Siemens completes DAS trials at ENIF

Posted: 23 April 2014 | | No comments yet

Siemens Rail Automation has successfully completed a series of trials of its Driver Advisory System at Network Rails’ ETCS National Integration Facility…


Siemens Rail Automation has successfully completed a series of trials of its Driver Advisory System (DAS) at Network Rails’ ETCS National Integration Facility (ENIF).

A Siemens’ cab radio will be installed in virtually every train unit in Great Britain. Depending on the number of driver cabs in the train formation, there is the possibility of up to six cab radios being on-board any given train set; only one of which will be in use by the driver.

DAS has been identified as just one application that could make better use of these under-utilised, on-board assets and employs both the cab radio and the driver display panel. It has the potential to drive operational efficiencies, improve performance and reduce costs. To achieve this, Siemens has developed a specific algorithm for DAS, which ensures that the train arrives on time and at the optimum energy efficiency. The algorithm includes both static inputs (such as a timetable database and route data, for example the position of stations, passing points and gradients) and dynamic information which is taken from the GPS (location and time).

During the week of 10 March 2014, trials were undertaken by Siemens at ENIF using the class 313 test train. A number of scenarios were repeated under controlled conditions, with the driver undertaking a series of journeys without the use of DAS: when driven in a highly experienced manner, the train arrived eight seconds later than the timetabled arrival time; the use of typical levels of acceleration and braking resulted in arrival at the station 20 seconds ahead of timetable and when driven at maximum line speeds, it arrived 35 seconds ahead.

The driver was then asked to follow the Siemens DAS for the same journey, with the train arriving just three seconds ahead of schedule, with DAS effectively calculating the optimum driving speed for the journey. The operation of Siemens DAS enabled the driver to progress at slower and therefore more energy-efficient speeds, as well as potentially reducing dwell-time at signals, yet still arrive at the station on time.

Commenting on the tests, Gary Parkinson, Siemens’ Development Engineering Manager, said: “We are very grateful to Network Rail for facilitating these trials, which delivered excellent results and marked an important milestone in the development of the DAS project.

“DAS is just one of a number of applications we have identified to extend the functionality of our GSM-R cab radios, with remote condition monitoring (RCM) also under development. Having showcased the potential of these applications at the recent UIC conference in Istanbul, we know there is an appetite amongst rail operators to better utilise GSM-R networks and we look forward to working closely together to deliver additional benefits to the network”.

Ian Harrison of Network Rail said: “Although the driver had no prior experience of using DAS, he had found it a very straightforward tool, particularly when using the audible advice function which meant that he didn’t have to look at the display panel.”

The next stage of the development project will see the DAS algorithm being fully integrated with the cab radio software and enabling remote software updates to ensure ease of software installation. Siemens also continues to develop its DAS solution further as it seeks to extend its development into a Connected DAS system.

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