FuTRO briefing document


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FuTRO briefing document

  1. 1. 1 Future Traffic Regulation Optimisation (FuTRO) T952 Introduction The vision for how the future railway will conceptually operate is embedded across the Rail Technical Strategy (RTS) 2012 1 . The many aspects of the RTS vision will have implications for the optimisation of traffic regulation in this future world. Hence they have implications for the programme named Future Traffic Regulation Optimisation (FuTRO). Fundamental to the vision of the RTS are the 4C’s, which have been used to position technical thinking at a step change, not an incremental level. The 4C’s objectives are:  Reduce carbon by 50%  Increase capacity by 50%  Decrease cost  Improve customer satisfaction The ability to regulate trains so that they are in the right place, at the right time is central to addressing all of these challenges. FuTRO is therefore seen as a key feature in delivering the wider RTS vision. The estimated business benefit associated with implementation of FuTRO is between £200m-£400m per annum, representing a significant saving to the industry as a whole. Time and position are core elements for efficient railway operations, and safety demands that no two trains occupy the same point on the network at the same time. Managing train movement in real-time, or near real-time, is essential for optimising network use. Important features include the ability to respond to business requirements, be they energy- saving, optimising capacity or an urgent freight delivery. The ability to keep operators and customers much better informed is an important related benefit. To optimise traffic regulation, the Technical Strategy Leadership Group (TSLG) 1 The RTS2012 can be found at the following link: http://www.futurerailway.org/RTS/About/Pages/Download-the-RTS.aspx
  2. 2. 2 is sponsoring the FuTRO, which is a collaborative industry programme facilitated by RSSB and with active participation from Network Rail and other rail stakeholders. Aims FuTRO seeks to provide the framework for innovative ways to address vital aspects of train operation, leading to the optimisation of traffic regulation. FuTRO will develop and deploy a range of tools within this framework to reconcile the railway's obligations relating to punctuality, demand, flexibility, cost, energy/power and customer satisfaction. FuTRO will call upon real-time information on train location and speed and offer real-time instructions to the train. The outcome will be a railway that is regulated dynamically according to policies that are in place at particular times, policies which include the need to maximise capacity, minimise energy use, recover from perturbations etc. FuTRO will not be a safety critical system 2 in the near to medium term, but could be so in the longer term future. FuTRO will be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the industry and responsive to technology opportunities that arise. Scope The project recognises the challenges of developing tools that together deliver such a regulation system, one that is agile, demand driven and real-time, together with the human factors implications of introducing such a system. The FuTRO project has identified principle requirements to accommodate the full range of transport and customer needs for the future:  To provide outputs that enable optimal decisions on regulation in the context of the ‘big picture’ view of the situation, including optimising across control boundaries.  To be immune to changes to organisational and industry structures.  To support real-time or near real-time capabilities to establish a flexible timetable when recovering from periods of disruption. 2 That is, it is not currently part of the control layer, it is in the management layer
  3. 3. 3  To have the capacity to use a range of policies and related criteria to optimise network performance  To offer personal journey management  To provide information that is useful, user-friendly, reliable, accurate, timely, and tailored to personal or business needs  To provide decision support based on policies in force  To provide an understanding of potential constraints from rules, regulations and policies  To offer the ability to assimilate and take account of an array of inputs including condition information, environmental requirements, congestion, resource and asset demand. To this end, FuTRO will involve not only the development of the algorithms but also research into optimisation formulations and algorithms. The tools in FuTRO will be such that they are adaptable to take account of emerging technology both in better computing facilities as well as emerging algorithms in the field. FuTRO will exhibit a range of characteristics, some of which will be realised sooner than others. Future-proofing, adaptability and scalability will be key drivers in defining the optimised regulation solution. High availability and resilience, plus flexibility are considered essential attributes of FuTRO in order to provide the guarantees to deliver against agreed service levels for the next 30 years. The system will be flexible enough to use dynamic requirements for regulation that optimise against defined criteria. This will involve not only the development of algorithms but research into optimisation formulations. Context FuTRO has a number of dependencies with respect to work already in progress to develop the railway infrastructure. It assumes that the Network Rail Traffic Management programme will be delivered successfully over the next five years, together with the exploitation of technologies to deliver improved train positioning, driver advisory and control systems. FuTRO will need to be procured and delivered in such a way as to retain supplier options so that the best interests of the wider railway are secured. FuTRO should be flexible and adaptable and unconstrained by any particular item of equipment or system.
  4. 4. 4 FuTRO also accepts these key assumptions:  Trains will still be formed of carriages  Vehicles will run on tracks  In-cab, lineside, or a combination form of signalling will still exist  Trains will be staffed Methodology In order to deliver FuTRO, it has been agreed that a number of consortia, working together under the principles of Open Innovation, may be the best approach. The consortia would ideally include representatives from the fields of innovation and academia would work closely, sharing the intellectual property rights of any new developments. The process draws upon the experience of the Technical Strategy Board (TSB) and a series of calls addressing the identified challenges are envisaged. RSSB will contract with consortia, which will have an agreed specification against which to work. This will encourage innovation and encourage new knowledge to influence downstream development, ultimately leading to testing, trials and implementation. Next Steps An introduction to FuTRO for suppliers and academia will be held on 1 st May 2013. This event will elaborate on the content of this briefing note, and provide further context in terms of current European projects. There will be more information about open innovation and possible funding mechanisms. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to network, and to seek out potential future partners. Following the event a series of calls will be made based on the challenges faced by FuTRO. Work packages will be developed for the individual projects to deliver the required technologies. Inputs from academia, rail and non-rail industry suppliers will be invited and integrated with innovation and technology from both within the UK and abroad. Contact
  5. 5. 5 Louise Webb, Strategic Research Manager R&D Programme RSSB Louise.webb@rssb.co.uk