Whitepaper/App Note

Whitepaper: Interlocking design automation – The process

Posted: 11 August 2017 | | No comments yet

In this whitepaper, Prover Technology discuss a new process for developing rail control systems that benefits both the supplier and the infrastructure manager…


Imagine an infrastructure manager in need of a new rail control system; maybe a new line is to be built, extended or re-signalled to increase capacity or to solve issues with ageing equipment requiring more and more maintenance.

This is a complex endeavour, with many subsystems that needs to be integrated and adapted to meet the specific needs of the particular railway or metro with guaranteed safety.

One key component of the overall system is the software controlling and monitoring the rail traffic using physical signals, switches, automated train control and protection, to ensure safe operation. This vital software – the brain of the rail control system – is often surprisingly difficult to develop and achieve safety approval for, resulting in delays and complications in the commissioning phase of the project.

There are a number of root causes for this situation:

  • The requirements are vague, often already in the tender specifications from the infrastructure managers.
  • Design, test and verification methods are manual, relying heavily on the skills of individual senior engineers, rather than on a well defined process supported by software automation tools.
  • Safety verification is not integrated with the development process, increasing the risk for rejections of deliveries.

We will show that these problems can be avoided as long as proper care is taken from the very start of the project. We will present a process that gives significant benefits for both the supplier and the infrastructure manager.

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