Safe Train Control

Publish Date :July 18, 2016
Summary :

On the Control Center, the ETC has a set of applications which assists the dispatchers to safely and efficiently control the movement of trains on the railway. The central component is the Safe Train Control (STC), a scalable solution that operates in both signaling and non-signaling environments and is independent of the communication infrastructure adopted.

The software follows AAR General Code of Operations Rules and ensures that two trains do not occupy a segment of the track in opposite directions by implementing a strong interlocking algorithm for dark territory.

STC is user friendly, with a customizable dispatcher display, video wall, a complete set of alarms and a high safety level authority process.

Drag-and-drop authority process The Operation Console allows the dispatcher to open a route or issue an authority by means of a simple drag-and-drop action

Graphic-aided authority process The dispatchers should operate the railway according to the planning on the trains graph and update it with the changes in the schedule. In order to shorten the actions of the dispatcher, the solution has the functionality of issuing authorities and opening routes directly on the train graph.

Conditional authority
At a crossing, a train must wait for the passage of another train to be complete in order to continue its journey. For this to happen as fast as possible, the dispatcher must be alert to the passage of the train and, when it leaves the section that is ahead of the first train, issue an authority or open a route. Due to other events the dispatcher may not be aware of that, and one train could be stopped, waiting for precious minutes without any operational reason. Because of that, STC has a functionality of conditional authority that allows the dispatcher to previously setup the scenario and, when the second train clears the section, the system sends an authority or opens a route for the first train to proceed.

Stacking of Routes
A level above the conditional licensing is the stacking of routes, through which a dispatcher can setup more complex scenarios than just one crossing and the system will issue authorities or open routes accordingly.

Follow Up Dashboard The follow up dashboard is a tool of great operational value, because it centralizes many visual feedbacks, already present in the system, in one place and allows intuitively supervision of the entire control center operation. The dashboard allows actions to be taken before the KPI result is closed and the operation is impaired. Some actions could be:

adjust a drivers operation within a section if his train is going too slow to reach the transit time goal for that section;
measure production rate of a corridor in real time and modify the planning to achieve the goal.

Synoptic Panel
Through the Synoptic Panel the Control Center team monitors the entire railway.
It is the ideal tool for supervisors to identify, through the graphical representation and visual intuitive feedbacks, situations and scenarios of the operation which require some action.

Dispatchers can follow up on train movements in the railway and the state of the track elements, identifying trains that will enter his region of control in a visual and simple way.

The panel provides a representation of the logical structure of the railway. It will display any territory, regardless of the traffic control method used.

Operation Console
The operation of the railway is performed through the Operation Console. The dispatcher uses a friendly interface with simple and intuitive functionalities (point and click) to interact with trains, signaling systems (when present) and equipment along the railway. It has lots of features designed to optimize the control and the management of trains in the railway, such as the drag-and-drop authority process, conditional authority and stacking of routes.