ERTMS Strategic design and decision making

ERTMS is a very complex, high-impact and costly system with many stakeholders and regulations. Efios supports governments, infrastructure managers and train operating companies in their strategic assessment how to deal with the upcoming transitions to ERTMS. This support can include technical assessment, strategic design, advanced risk management, (using Stanford’s SDRM methodologies) operational management or European Tenders. For example, Efios supported the Dutch Ministry of Public Works and the ERTMS Programme in the Netherlands in the requirements specifications, stakeholder analysis and European tender design and evaluation of the ERTMS Academy assets.

ERTMS Technology: cold movement detection and LiDar for odometry

LiDAR technology for odometry at SBB. NS installed the same setup for the PoC.

Efios was asked to manage a proof of concept project for novel technologies including third generation odometry precision and optical (LiDar) speed acquisition to increase the reliability of NS fleet when trains will be equipped with ERTMS. The installations have been mounted on a TRAXX locomotive to generate data, which was subsequently analysed by NS and the relevant suppliers. Similar projects for cold movement detection and the usage of acceleration sensors where initiated, but never became a viable empiric proof of concept.
(see also: our projects)

ERTMS Test Management

NS – SLT temporarily equipped with Bombardier ERTMS.

Efios has managed years of ERTMS testing programs on behalf of the Netherlands Ministry of Public Works, ProRail (infrastructure manager) and the train operators including NS and Eurostar. These ERTMS  tests were performed on the HSL-Zuid (ERTMS L2/ERTMS L1), Amsterdam-Utrecht (ERTMS L2 in Dual Signaling) and Hanzelijn (ERTMS L2 in Dual Signaling). The objective of these ERTMS testing programs were aimed at infrastructure compatibility, operational readiness and performance testing as well as rolling stock and infrastructure admission. Rolling stock include Sprinter Light Train SLT (L2, temporarily 2014-2016) BR186-TRAXX (L1 and L2), BR189 (L2), Thalys (L2), ICE3 (L2), V250 (L1 and L2) and smaller programs for BR203 (L2).

Simulated design and Human Factors

Human-in-the-loop experiment for L2 transitions in 2014 and 2015.

We have managed several projects that were aimed at measuring the human impact of changes in ERTMS operational rules, changes in infrastructure and other human-in-the-loop experiments. Since the transition of legacy systems to ERTMS is complex and has a major impact on train drivers and operators, simulation can provide early signals of expected workload as well as feedback for design choices.

  • Operational rules; based a new proposed sets for ERTMS operational rules and the subsequent implementation in the driver’s manual and train dispatcher’s manual, develop realistic scenario’s between train drivers and train dispatchers to test the joint feasibility of operational rules and the impact in specific infrastructure situations (for example, tunnels / border crossings, etc.)
  • Proposed changes in infrastructure; for a new transition area, the infrastructure manager ProRail asked for a simulation of train driver workload analysis when exposed to different alternatives for the transition. These alternatives included shifting the ATB-ERTMS L2 transition area further away from the voltage change over (VCO) area and alternatives for geolocation (% incline, visibility of CAB signals, etc).
  • Human-in-the-loop; simulation of traindriver workload in transition areas (ATB-ERTMS and vice versa) by setting up an experiment where train drivers were asked to execute several scenario’s, whilst monitoring and recording their braking behaviour and recording their eye-tracking.
    (see also: our projects)

Training Simulator: apply learnings from the aviation sector to ERTMS staff training.