What happens when a metro railway system is approved?
Consider a case where a metro has three isolated lines ? Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3. The metro follows a distributed management and operational model with each line having its own signalling system. The three lines have different control centres and they operate in different manners. After approval, the work to be done is divided into different phases with different technologies and operational models and is carried out by different system providers. These two aspects may lead to line incompatibilities at three levels: on-board equipment, wayside equipment and the control centre systems.
Integration of isolated lines involves two sets of issues that need to be addressed: Issues from a management point of view and issues from a technical point of view. The issues from the management point of view include distributed, independent management and operation processes for each line, different systems doing the same task for each line, miscommunication between control centres & human mistakes due to a lack of real-time information from the other lines and loss of the global vision for the whole network operating results & events. From the technical point of view, the first issue is that of multiple, mutually incompatible protocols which prevents the singalling system from one line from talking to the signalling system of another line so that they cannot exchange information. The second issue is that standards implemented are often vendor-specific, resulting in uneven features. The next problem is that grades of automation are different on each line. Also, control centre systems functions are too closely tied to the signalling systems features.
An Integrated Control Centre (ICC) that addresses all the above issues is the Railway Systems Integration Platform. This Platform enables isolated lines to be managed and operated in a single way. It adds a new layer in the overall architecture which allows seamless integration for heterogeneous systems and centralized management and operation.
The Platform offers several benefits, both from the management point-of-view as well as from the technical point-of-view.
From the management point-of-view the benefits are:
? Integrated scheduling, monitoring and operation of services, using the ICC systems to manage the whole network.
? Real-time information for the entire network.
? Integrated alarm management.
? Centralized reporting, using the information collected by the ICC Integration Bus to elaborate complex reports and statistics.
? Better human communication.
From the technical point of view, the Platform
? Provides a single interface for the entire network.
? Manages communications and heterogeneous messaging transformation and routing.
? Allows to implement new features or improve existing to make better use of the existing systems.
? Does not affect the current signalling systems as it runs on a higher layer.
There are two case studies of Integrated Control Centres by Indra at Kuala Lumpur and Lithuania that illustrate these benefits.
The Kuala Lumpur ICC will operate two Metro lines and one Monorail line. One line features a CBTC signalling system (moving-block system), while the other two use a conventional signalling system with track circuits and signals (fixed-block system) with CTC. All the three lines will move to CBTC by 2016, so the systems have to be flexible enough to support future expansion of the lines. All lines will be supporting driverless operations too by 2016. The ICC will support the integration of other transport types in the future such as long and medium distance trains and bus.
The Kuala Lumpur ICC is a single, unified Train Management System for the three lines, including scheduling and service operation. It is an Integrated Business Intelligence solution to provide analysis and reporting for the whole network. It provides remote monitoring for the whole network via web on a GIS interface. It also monitors and controls the operation of many integrated systems such as signalling systems for the three lines, passenger information systems, Energy remote control, remote control of fixed facilities, automatic fare collection systems, voice dispatching and communications and CCTV.
In Lithuania, Indra is designing, building and comissioning a new ICC that will be managing 212 stations. There will be a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) for over 100 stations in Lithuania involving the integration of seven different interlocking systems in a single interface. Three current systems will be integrated in the ICC – Energy remote control, Passenger information systems and Detectors remote control. It will also enable passenger and goods transport to be managed with a single system.
Future developments will use the same integration architecture to allow interoperability between different transport types. The ICC will be able to manage and operate all kinds of transport from a single place: metro and urban rail transport, bus lines and medium & long-distance trains. Operators will have real-time information to evaluate the entire transport network status.