New white paper
In May 2018, Luca Fornasiero presented a paper on ERTMS monitoring and value engineering, at the 8th International Conference on Railway Engineering (ICRE conference). This was one of three papers presented as part of the ‘Signalling and Traffic Management Systems’ session and was chaired by the Senior Asset Engineer at Network Rail, Mark Newton.
“The technical challenges of monitoring ERTMS systems & use of a value engineering approach to increase capacity & reduce costs for the rail sector” was submitted by Comtest Wireless authors Luca Fornasiero and Carlo Ughetti. It received very good feedback from both the review committee, who gave it four stars, and the delegates who attended the conference.
Value engineering approach
The paper examines how using value engineering and planning an ERTMS systems maintenance activity costs less than when you have to fix something in emergency situation and cites fie example case studies. Here are some excerpts:
“Case study number 5 – the Radio Block Centre (RBC). This ‘black box’ item of equipment is supplied by the signalling vendor and means that a rail operator can’t really test it as each signalling vendor has its own standard. Monitoring RBC performance enables an alert to be sent to the right person before it becomes a serious problem. The same can happen with the OBU and radio installed on the train. As soon as you have data indicating that one piece of equipment fails more than the others, you can analyse it properly and fix it before it fails in the field.”
“Having the data available it is very important and it is just as important to share the befit of the predictive analysis to all the stakeholders in the railway area. Considering the tendency for siloed operations in this environment, this can be a challenge. That why its important for the right people to have access to platform analysis matching the data coming from all sources, as well to give the maximum visibility of the top layer results through a web platform for example.”
Rail infrastructure operators, vendors and contractors will gain insights from the cited examples and case studies and learn how effective proactive ERTMS systems-wide monitoring and the use of ‘value engineering’ can reduce costs and improve efficiencies.