Simulation contributes to the future of Rail Transport

The railway industry is expected to experience steady growth in the foreseeable future. According to the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), the railway sector will become the backbone of Europe’s sustainable mobility system, serving both passengers and freight. For passengers, the railway system must provide seamless access to a variety of sustainable door-to-door mobility options. For freight, the goal is to transform rail freight into a highly efficient and sustainable backbone transport system for Europe’s multimodal logistics industry. However, to achieve this vision and increase transportation demand, innovative measures are required.

One significant challenge facing the railway industry is the implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). ERTMS is a unique train control system in Europe that aims to gradually replace incompatible systems in the region. The deployment of ERTMS will enable the creation of a seamless European railway system and increase European railway competitiveness. By improving the competitiveness of the rail sector, ERTMS helps to level the playing field with road and air transport bringing substantial environmental gains. Global railway companies are interested in this European leap forward.

This transition will benefit the railway industry by improving international freight and passenger transport. ERTMS offers several advantages, including cost-effective maintenance, increased safety, reliability, punctuality, and traffic capacity, which will help achieve the vision of a sustainable railway industry.

Contribution of Simulation

The transition from an analog to a digital system requires a lot from the sector and is a major task. ProRail, the Dutch infrastructure company, uses The Flexible Rail Infra Simulation of Operations (FRISO) Application developed by InControl to evaluate the effect of innovative measures and systems before putting them into practice. After implementation, the new technology will be integrally monitored by FRISO as well.

To investigate the impact of ERTMS and technical leaps, ProRail launched the SiGMaT (Simulation of Driver and Train Dispatcher User Processes) project. By using simulation the impact of ERTMS and in particular, ERTMS user processes will be investigated. ERTMS user processes describe the interaction between technology, the driver, the train dispatcher, and other users. As the supplier of simulation software, InControl is proud to contribute to the development of the Simulation environment for the SiGMaT Project.

ERTMS Development Simulation Suite

ERTMS in The Netherlands

The Operational Knowledge Centre ERTMS (OKE) aims to involve users in the preparation and implementation of ERTMS in the Netherlands. By testing ERTMS user processes with railway employees for situations where ERTMS is in use, the system can be tested to ensure that it really works in the future.

In the twelfth edition of the ERTMS OKE Talkshow “I ‚̧ԳŹ User Processes”, viewers are taken into the world of ERTMS user processes. In an interview with Jos Schoenmaker (project manager at ProRail ICT), the SiGMaT project is discussed, in which the EOSS (ERTMS Development Simulation Suite) simulation environment is used to perform system analyses to test ERTMS user processes.

Jos Schoenmaker outlines the SiGMaT project’s objective of connecting the world of train drivers and dispatchers by simulating user processes. The project entails a collaborative effort among experts from various carriers, OKE, ProRail, and four external parties, with InControl being one of them.

The FRISO application forms the simulation core, simulating systems to be developed and expanded in the ERTMS field. By combining the train driver and dispatcher’s worlds, the simulation can closely mirror reality.

The key benefit of simulation is that it allows for a thorough evaluation of the proposed ERTMS implementation, enabling stakeholders to assess its feasibility and identify any issues and challenges beforehand.

Watch the full episode here, please note that the talk show is in Dutch:

Are you interested in the contribution of our Simulation Software to the Rail Infra, Passenger, and Freight Industry? Contact us, we are happy to tell you more about our expertise and experience.

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