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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Enhanced COntrol centres for fixed and Moving Block sIgNalling systEms - 2


COMBINE 2 aims at investigating an innovative solution for managing rail traffic in real time, to provide improved service and better exploitation of existing infrastructure. The proposed solution utilises detailed real time information on train positioning to provide timely short-term plans and optimise train speeds accordingly. COMBINE 2 extends the research developed within the COMBINE project (which focused on a local area equipped with moving block) to large networks equipped with fixed and moving block signalling systems. COMBINE 2 will achieve its objective by means of state of the art scheduling algorithms and co-ordination policies for managing the interaction among Traffic Management Systems (TMSs) controlling adjacent railway areas. A demonstrator will be developed, able to deal with large networks equipped with different signalling systems. The demonstrator will be validated via simulation, and utilised to evaluate the potential benefits of a new generation of TMSs.

COMBINE 2 will assess the competitive advantage of using the traffic management approach to increase railways capacity without adding infrastructure or changing signalling systems, thus helping railway companies to improve their services to passengers and freight operators. COMBINE 2 will assess the impact on rail traffic management of installing in-vehicle positioning and communication equipment, in order to reduce the technical gap between current and future signalling systems. COMBINE 2 will target the new generation of TMSs able to manage efficiently large railways networks equipped with mixed signalling systems. To reach these objectives, COMBINE 2 will also devise new approaches for traffic optimisation and new methodologies for managing the interaction among TMSs controlling adjacent railway areas.

Work description:
COMBINE 2 is a follow-up of the EC FP4 TAP/TR4004 project COMBINE. It starts by expanding the user requirements of that project, in order to drive the definition of the overall system architecture and the identification of the methodologies for the conflict resolution and interaction among TMSs. A demonstrator is implemented on the basis of the results of the previous activities. It is composed of a network of advanced TMSs, able to deal with large networks equipped with fixed and moving block signalling systems, and by a communication manager devoted to co-ordinate the real-time interaction among TMSs controlling adjacent railway areas. The development phase comprises the specification of components, the design of their interfaces, the implementation and test of the software code. The integration of subsystems with a state-of-the-art railway simulator leads to the verification phase to test the Demonstrator in a simulated context. A verification plan will be prepared by users at an early stage, to check user acceptance of the Demonstrator. An evaluation task devoted to final assessment and quality assurance is performed throughout the project life cycle, with the goal to assess the project added value. A specific task will be devoted to dissemination from the very beginning to the end of the project in order to contribute to the visibility and to the exploitation of the COMBINE 2 scientific, technological and practical results within the railway community. All these activities will be carried out by all COMBINE 2 Consortium partners, which includes railway experts, industrial companies, IT professionals and academic partners.

Month 4: User requirements, overall system architecture, methodologies for the conflict resolution and interaction among TMSs;
Month 7: Demonstrator architecture and specification;
Month 13: Demonstrator implementation;
Month 16: Integration with field simulator;
Month 19: Project assessment;
Month 20: Completion of Technology Implementation Plan.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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16126 GENOVA

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Total cost
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Participants (8)