the potential value of implementing CBM.
Implementation should therefore be done with care, as the maintenance planning process under CBM needs to be adapted to a much more dynamic situation. We have previously [1] proposed to harvest the full potential value in CBM
for rail vehicle maintenance using a combination of condition monitoring and
online maintenance planning. A side effect of using this dynamic approach, instead
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350 Computers in Railways XII


of following a traditional cyclic maintenance schedule, is that resources at the
maintenance workshop serving a fleet of trains can easily get over-allocated at
certain periods. One example is the number of spare parts that need to be available
at the service location. Cyclic preventive maintenance usually allows manually
building a resource plan that respects the fleet level constraints (e.g. number of
spare parts) as the maintenance schedules are relatively regular and cyclic. However, using continuously updated maintenance due dates (from condition monitoring) and frequently re-optimized maintenance schedules for each train makes it
impractical to manually construct good fleet level maintenance plans. This can lead
to higher resource demands, which is undesirable for expensive spare parts or even
unacceptable for some resources. Hence, although each train may have an optimum
maintenance plan for itself, the total schedule at fleet level becomes unfeasible.
In this paper, we broaden the perspective by considering a fleet of rail vehicles
maintained in a single workshop. Maintenance planning in a long-time perspective
is performed to efficiently use the limited spare parts available; for this purpose,
we have modeled the planning problem using mixed integer programming (MIP).
1.1 Vehicle maintenance
Vehicle maintenance differs from maintenance of stationary equipment in that
vehicles are mobile; their current and future location is dependent on the performed
and planned jobs for the vehicle. For rail vehicles, planned jobs are usually present
in the form of a timetable. Instead of having mobile repair crews visiting the site for
maintenance work, the train regularly visits one or several maintenance workshops
as a part of the normal duty of the train. In addition, the train dispatching central
needs to make sure that the train is indeed sent to the workshop when needed.
Since the freedom to plan maintenance is limited by the assigned timetables,
the execution of maintenance actions is also limited to the time intervals when the
train is actually in a workshop. These intervals may be (and frequently are) different from the predicted time intervals, since trains are dispatched according to
the global train supply and the demand in the network for an operator. In addition, time-consuming setup activities are present in the shunting (movements on a
rail yard) of trains to and from the workshop, and parts of the maintenance equipment might be located at other, specialized workshops in the vicinity of the main
maintenance workshop. Although not considered in this paper, the layout of the
workshop is also important, since there are resource limitations in that a workshop
contains a limited number of tracks for vehicles under maintenance. It is also common that tracks have different setups in the form of stationary equipment, such
as lifts, graves and power lines. The current state of practice in short-term maintenance planning is manual planning with the aid of computerized maintenance
management systems, spreadsheets and possibly project planning tools.
We can predict when each train will be at the maintenance depot from time table
data. While this is necessary for planning the current work day (and probably further, typically 1-2 weeks), having very detailed plans for, e.g., three months later
is neither necessary nor useful. The reason is simply that the uncertainties in a
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351

detailed plan are too high in a longer time perspective. For example, one cannot
be certain that a particular train will be dispatched to the depot on a specific date
and time, as this is dependent on a number of factors, including not only the fleet
condition and which vehicles are undergoing maintenance or overhaul, but also
other disturbances such as canceled trips due to infrastructure failure or failure to
allocate on-board personnel. Moreover, unexpected failures often occur in different components of the train, requiring a visit to the depot earlier than predicted.
Although this will invalidate the predicted arrival and departure to the maintenance
workshop for the affected trains, it may also lead to an opportunity to perform other
maintenance at the same time.
The uncertainties outlined above make it less useful to have detailed plans (in
days, hours and minutes) for a planning horizon further than a few weeks. However, this does not mean that planning for more than a few weeks is useless. On the
contrary, there is a direct need to plan for the whole maintenance contract period
(or at least for a significant part of it), as there may arise situations where too many
trains need major maintenance inside the short-term planning horizon, causing a
high maintenance load in one month and a corresponding low load in the next.
Another problem arises with spare parts that are maintained offline. An example is a major engine overhaul. As this activity takes about two weeks, it is not
performed on the train. Instead, the engine is removed from the train and replaced
by a spare engine, so that the train can continue normal operation while the old
engine is overhauled in the maintenance workshop. Once the old engine is maintained, it is frequently considered to be as good as new, and can therefore be put
into another train later on. Given that it takes two weeks to maintain an engine,
the highest number of engine maintenance that occurs in a two week time window during the whole maintenance contract of the whole fleet would equate to the
number of spare engines that needs to be available in the maintenance depot. If the
fleet maintenance planning do not consider such a long term plan, it would not be
able to foresee any conflict caused by too many train units requiring same type of
spare parts, or other resources at the maintenance depot.
Our advocacy of CBM and dynamic planning has been met with both high interest and some skepticism by our industrial partners. The main fear lies in the fact
that, although each train unit may have a better optimized maintenance schedule, a
dynamic and irregular maintenance may lead to infeasible or higher cost schedules
for the maintenance depot that serves the whole fleet. In this paper, we consider
the spare parts problem as an example of such fleet level constraints and costs.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: section 2 gives an account of related
work. In section 3, we explain the optimization model. The method of evaluation
is explained and results are reported in section 4. Finally, in section 5, we conclude
and discuss future work.

2 Related work
The area of optimal maintenance planning and scheduling has been active since
the 60s, starting with the seminal work by Barlow and Hunter [2]. Plenty of survey
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352 Computers in Railways XII


papers of the area also exist; fairly recent reviews are given by Budai-Balke et
al. [3] and Nicolai and Dekker [4]. Furthermore, the state of the art in applications
of maintenance optimization models is discussed by Dekker and Scarf [5]. More
generic mathematical maintenance models are also reviewed by Scarf [6].
In multi-unit maintenance models, the system under consideration consists of
several units with identical or individual characteristics regarding failure, costs,
setup activities, etc. An overview of multi-unit maintenance models is given by
Cho and Parlar [7]. Wildeman et al. [8] discuss maintenance scheduling for a
multi-component system with constant co-allocation cost savings, and where deterioration of components is also taken into account.
Rail vehicle maintenance includes the additional complexity of moving equipment, and research in rail vehicle maintenance therefore often includes the associated routing problems. An exception is present in work by Hani et al. [9, 10]
who focus on the detailed planning of work performed in the train maintenance
facilities only. Cordeau et al. [11] give a survey of models for optimization of train
routing and scheduling. In [1, 12], the problem of routing vehicles to the workshop with minimal maintenance costs is solved with the additional sub-problem of
grouping maintenance activities such that the number of maintenance occasions is
minimized. The problem of determining optimal vehicle routes is NP-hard in general [13], which is why a heuristic method is employed. A related problem has been
studied by Anderegg et al. [14], who propose a heuristic routing approach usable in
a long-term perspective. Packaging of maintenance is not considered. Marti and
Kroon [15, 16] also consider the operational maintenance routing problem without considering maintenance packaging. In [15], a multi-commodity flow model
is proposed to solve the problem. In [16], an integer programming formulation
is presented, and a shortest path heuristic is proposed to solve the problem for a
planning horizon of 13 days.

3 Optimization model
In this section we define the fleet level planning problem using a discrete time
model where each time slot is one week. The problem is formulated as follows.
We are given n identical vehicles u {1, . . . , n}, each containing m maintenance activities (items) i {1, . . . , m} which should be repeated with a period of
Ti weeks. We use p to denote a spare part type, where p {1, . . . , P }, and t to
denote an occasion, where t {1, . . . , H} and H is the schedule length (horizon).
The initial condition (used number of weeks) for vehicle u and item i is denoted
Oui . Each maintenance activity takes i man-hours to perform and requires the
exchange of ip spare parts of type p. Spare parts are repaired offline; repair takes
Rp weeks for spare part type p, and Ap spares of type p are available in total.
The total cost of having one spare part of type p for one week is cp ; note that this
should include purchase and acquisition costs, transportation costs, and costs due
to storage requirements. Maintenance activity i is associated with a fixed cost Ci ,
and at most kt hours of maintenance can be performed in each week t.
In addition, the train needs to be shunted before and after each maintenance
stop. We model this by including a constant setup cost S for the activities involved
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353

in shunting the train. The setup cost is deducted each time at least one maintenance
activity, for a single train unit, is performed.
The long-term goal is to plan maintenance for H weeks with minimal cost such
that 1) maintenance periods are respected, 2) the maximum maintenance duration in each week is not exhausted, and 3) there are enough spare parts. We only
consider preventive maintenance, since corrective maintenance costs can, due to
uncertainties on exactly when they happen, best be estimated outside the model.
The number of spare parts needed for corrective maintenance therefore needs to
be estimated using statistics, and is not considered further in this paper. Note that
we only consider maintenance items for which Ti Oi H, which implies that
the item will definitely be performed within the horizon.
In line with the model proposed by Almgren et al. [17], we use a sequence of
binary variables xui1 , xui2 , . . . , xuiH to model maintenance for unit u and item i,
where xuit = 1 indicates that the maintenance item is performed at occasion t. The
binary variable yut is used to indicate whether any maintenance is performed for
vehicle u at occasion t. The variable Up indicates the maximum spare parts needed
for type p. The fleet-level maintenance planning problem can now be formulated
using a mixed integer programming model as follows.
n

u=1 i=1 t=1

Ci xuit +

minimize

Syut + H
u=1 t=1

cp U p
p=1

A
n

C
m

+
u=1 i=1

Ci
Ti

(1)

txuit
t=HTi

t+Ti

xuij 1

u, i, t where t 1..H Ti

(2)

xuij 1

u, i where Ti Oui H

(3)

u, i, t

(4)

ip xuit Up

p, t 1..H Rp

(5)

Up Ap

(6)

(7)

subject to
j=t
Ti Oui
j=1

yut xuit
n

m t+Rp

u=1 i=1 t =t

ui xuit kt
u=1 i=1

Up 0 real,

xuit , yut binary

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u, i, t, p

354 Computers in Railways XII


The constraints in the problem express that maintenance needs to be performed
at least once every Ti occasions (2) and at least once within Ti Oui occasions
initially (3), that any maintenance at occasion t for unit u indicates that setup
costs should be deducted (4), that the number of spare parts needed is greater than
the greatest number in service at any single occasion (5) and has a limit (6), and
that the amount of labor performed at any occasion should not exceed a given
limit (7). The objective (1) of the problem is to minimize costs due to performed
maintenance (A), shunting work (B), spare parts (C), and used life at the horizon
(D). Maintenance costs of Ci is deducted each time activity i is performed, while
shunting work costs S on each occasion where at least one activity is performed
on a train. For each spare part p, a supply of Up units needs to be stored; each spare
part costs cp to maintain for one time unit. Finally, a term is needed to discourage
solutions in which maintenance is executed well in advance of its deadline. We
first assume that neither setup costs nor spare parts costs are deducted after the
scheduling horizon; after all, we do not how setup costs and spare parts cost will
materialize after this time point. We can then use a weighted penalty (D) of the
distance di of the last activity of type i from the horizon, which for each unit u and
item i is Ci /Ti per time unit of used life. The weight , which should be between 0
and 1, reflect the degree of belief that maintenance will continue after the planning
horizon.
To compute di we need to find the latest activity performed before the horizon. A direct approach would be to count the number of uninterrupted zero-valued
binary x variables from the end, but this approach is complicated, and furthermore
affects performance negatively. Under the assumptions above, we can do much
better using a different approach.
In an optimal schedule, the last Ti time units for item i will contain exactly
one occurrence of i. That at least one occurrence will occur is trivial from (2).
Now, assume that there are x 2 occurrences of i in the last Ti time units in an
optimal schedule. The cost contribution of i during the last Ti time units is then
Ci x + di Ci /Ti , where di is the used life at the horizon for the last occurrence of
i, plus some amounts of setup costs (B) and costs due to spare parts usage (C).
Removing the last of the occurrences would decrease direct maintenance costs
(A) with Ci , and at the same time increase penalties (D) with Ci /Ti , where
1 Ti 1 is the distance between the last item and its predecessor. The
maximum of the expression can be simplified to Ci (1 1/T ) which is less than
Ci since 1. Setup costs and spare parts costs are not increased by removing
an activity. Furthermore, constraint (2) would still hold, since there are at least one
more occurrence of i before the one being removed, which is within the last Ti
time units. The other constraints (36) would also hold, since the first activity is
still present (3), the number of maintenance occurrences is not increased (4), the
number of spare parts needed is not increased (5, 6) and the amount of work is not
increased (7).
Therefore, the schedule can be improved, and the assumption that the schedule
is optimal is false. By induction, it is clear that for any optimal schedule, there will

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355

be at most one activity of type i in the last Ti time units. This together with (2)
gives us that there is always exactly one activity in the last Ti time units for item i.
We can now compute the distance di for the last item of type i to the horizon
using the expression
H

txuit ,
t=HTi

which uses the fact that exactly one xuit will be one for t {(H Ti ), . . . , H}.

4 Evaluation
In order to evaluate the performance of the model explained in section 3 we optimized multiple problem instances using different objective functions, in effect
simulating different maintenance strategies, by using ILOG CPLEX 11.2 with
AMPL as the modeling language. Computations were carried out on an Intel Xeon
2.83GHz processor, with a 10 minutes CPU time limit for each run.
Maintenance schedules from X11 trains operating in southern Sweden are used
as the basis of our scenarios. There are two main scenarios that determine the initial
condition of the fleet; the "regular" and the CBM scenario. For both scenarios we
decide a random fleet age, and assign an age to each train unit around it, with
a standard deviation of six months, again randomly. For the CBM scenario, we
further randomize each components age in the same fashion, by deviating around
the particular trains age. The scenario was chosen to simulate the typical dynamic
maintenance present when implementing condition based maintenance.
For comparison, we created 50 random samples of both scenarios, and optimized using different objective functions, in effect simulating different maintenance strategies. The block maintenance strategy maintains components as late as
possible, and as the maintenance periods of different components are mostly set as
multiples of each other, maintenance activities gets planned in blocks (hence the
name). This translates to an objective function that includes direct maintenance
costs (A) and the used component lifetime (D) in eqn (1). For the second maintenance strategy, the objective function also includes setup costs; (B) in eqn (1).
Even though most maintenance activities have a period that is multiple of each
other, there exists a few activities that are not, albeit occurring few times in a two
year schedule. Such schedules may benefit from optimization, rather than relying
on maintenance activities being combined perfectly in a block replacement strategy. We name this second maintenance strategy as optimized without considering spare parts. The third maintenance strategy is optimization considering spare
parts, which also includes the total spare part need for the fleet, (C) in eqn (1).
There exists six different major spare parts that are maintained off-line in a separate workshop: two types of bogies, two types of wheelsets, the pantograph and the
engine. Each train has two of each types of bogie and wheelsets, four pantographs,
and four engines. We used half the price of each part as the cost of having an extra
spare part at the maintenance shop for the whole maintenance period. After being
removed from a train, maintenance takes three weeks for bogies and two weeks
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356 Computers in Railways XII


for other parts, before it can be safely assumed that the maintained parts can be
used in another train. Apart from spare parts, the maintenance schedule consists
of 91 different maintenance items with widely varying periodicity. Only one item
reoccurs each four weeks, 20 items occur each 8 weeks, another 20 items occur
each 24 weeks, and 29 items occur each 72 weeks. Other items have higher periodicity, some as much as 432 weeks, i.e., more than 8 years. In our evaluation, the
schedule horizon H that we optimize for is two years. We avoid a bias for new
fleets by randomly picking a fleet age for each sample, as described above.
4.1 Results
For all instances in the both scenarios (regular and CBM) we optimized using
the previously mentioned three strategies. Table 1 lists the average results of 50
samples. For both scenarios, we used the cost of block maintenance strategy as the
base and report other values as differences in percentage to that.
Due to the computational limits we imposed (10 minutes CPU time), CPLEX
does not find the exact optimum in all cases. For some runs, CPLEX reports an
optimality gap as high as 10%, but such gaps occur only when the objective function includes the spare part costs, (C) in eqn (1). In essence, a few of the samples
for optimized considering spare parts (last row in table 1) could be further optimized by setting a higher time limit. true only for a few of the cases and included
in the results).
Table 1: Optimization results for both scenarios as the average of 50 samples.
Regular

CBM

average cost difference

average cost difference

Block maintenance
Optimized w/o spares

6776241
6706033

0%
1.04%

7439488
7175749

0%
3.55%

Optimized w spares

5960168

12.04%

5854027

21.31%

In the regular scenario, optimization without considering spare part costs leads
to 1.04% better schedules on average. The difference is higher for the CBM scenario (3.55%) because unevenly-aged components in a single train unit gives more
opportunities for optimization than the default block maintenance strategy.
Optimization where spare part costs are also considered leads to the biggest
gains in both the regular and the CBM scenarios, as expected. The total cost
includes spare part costs, so including it in the objective function naturally leads
to better optimized schedules. But how much better such schedules would be in
practice (i.e., 12.04% and 21.31%) is not so obvious. These values depends heavily on the cost of keeping spare parts available. The cost of having an extra spare
part can be extremely low or as high as (or even higher than) the selling price of
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357

the part, if the particular spare part gets old even when not in operation due to
oxidation, safety regulations, technology advancement, etc. In our evaluation, we
used half of the selling price of each type of major spare part, as the actual operational costs were not available. The optimization results are naturally affected by
this estimate, so the quoted percentages for the last optimization strategy (optimized with spares in table 1) should not be seen as exact values. Yet, there is
still an important implication of the resulting numbers. In both regular and CBM
scenarios, when spare parts are also considered in the optimization model, we see
that total costs are significantly improved.

5 Conclusion and future work


In this paper we described a mixed integer programming model for maintenance
schedule optimization. The number of spare parts that needs to be kept in the maintenance depot is also included in the optimization model, as an example of fleet
level costs. Our evaluation demonstrate that for each type of scenario, having spare
part costs (or any fleet level costs) in the optimization objective reduces the total
costs significantly. This way, instead of reducing only the cost of maintaining a
single train unit and possibly creating higher-level conflicts, we can optimize for
the whole fleet of trains and at the same time satisfy fleet level constraints.
Our model regards preventive maintenance scheduling as a deterministic problem. Although we use maintenance stops due corrective maintenance as an opportunity to schedule preventive maintenance activities, we do not explicitly try to
incorporate the possibility of such stops into the schedule from the beginning. In
the future, we would like to move into this direction by using stochastic scheduling techniques. It is however not trivial to collect the required data on component
failure rates, or make reliable estimates, as such data is often quite sensitive and
can be regarded as a trade secret, or even may not exist. We are currently working on collecting and refining relevant data on some key components, such as the
pantograph and the break pads, which can be used as input to further stochastic
planning efforts.

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by VINNOVA under grant P32551-1. We would like to
thank Ulf Smedbo at EuroMaint Rail AB for providing the maintenance schedules
and data used for the evaluation.

References
[1] Bohlin, M., Forsgren, M., Holst, A., Levin, B., Aronsson, M. & Steinert, R., Reducing vehicle maintenance using condition monitoring and
dynamic planning. Proc. 4th IET Intl. Conf. on Railway Condition Monitoring
(RCM08), 2008.
[2] Barlow, R. & Hunter, L., Optimum Preventive Maintenance Policies. Oper
Res, 8(1), pp. 90100, 1960.
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358 Computers in Railways XII


[3] Budai-Balke, G., Dekker, R. & Nicolai, R., A Review of Planning Models
for Maintenance and Production. Technical report, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Econometric Institute, 2006. Econometric Institute Report 2006-44.
[4] Nicolai, R. & Dekker, R., Optimal Maintenance of Multi-Component Systems: a Review. Technical report, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Econometric Institute, 2006. Econometric Institute Report 2006-26.
[5] Dekker, R. & Scarf, P., On the Impact of Optimisation Models in Maintenance Decision Making: the State of the Art. Rel Eng and Syst Safety, 60(9),
pp. 111119, 1998.
[6] Scarf, P.A., On the Application of Mathematical Models in Maintenance. Eur
J Oper Res, 99(3), pp. 493506, 1997.
[7] Cho, D.I. & Parlar, M., A survey of maintenance models for multi-unit systems. Eur J Oper Res, 51(1), pp. 123, 1991.
[8] Wildeman, R.E., Dekker, R. & Smit, A.C.J.M., A Dynamic Policy for Grouping Maintenance Activities. Eur J Oper Res, 99(3), pp. 530551, 1997.
[9] Hani, Y., Amodeo, L., Yalaoui, F. & Chen, H., Simulation based optimization
of a train maintenance facility. J of Intel Manuf, 19(3), pp. 293300, 2008.
[10] Hani, Y., Chehade, H., Amodeo, L. & Yalaoui, F., Simulation based optimization of a train maintenance facility model using genetic algorithms. 2006
Intl. Conf. Service Systems and Service Management, volume 1, pp. 513518,
2006.
[11] Cordeau, J., Toth, P. & Vigo, D., A Survey of Optimization Models for Train
Routing and Scheduling. Transp Sci, 32(4), pp. 380404, 1998.
[12] Levin, B., Holst, A., Bohlin, M., Steinert, R. & Aronsson, M., Dynamic maintenance. Proc. 21st Intl. Congress and Exhibition on Condition Monitoring
and Diagnostic Engineering Management, 2008.
[13] Erlebach, T., Gantenbein, M., Hrlimann, D., Neyer, G., Pagourtzis, A.,
Penna, P., Schlude, K., Steinhfel, K., Taylor, D.S. & Widmayer, P., On the
Complexity of Train Assignment Problems. Proc. 12th Intl. Symposium on
Algorithms and Computation, Springer-Verlag: London, UK, pp. 390402,
2001.
[14] Anderegg, L., Eidenbenz, S., Gantenbein, M., Stamm, C., Taylor, D.S.,
Weber, B. & Widmayer, P., Train Routing Algorithms: Concepts, Design
Choices, and Practical. Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics,
pp. 106118, 2003.
[15] Marti, G. & Kroon, L., Maintenance Routing for Train Units: The Transition
Model. Transp Sci, 39(4), pp. 518525, 2005.
[16] Marti, G. & Kroon, L., Maintenance Routing for Train Units: The Interchange Model. Comput Oper Res, 34(4), pp. 11211140, 2007.
[17] Almgren, T., Andrasson, N., Patriksson, M., Strmberg, A.B. & Wojciechowski, A., The replacement problem: A polyhedral and complexity
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2009.

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359

SAT.engine: automated planning and


validation tools for modern
train control systems
B. Wenzel1, J. Schuette1 & S. Jurtz2
1

Dresden University of Technology,


Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering, Germany
2
Ingenieurgesellschaft fr Schienenverkehrstechnik mbH, Germany

Abstract
During the worldwide introduction of modern train control system projects, such
as the ETCS (European Train Control System), it turned out that the actual
engineering processes cannot fulfil the increasing requirements of the new
technology. In comparison to conventional train control systems, the amount, as
well as the required quality, of planning data is substantially higher. Hence, the
effort in all life cycle phases increases significantly. Due to the lack of tools, too
many tasks are done in a manual way, which is inherently inefficient and errorprone. Therefore, the Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering at Dresden
University of Technology launched the development of the SAT.engine toolbox
in cooperation with ISV mbH Berlin eight years ago. SAT.engine stands for
satellite engineering and provides an efficient method for a satellite based
track survey and further processing tools, e.g. for capturing relevant track
elements, generating topological plans, producing video simulations for training
purposes or the verification and validation tasks of planning data. Besides the
SAT.engine, engineering tools and experience, especially the recently developed
tools for the automatic validation and verification of trackside data (e.g. ETCS
telegrams), will be presented.
Keywords: ERTMS, ETCS, verification, validation, planning, tool, satellite, track
database, measurement, SAT.engine.

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doi:10.2495/CR100341

360 Computers in Railways XII

1 Introduction
In order to ensure an acceptable level of risk and high operational quality with
complex train control systems, such as the ETCS, an updated and accurate
database is essential. Wrongly determined or imprecise distance measures may
remain undiscovered for longer times during the processes of planning,
realization, approvals and operations which may lead to:

substantial time and cost efforts in error search


occasional disturbances during operations
operational degradation or interruptions
in worst cases potential hazardous situations

In many projects, a missing database, which is relied upon for planning and
engineering, represents a problem.
Another challenge is the vast amount of track data, which has to be planned,
implemented and approved correctly. Without the support of tools, there is no
way to check the produced track data and complex telegrams in an efficient way.
Additionally, missing interfaces and decentralized data management often leads
to inconsistencies and loss of data.
Due to the lack of tools and insufficient data quality (cf. figure 1), the actual
engineering methods cannot fulfil the increased requirements of complex train
control systems like ETCS.

Data Quality: ETCS

ETCS requires:

Prevailing Situation:

Increasing accuracy
Increasing complexity

Limited accuracy
Lack of Data
Quality

Increasing amount of

Measure imprecision
Data inconsistency

data

Lack of interfaces

Integration of several
kinds of data
Data Quality: Today

Figure 1:

Lack of data quality for ETCS projects.

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2 Challenges of modern train control systems


2.1 Increased requirements for the ETCS
The ETCS is planned and engineered often into an existing or to be constructed
track topology with signalling equipments. The ETCS wayside equipments of all
ETCS levels themselves consists of the Individual (Single) Balises
(Transponders) or groups of Balises and in some Level 1 cases additionally of
Euroloops (Inductive Loops).
Previously, signalling engineering had often been performed on the base of
position signs along the kilometre line of the track and in some cases according
to distances with respect to particular positions, e.g. danger points. The ETCS,
however, needs new, qualitatively higher requirements for the wayside
engineering process than could be satisfied by the conventional process.
In the ETCS, the positions and distances refer to the distance that a train
actually drives along the track (i.e. with reference to the track centreline) and not
the kilometre line. The ETCS onboard units utilize a variety of derived data also
for safety relevant functions for which the accuracy of the distances in the plans
and in the realization are crucial.
2.2 Indication of signal equipment positions in signalling plans
The unambiguous position of ETCS elements is often given by reference to the
railway line, its kilometre line and the track. In the case of balise groups, this
position relates to a reference point. Track and signalling plans visualize the
equipment positions. In such a plan, a balise group is indicated by its identifier
and the position with respect to the kilometre reference along the line with a
precision of approximately one meter. This value is normally sufficient for
identification of the position, but not so for the calculation of the distances along
the track centreline.
2.3 Existing databases
Errors in the positions and distances of signalling elements are a known
phenomenon in existing conventional implementations. A multitude of reasons
may account for these deviations, some examples of which may be
Systematic errors as consequences of non-continuities in the kilometre
line (Milestone-Incongruence); a position of an element corresponds to
the local kilometre line without having taken into account a milestone
incongruence (also known as mileage change).
Plans have not been updated after trackworks
Imprecise of modified measurements during equipment installation.
Figure 2 shows an example of the deviation of a signal position (with
reference to the track centreline) and the related value in the signal plan (with
reference to the kilometre line). The systematic deviations may be easily
recognized.
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Deviation of planned value and trajectory


on track centerline for signal locations [m]

362 Computers in Railways XII


15
10
5
0
-5
-10
-15
?

-20

Areas with additional systematic errors,


assumed to be caused by chainage
discontinuities, are color-marked

-25
-30
-35

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Distance on track centerline from point of reference [km]

Figure 2:

Typical deviations of signal positions.

The visible (random) deviations result from deviating plan values with respect
to the kilometre line (objective errors) as well as the differences in lengths
originating from the different reference systems (kilometre line next to the track
and track centreline in the middle of the track), which represents an additional
error in an ETCS project. An ETCS project using these plan values runs
significant risks.
2.4 Determination of distances between signalling elements
Usually the kilometre line of a two track railway line is situated between the two
tracks and, in case of a single track line, in the middle of the track. Nonetheless,
there are local deviations from this rule: two track railway lines with numerous
curves would yield for an identical position of a balise group different distance
lengths in parallel tracks. This effect clearly shows that positions on the base of
kilometre lines are not adequate for the calculation of lengths.
In case of existing signalling elements are stored already in a Geographical
Information System (GIS) than the required distances may be determined with
high precision. The ETCS elements, however, will in general be subject to new
engineering and implementation projects and are therefore normally not captured
in a GIS system since they do not yet physically exist. The real exact position
needs to be determined after installation by a new detailed measurement in order
to obtain GIS entries, which translates into additional efforts. Furthermore, the
project owners do in many cases not have up to date GIS data available for the
existing equipments of a particular section or the entire line.
Also during installation of the balises uncertainties may occur, for example a
wrong position of a group of balises due to installation measurement errors. The
often used measurement wheel yields position accuracies of about 1% when
carefully used. The precision will suffer, however, when starting and target point
of such measurements have been determined imprecisely themselves, if

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363

measurement needs to be interrupted or if the rail had not been alternated


correctly in curves.
An ETCS project must, however, be based on verified data and installations.
For relevant signalling elements in the track, the references to the respective
track centreline and amongst themselves need to be known. Furthermore, the
distances along the track centreline must be measured correctly. The traditional
method for this is a terrestrial precision measurement which provides very
precise data that can be stored into a GIS. The basic disadvantage for these full
terrestrial measurements and the often required supplementary measurements
during realization is the high effort that needs to be invested, in particular for
long lines and also possible traffic interruptions.
As an alternative to full terrestrial measurements the SAT.engine tool had
been developed.

3 SAT.engine
3.1 The measurement process
SAT.engine consists of a position acquisition system, a synchronized video
stream recording system and an offline SW-engineering environment for further
data processing. The system had been jointly developed by the Dresden
University of Technology and the ISV mbH.
SAT.engine uses the DGPS (GPS with differential correction) complemented
by an Inertial Navigation System. The support positions delivered by DGPS are
optimized by the inertial momentum measurement system (accelerations in six
directions); also, short discontinuities in the DGPS correction are interpolated by
the dynamic measurements without problems. The process yields distance
measurements that satisfy the ETCS requirements.
The utilized correction services depend on the geographical situation of the
line, the topological conditions and the service availability; typically the system
uses services such as OmniSTAR HP/VBS, WAAS/EGNOS or Ascos with
correction data transmission over GSM-R or GSM.
In tunnels of up to 450m in length, the measurement configuration supplies
accurate data; beyond this length additional sensors are required (e.g. odometry).
3.2 Onboard measurement setup
Every rail vehicle with a front end cabin (and window) is well suited for a
measurement setup. The configuration consists of a few units only: Video
cameras are fixed at the screen for extended purposes also at side windows
and loosely cabled; the GPS-antenna needs rapid fixing on top of the vehicle.
The compact inertial sensor device requires physical coupling to any solid
vehicle part and a laptop computer with the SAT.engine online measurement
software coordinates the devices.
Preparation times including calibrations for a measurement does not exceed a
couple of hours (e.g. two to four) and dismantling is quick. Measurement travel
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364 Computers in Railways XII


speeds are in the range of 30km/h to 100km/h, which provides for effective
measurements of also larger distances.
The 315 line kilometres of the BB-Westbahn as an example (Danube
Corridor Vienna-Salzburg) had been measured in both directions within two
days. Serving for the intended ETCS Level 1 equipment, the positions and
distances of and between Pre- and Main Signals had been measured, Marshalling
Sign Positions, Switch Tongues, Tunnel Entries as well as platform extremity
positions and other data, all with respect to the respective track centreline.
3.3 Data processing and measurement accuracy
The measured raw data are further processed by means of particular software
tools. The obtained Element Data are visualized and ordered in a Graph Model
with vertices and edges. Each edge and every element situated on an edge is
identified by an unambiguous data structure; contents and representation of the
structures are defined per project. Data are prepared as Element Lists and are
stored in a database and/or used with other project engineering tools; also an
import/export to CAD tools can be activated.
The recorded video data supplies information on the local surroundings in the
course of further engineering and realisation.
Figure 3 shows as an example as snapshot of an Element List. Start and
Terminal Nodes of an Edge are constituted by switch tongues (Pxx) of switches
(WZ).
StationCode

Nr.

Track /
line

23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

L1
L1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Edge-ID

23-K1_1
23-K1_1
23-K1_1
23-K1_1
23-K1_1
23-K2_1
23-K2_1
23-K3_1
23-K3_1
23-K3_1
23-K3_1
23-K3_1
23-K3_1
23-K4_1
23-K4_1

Element-ID

Distance to
start of edge
[m]

23-00054IV_1
23-00297OR_1
23-00055HS_1
23-U1_1
23-WZP03_1
23-WZP03_1
23-WZP05_1
23-WZP05_1
23-D3_1
23-00057HS_1
23-00059HS_1
23-U3_1
23-WZP06_1
23-WZP06_1
23-WZP04_1

0,0
1048,8
2046,1
2053,0
2365,0
0,0
20,6
0,0
96,5
103,6
1432,7
1440,1
1539,2
0,0
20,5

Delivered for Information only


GPS Coordinates in WGS 84
UTM-Coordinates in WGS 84
Zone 39R
Longitude []
Latitude []
East value E [m] North value N [m]
4932'08.296"
4931'56.706"
4931'53.217"
4931'53.208"
4931'52.805"
4931'52.805"
4931'52.778"
4931'52.778"
4931'52.656"
4931'52.647"
4931'52.520"
4931'52.566"
4931'53.180"
4931'53.180"
4931'53.311"

2543'19.445"
2542'47.086"
2542'14.901"
2542'14.677"
2542'04.545"
2542'04.545"
2542'03.875"
2542'03.875"
2542'00.741"
2542'00.510"
2541'17.402"
2541'17.166"
2541'13.993"
2541'13.993"
2541'13.337"

353096,9
352762,8
352654,6
352654,3
352639,6
352639,6
352638,6
352638,6
352634,1
352633,8
352615,5
352616,7
352632,8
352632,8
352636,2

2845720,1
2844728,1
2843738,9
2843732,0
2843420,4
2843420,4
2843399,8
2843399,8
2843303,4
2843296,3
2841970,0
2841962,8
2841865,0
2841865,0
2841844,7

= Start of edge (node)


= End of edge (node)

Figure 3:

Extract from an element list (four successive edges).

Figure 4:

SAT.engine TV certificate.

WIT Transactions on The Built Environment, Vol 114, 2010 WIT Press
www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-3509 (on-line)

Computers in Railways XII

365

SAT.engine does not suffer of accumulating errors, all measurement points


are situated on the WGS 84 ellipsoid with approximately the same errors. Route
lengths differences between any elements on any map are provided with
comparable uncertainties, independent of the length itself. All distances are
supplied with a tolerance of 1m. This value is based on the experiences of
several commercial projects and has bee