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Train control system

Train control system

The Trainguard MT CBTC solution is the most widely used automatic train control system today and serving 25 metro operators around the world.

Efficient use of existing railroad infrastructure is a challenge for cities throughout the world. With the Siemens Trainguard MT system, the capacity of a metro line can be increased by up to 50 per cent while energy consumption is cut by 30 per cent. But every technical or operating fault has a negative impact on availability and the planned sequence of operations. Siemens is working on software that helps rail operators make the best use of all available capacities and resources and that suggests tailored solutions for scheduling and maintenance. This collaborative decision-making is based on individual operative and economic performance indicators of the rail operator and on the networking of different areas of work.

With Trainguard MT automatic train control, the movement authority and control commands are not indicated by signals but issued via data communication between the rail vehicle and the trackside equipment (Communication Based Train Control, CBTC). A trackside computer tracks all trains in the assigned section of line and calculates an appropriate movement authority for each train. To achieve this, the trainÂ’s control computers constantly exchange data with the control centre by radio.

Automatically controlled vehicles consume less energy, thanks to the optimisation of their acceleration, traction and braking processes. Depending on the degree of automation, energy consumption can be cut by as much as 30 per cent. At the same time, shorter headways are achieved, thanks to “moving block operation”, a method of maintaining headway based on relative braking distance. This can increase the capacity of a metro line by up to 50 per cent and make short headways of 80 to 90 sec possible. At the same time, train punctuality is improved. Based on the line data, the automated system calculates exactly how and where a train has to be accelerated and braked to arrive punctually at the next station. If passenger volume is high, additional trains can be deployed independently of the regular schedule.

They can be automatically sent into operation straight from the depot at the touch of a button.

Every fault that occurs in a rapid transit network reduces its capacity. For example, a metro line is generally barred from use after a switch or signal failure. Both the maintenance manager and the dispatcher then have to decide as quickly as possible how to respond in order to minimise the negative organisational and economic impacts. Effective fault management saves time and annoyance for passengers and money for the transit operator, for, depending on the applicable laws and contracts, delays can result in considerable fines or compensation payments. This decision-making is consistently based on the goals and key performance indicators (KPI) of the operator, for example, in terms of headway, transport capacity, missed connections, penalties for non-fulfilment of transit services, energy consumption, or costs for a substitute bus service. An innovative IT system works out possible solutions based on the KPIs and various customer-specific data and suggests an appropriate remedial action to the operator. Lessened fault impacts, minimised delays, reduced maintenance costs, and optimised use of equipment are the positive results of using this technology.

Article courtesy: Siemens

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