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Innovative Intelligent Rail

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IN2RAIL (Innovative Intelligent Rail)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2018-04-30

The European railway network has been incrementally developed over many years and currently consists of a patchwork of components, systems and discrete incremental technical improvements. Due to this legacy the network is prone to performance issues. Asset maintenance activities historically follow costly time-based regimes, whilst train movement management and the link to asset management is distributed over a wide range of information systems. Traction power systems incur high distribution energy losses and no control systems exist to balance energy demands and ensure integrity of supply.
It has been predicted that there will be unprecedented future demand for growth in rail transportation. I2R sets the foundations for a resilient, cost-efficient, high capacity European network by delivering important building blocks that unlock the innovation potential that exist in S2R. The I2R overall objectives are to make advances towards achieving the global S2R objectives of capacity, reliability and life cycle costing.
This is being achieved by the adoption of a whole system approach. I2R contains three core sub-projects that link together infrastructure re-design and associated asset maintenance, with rail traffic control and traction energy management.
Due to the complexity of the project specific emphasis has been placed on creating governance processes, analytical methodologies and technical frameworks that both stimulated innovation and aided integrated system designs. These processes have been successfully implemented and duly evidenced by the positive technical progress achieved within all work packages.
The work programmes have specifically addressed incremental improvements to existing systems in acknowledgment that it is possible to achieve valuable improvements from relatively small interventions focussed on solutions for known significant failure modes.
Other aspects of the project have been orientated towards more radical change and have pursued new solutions that offer a potential for step-change of design/production methods. New tools to manage innovation, systems integration and “Value Engineering” principles have been developed.
System performance has been considered from the perspective of adopting condition- and/or risk-based maintenance strategies and has resulted in the production of an asset management framework supporting dynamic track maintenance models.
Strong emphasis has been given to a data-centric based philosophy that will represent the fundamentals of train movement operational control; and any infrastructure changes have considered the application of low cost sensors that enable these maintenance and train planning models to function in real time.
The functional requirements specifications for the train management system short/long term forecasting has been completed, and form the concept definition of the “Systems Integration Layer” that is the central applications kernel. In recognition that energy demands are likely to increase significant progress has been made in producing design models that reflect more accurately the energy flows within the traction power system and consider public grid connection interface requirements and progression towards a digital sub-station concept using IEC 61850 principles.
The project has produced a total of 67 deliverables. The key results are as follows:
•All governance and management activities performed in accordance with plans.
•Fundamental principles, system functional requirements set & ideas workshops completed
•Sensor applications for S&C whole-system monitoring established
•Universal value analysis process developed
•Radical concept considering ‘back-of-flange guidance’ simulated
•Rail break reports from Infrastructure companies have been compiled
•LCC predictive models have been used in the research to find enhancements/solutions
•Specification requirements on new inspection technology defined.
•Key parameters identified to reduce allowable track possession for inspection taking into account LCC and safety
•Existing technology that is suitable for inspection for different types of assets identified
•Specification of the main influential parameters and mechanisms related to the track geometry and rail thermal stress monitoring defined
•Report listing relevant inputs for maintenance strategies including the sources is complete
•Definition of the asset management framework and models for optimized decision making around UIC model
•Analysis of Functional Requirements completed
•Standardised Operators Workstation specification complete
•System Architecture, Data Structure and Data Management agreed
•Functional Requirements of the Integration Layer defined
•Definition of TMS critical variables for each railway asset established
•Identification of the requirements for big data IT architecture completed
•Definition of the “nowcasting” and “forecasting” analytics algorithms defined
•Three “Use Cases” and input data defined
•Traction load flow simulations performed
•Data collection, protocols, interfaces, gateways and data management defined
•Systems integration validation audit conducted
•Pan Work Package “deliverables” reviews performed
Each of the individual Work Package task activities have been developed with respect to the technical progress beyond the current “State of the Art”:
Smart Infrastructure
• Innovative S&C Solutions: S&C fundamentals examined from first principles and requirements specifications prepared & subjected to a “value engineering” process. Redesign has considered system redundancy, reliability and self-adjustment.
• Optimised track system: A number of novel formation treatments have been investigated with respect to improving the track support structure.
• Bridges & Tunnels: Data acquisition methodologies not previously used in a railway environment have been evaluated based on the need for track access and hence reducing traffic disturbance.
• COTS Monitoring: System algorithms have been developed to establish the technical means by which asset management parameters specific to track geometry assessment and SFT values can be established using normal revenue vehicles.
• Asset Maintenance Strategies: Outline for system based maintenance strategy framework has been developed. Two examples, track and S&C, modelling techniques combining data sets and representation are defined.
Intelligent Mobility Management
Integrated approach to Traffic Management System: specifications for the fully-automated TMS to enable integration with improved maintenance and development of a standardised operator workstation.
Rail Power Supply and Energy Management:
• Intelligent AC power supply system: Modelling tools to establish new designs that reduce losses and enables lower energy usage
• Smart Metering: System level analysis, including sub-station, trackside equipment energy evaluation and metering