Bill Palazzi, Palazzi Rail - The Automatic Train Protection (ATP) Program


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Bill Palazzi, Rail Consultant, Palazzi Rail Pty Ltd delivered the presentation at ARA’s Telecommunications & Train Control Conference 2014.

The ARA’s Telecommunications & Train Control Conference 2014 brought together passenger and freight rail operators, transport agencies, track owners, regulators and technology suppliers to assess telecommunications solutions and explored the capabilities of a shared future.

For more information about the event, please visit:

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Bill Palazzi, Palazzi Rail - The Automatic Train Protection (ATP) Program

  1. 1. ATP / ETCS in Sydney Investing in technology to improve commuter safety and service reliability Bill Palazzi, palazzirail Technical Manager, TfNSW Advanced Train Control Systems Program 11 August 2014
  2. 2. Drivers of the current ATP programme • Waterfall Rail Accident and Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry • Safety benefit for customers • Enabler for future capacity improvements
  3. 3. The ATP journey thus far … 3 DATE ACTIVITIES 2006 • Recommendation that RailCorp implement an ATP system 2008 • ETCS Level 1 Pilot Trial Complete 2010 • Funding approved for first ATP Package 2011 • Contract for supply of first package awarded to Alstom • ATP works begin on Main North Line 2012 • Contract for installation of equipment on Oscar trains awarded to Alstom • RailCorp System Testing 1 • Consolidated Train Operating System (TOS) rollout 2013 • RailCorp System Testing 2 2014 / 2015 • Oscar Fleet Rollout • Tangara Fleet Rollout
  4. 4. 2012: Plan for Sydney’s Rail Future 4 Introduction of Automatic Train Operations
  5. 5. Why reconsider the approach to ATP deployment? 5 • To align with the direction set out in Sydney’s Rail Future • The current funding approval only deals with part of the network. • It would also be desirable to leverage off the investment in ATP for performance improvements as well as safety. • Need to provide for higher performance at train frequencies of 20 per hour on key corridors. Advanced systems will be a key component in achieving this. • Need for replacement of large, life expired signalling installations. • Technology has changed – ETCS Level 2 is now a reality.
  6. 6. 6 Objective of any Rail Systems initiative • Any strategy for rail systems must align with the vision for Sydney’s Rail Future and contribute to TfNSW’s Strategic Business Requirements: – Safety – enhance and maintain safety for passengers, staff and others – Cost – reduced project, operational and maintenance costs – Capacity – optimise the capacity of the network, to meet service requirements – Carbon – move towards intelligent systems that optimise train movements to reduce energy consumption – Customer Satisfaction – improve reliability, provide a platform to support initiatives such as consolidated control.
  7. 7. 7 System Options Existing (train stops) Intermittent ATP + Resignal Intermittent ATP Overlay Continuous ATP Overlay System defined by existing signalling. ATP simply takes the place of trainstops. Existing system is optimised to achieve full benefits of ATP – for example, removal of overlaps, removal of signals possible (if in-cab). Continuous ATP + In-Cab + moving block Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + moving block Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + moving block + ATR / ATS Moving block results in minimal trackside equipment (no track circuits required). Control of trains by driver. SPAD protection is reactive (trainstops). Driver drives, but speed profile enforced by the system. Authority from lineside signals. Driver may be present but automatic operation is possible, to limits enforced by ATP. Driver drives, but speed profile enforced by the system. Authority from lineside or in-cab. Driver may be present but automatic operation is possible, plus dynamic regulation of trains. Continuous ATP + Resignal Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + Resignal Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + virtual blocks Continuous ATP + In-Cab + virtual blocks Fixed blocks remain, but are augmented using virtual blocks to provide increased capacity. Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + virtual blocks + ATR / ATS Continuous ATP + In-Cab + ATO + Resignal + ATR /ATS Scope of existing ATP project Scope of proposed L2 trial To be implemented on NWRL Variants of ETCS L1 Variants of ETCS L2 Variants of ETCS L3 / CBTC Note: ‘In-Cab’ refers to in-cab signalling Increasing Automation SimplerSignalling Existing Signalling in Sydney Ideal, long term target
  8. 8. 8 Long term vision for systems Real-time service data to passengers Trains operate when scheduled. Automatic Train Operation provides increased capacity and smoother travel Additional capacity provides opportunities for freight. Safety ensured by on-board Automatic Train Protection Energy use is optimised Capacity maximised through moving block systems Reduced trackside infrastructure, increased worker safety Costs reduced through standardisation and automation. Effective management of incidents to allow the network to keep operating. Systems are easily upgraded with no operational impact. Self healing systems minimise impacts of failure.
  9. 9. Anticipated benefits from moving to cab signalling Strategic Business Requirement Advanced Train Control Systems Contribution Safety • SPAD protection • Overspeed protection • Maintenance worker safety Cost Simplified trackside infrastructure leads to • Lower capital costs • Lower operational and maintenance costs Capacity • Consistency in train behaviour • Reduced platform re-occupation times • Increased capacity Carbon • Optimised energy consumption for trains • Reduced energy consumption by trackside infrastructure Customer Satisfaction • Higher performance / higher reliability services • Lower operational impact during project work • Reduced journey times 9
  10. 10. SPAD protection 10
  11. 11. Overspeed protection 11
  12. 12. Simplified trackside infrastructure 12 … by the use of cab signalling
  13. 13. Simplified trackside infrastructure 13 ETCS Level 2 requires: • Train detection (track circuits or axle counters) • Balises (for odometry correction) • Point machines and detection
  14. 14. Cab signalling 14 Benefits will include: • Lower capital costs – typically put at 40% or less of the equivalent conventional arrangement • Lower maintenance costs • Less need for workers to be trackside = higher levels of safety
  15. 15. The difference this could make … 15 Top signalling failure categories , Oct – Dec 2011 Not required with cab signalling Potential to use axle counters to provide higher reliability
  16. 16. braking distance overlapsighting Emergency braking applied by trainstop if necessary, to stop train within overlap Line speed Stopped Normal operation at service braking, to stop at red signal Train must clear this overlap before the first red signal will change to yellow One clear block (= braking distance) Track blocks regulate train separation but also demonstrate train integrity Minimum separation between following trains Increasing capacity 16 Traditional signalling with trainstops ATP Level 2 (Continuous ATP) braking distance Line speed Stopped ATP enforces normal operation at service braking, to ensure train stops at block point ATP Train must move to next block before following train’s movement authority can be extended Data radio communication to trains Signals removed, blocks represented in on-board system Block point ATP overlapone clear block‘Sighting distance’ eliminated by continuous update via radio Minimum separation between following trains Minimum separation between following trains
  17. 17. Reducing platform reoccupation times 17 • Modelling suggests that re-spacing of blocks through core areas can reduce platform reoccupation times by over 15 seconds Source – David Morton, Siemens, presentation to WCRR 2013 Sydney Closely spaced blocks at the rear of the platform, to provide an updated movement authority to the following train as soon as possible. Direction of travel
  18. 18. Outcomes from modelling work 18 Operational target – 24tph Modelling of ETCS L1 for Sydney – max. 22tph Modelling of ETCS L2 for Sydney – max. 24tph ThamesLink target for L2 w.ATO – 24tph Outcome of Line Capacity Study with ATP/ATO – max. 26tph Notional outcome – 30tph No clear view on timing of a high capacity version of L3 Examples exist worldwide of capacity 30tph and above Capacity limit under a moving block system likely to be as a result of corridor and alignment parameters Modelling of ETCS L2 in Brisbane (90 sec dwell)
  19. 19. Area controlled by Sydney Interlocking Area controlled by North Sydney Interlocking Area controlled by Strathfield Interlocking 19 Upcoming asset renewals
  20. 20. Possible approach to deployment 20 Train control location Interlocking location Trackside interface location Signal Track circuit boundary Trainstop Point machine Main cables Local cables New equipment deployed in parallel with existing signalling. Change-over to new system once equipment is proven, processes are established and staff are trained. Train control location Interlocking location Trackside interface location New cabling to connect to existing point machines Axle counter head Existing signalling equipment shown in black New signalling equipment shown in red Block lengths optimised for new configuration Passive balise
  21. 21. Grade of Automation Type of Train Operation Sets Train in Motion Stopping Train Door Closure Operation in event of Disruption GoA1 ETCS L2 With Driver Driver Driver Driver Driver GoA2 ETCS L2 & ATO With Driver Automatic Automatic Driver Driver GoA3 Driverless Automatic Automatic Train Attendant Train Attendant GoA4 Unattended Train Operation Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic Grades of Automation 21 Work on ATO with ETCS L2 is currently focussed on GoA2
  22. 22. Optimisation of energy consumption with ATO 22 Source – David Morton, Siemens, presentation to WCRR 2013 Sydney • There are four driving phases: acceleration, cruising, coasting and braking. • The ATO algorithm optimizes the cruising and coasting phases.
  23. 23. Optimisation of energy consumption with ATO 23 Source – UNISIG specification for ATO with ETCS Non-optimised approach to a station
  24. 24. Optimisation of energy consumption with ATO 24 Source – UNISIG specification for ATO with ETCS Energy-optimised approach to a station. Estimates of the energy saving possible range between 10 and 40%.
  25. 25. The flip side of cab signalling … 25 A critical dependency on telecommunications
  26. 26. DTRS and ETCS Level 2 26 – Capability to support ETCS L2 From the DTRS contract: “The minimum requirements must be capable of delivering, subject to necessary future BTS augmentation, all requirements for ETCS Level 2 ATP circuit switched data between Radio Block Centres.” Capacity to support ETCS L2 Do we need to increase the number of transceivers in any BTSs? Should we move to GPRS? – Coverage to support ETCS L2 Do we need to provide additional BTSs?
  27. 27. Summary • In response to the release of Sydney's Rail Future, TfNSW is taking the opportunity to revisit the ATP and systems strategy for Sydney, with a focus on the strategic business requirements of Safety, Cost, Capacity, Carbon and Customer Satisfaction. • Adopting cab signalling using ETCS Level 2 presents an opportunity for substantial benefits to the Sydney network. • There is a fair bit of water to go under the bridge yet, but some of the issues and strategies discussed in this presentation may form part of the ultimate solution. 27
  28. 28. Questions?