Product Expertise: Railway Signalling Design Automation – Think in New Dimension

Advances in Embedded system technology in recent years, have brought more dependence on automating train control systems. Among all systems, Electronic interlocking system forms a vital part of Indian railway signalling system, Hence it ensures safe movement of trains by controlling movable track elements like switches and for another by controlling signals. Indian Railway places orders for approximately 200 to 250 stations in a year to limited vendors approved by Research Development standardisation Organisation (RDSO). Apart from new Electronic Interlocking systems around 100 stations in a year goes for modification work to provide additional tracks, alteration in yards, flexibility, enhance the availability, Safety and new regulations from railway agencies.

The desired level of safety and management of train flows follows from six types of equipment: track-free detection, interlocking, signalling, train protection, train describers and traffic control support.

The engineering design of interlocking systems poses challenges to both Indian railway customers who approves the interlocking design and owns up the safety of the design as well as for the OEMs who deliver the design. Challenges arise from the cumbersome, labour intensive, conservative, ambiguous and failsafe nature of the interlocking engineering design processes.

While great efforts have been reported to improve electronic hardware safety, there have been fewer systematic approaches to evaluate software safety, especially for the vital software designed for signalling systems. This is critical in Indian railways signalling design particularly on Electronic Interlocking systems. There are total of 17 zones which are further sub-divided into 73 divisions and an aggregate of 8200 stations operating across the country. Each zone in the Indian Railway has its own interlocking design standards and manner to achieve interlocking in a secure way.

The concept of Machine-readable automated designprocess with in-built Artificial Intelligences suitable to adapt with various divisional Signalling / Interlocking principle is the need of the day for Indian Railways. The artificial intelligences is the process of automation in railway signalling which acquires data, processing the data and obtaining the desired outcome. There are a few difficulties too in achieving this. When it comes to bigger yards there are a lot of interlocking and conditions to be taken care of such as conditional locking, swinging isolation, isolation points and finding the colliding sections for  conflicting routes are the bigger challenges in the automation.

With an aim of providing eternal and fail safe transportation services to the Indian Railways in Electronic Interlocking design we at SENSEDGE Transportation Systems and Solutions Private Limited has come up with a few Automation tools to fulfil our customer needs in rail operation requirements by using signalling system to ensure the safe movements of the trains. Three rail operation characteristics demand a signalling system:

  • Multiple trains share the same track,
  • Trains cannot move easily across track obstacles and
  • Rail’s low rolling resistance causes trains to have such a long braking distance, that on-sight driving is nearly impossible without collisions is achieved by these AI enabled Automated design tools.

This world class Automated tools for Railway Signalling design chain decreases development time, increases data reliability and make application more flexible, while ensuring (fail-) safe Interlocking system. Few of the Automation tools which are effectively used for various OEMs system are;

  • Interlocking / Application Logic Generator.
  • Interface Circuit / Book wiring Generation.
  • I/O Simulator
  • Simulators for Automated Testing
  • Cross Table Validation Simulation Tool.
  • Communication Protocol for various OEMs
  • Remote Monitoring System

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This article is a part of our September 2019 Magazine: Subscribe to our Magazine Today!