Recipient: Ms. Romania Dirimanova
Nominated by: Mr. Declan Lordan, Douglas Automation
Mr. Peadar Walsh, Jones Group
Iarnród Éireann through a large team in the New Works Control Section have developed an automation system which interfaces with 25 year old technology and gives the benefits of current day technology to the Code Signaling System across Irelands railway system.
Since 1984 one of the most important signaling systems in Irish Rail providing safety for
the railway traffic has been the Continuous Automatic Warning System (CAWS) and Automated Train Protection (ATP). The purpose of the system is to assure that the train
drivers obey line side signals and speed restrictions.
Since 2003 Iarnród Éireann have been in the process of modernisation under the National
Development Plan encompassing a 20 year strategy framework for the railway. The
methods and equipment for Train Control used on Iarnród Éireann rail network were
examined with a view to invest in a project aimed at replacing and enhancing the legacy
track side and onboard Train Control subsystems. As part of the implementation of the
National Development Plan a new modern Code Generating System aimed to replace the
existing obsolete track side Train Control coding equipment was designed by Iarnród
Éireann specialists. This system is based on contemporary traffic management
technologies and is expected to satisfy today’s and future demands and needs of Iarnród
The benefits which Iarnród Éireann have received because of this new system include a
significant improvement in the reliability of the system by removing all
electromechanically based elements, a reduction in design and testing time by up to 5
times, the flexibility to interface different signaling safety systems, achieve
maintainability through diagnostics and technical support, provide cost effectiveness in all
stages of design, installation, and maintenance; with a reduction to 1/25th the previous
time taken to test a section of track.
The technology also brought the following benefits – the system achieved the Highest
Safety performance – Safety Integrity Level 4 rating; facilitated most of the testing
process to take place in an office environment; and facilitated the transition process to
minimise disruptions to railway traffic as the new system could work in parallel with the
old existing system.
A large project team was required to work in close co-operation during the development,
testing, installation, validation, operation, training and documentation. The system is fully
transparent to the existing on-board equipment and can be easily deployed on newly built
track sections, or onto the existing Iarnród Éireann main lines equipped with coded track
circuits. The proposed designed for use in Iarnród Éireann, is a high performance track
side code-generating system intended for coding of the track circuits on company lines
where Continuous Automatic Warning System (CAWS) and Automated Train Protection
(ATP) onboard equipped traction units are operated.
The equipment uses information inputs from telegrams circulating over SSI trackside data
lines (TDLs). From these telegrams the information related with the signal aspects,
position of the points and status of the track circuits is extracted, safely processed and
used as a base for producing the corresponding codes required for the operation of the
Train Control systems. The new code generating system does not change the method of
the operation of the existing Train Control equipment installed on-board of the traction
units operated by Iarnród Éireann.
The implementation of the system is a successful demonstration of how using units with
lower SIL a system with higher SIL can be developed because of the requirements applied
and methodology followed during the development process. Because of the modularity
and flexibility of the system, it can be easily expanded when requirements increase. The
inherent information capacity is very big and permits exchange of great volumes of data
between the different levels of the system.