Interoperability Advisor
26 June 2020

Interoperability Advisor

Project: ETCS-ATMS Interoperability Advisor
Client: Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW)
Timescale: October 2019 - April 2020

Railways across Australia are pursuing the implementation of various forms of advanced signalling, whereby the use of lineside signals as the primary means of provision of a movement authority to in-cab signalling computers and eventually to the driver. Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have chosen suitable technologies that take into account the specific characteristic of their railway network. TfNSW’s Digital Systems (DS) initiative will replace lineside signals with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 as its core Automatic Train Protection component. ARTC is implementing a GPS based new train control system, Advanced Train Management System (ATMS), which is being developed to meet the requirements of a long distance and geographically spread network managed by ARTC.

SYSTRA has been engaged, as a technical advisor, to develop technical options and select a preferred solution that enables trains equipped with ATMS trainborne equipment to be able to travel through ETCS Level 2 areas of the Sydney network without lineside signals. We also established a project plan for the development and delivery of the interoperability solution within the Digital Systems Program.

SYSTRA’s project team consisted of project management, rail systems, human factors and safety assurance specialists. The team worked closely with TfNSW, ARTC and their stakeholders to deliver the project outcomes.

SYSTRA analysed the feasibility of the options in 3 stages. Stage 1 of the study determined the technical viability of each of the identified interoperability options. SYSTRA reviewed available documentation on ATMS, DSP and ETCS. We then developed options using a systems engineering approach and the technical merit of each option was assessed. Stage 2 included the analysis of wider considerations for the technically viable options including commercial considerations, operational impact, safety, human factors and deliverability (scope and delivery). The final stage of the study included the assessment of the options against selection criteria agreed and in consultation with stakeholders to select a preferred option.

Once the preferred option was selected, SYSTRA conducted further analysis of the option and then developed a project plan for the delivery of the solution within the Digital Systems program. The plan included project definition and scope, delivery schedule, governance recommendations, risk assessment and management, internal and external project interfaces, Engineering and design approach definition, business readiness approach and recommendations on procurements and packaging.

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