Network-Centric Railway OperationsUtilizing Intelligent Railway Systems Steve Ditmeyer SCORT/TRB Rail Capacity Workshop Jacksonville, Florida September 22, 2010
Network Centric Warfare Use integrated digital data communications, GPS positioning, sensors, and computers to obtain: • Increased operational flexibility • Increased decision-making speed • Cost savings due to improved asset utilization • Improved support to dispersed elements • Increased visibility and better understanding of ops • Self-synchronization of subordinate organizations • Benefits resulting from increased connectivity Department of Defense Command and Control Research Program www.dodccrp.org Asst. Secy. of Defense for Networks and Information Integration
Strategic Information “We must view information as a strategic asset. Timely, accurate, and trusted informationlies at the heart of network-centric operations.” – John G. Grimes, DoD CIO
Next Generation Air Traffic Control FAA is transitioning: • “from ground based radar to satellite-based navigation and surveillance, • from analog voice communications to digital data exchange, and, most significant, • from disconnected and incompatible information systems to a scalable, network-centric architecture. This will ensure that everyone using the system has easy access to the same information at the same time, when needed.”
Network Centric Railway Operations and Intelligent Railway Systems Use the same technologies found in: • Network-centric warfare • Next Generation air traffic control systems • Intelligent Transportation Systems for highways and transit • Maritime vessel tracking systems • Parcel delivery services (UPS, FedEx, DHL) • Emergency response services (police, fire, medical)
Network Centric Railway Operationsand Intelligent Railway Systems Use integrated digital data communications, positioning systems, sensors, and computers on railways to: • Improve both safety and security • Raise effective capacity • Improve asset utilization • Improve customer satisfaction • Measure and control costs • Reduce energy consumption and emissions • Increase economic viability and profits • “Manage the unexpected”
What Railway Managers Need to Know Where mobile assets* were (for billing, payments, and analysis) Where mobile assets are and what they are doing, in real time Real-time status of fixed assets** Where mobile assets will beat time t1in the future Where mobile assets need to beat time t2in the future How best to get the mobile assets from where they are and will be to where they need to be That the correct instructions are being conveyed to the right crews and vehicles, and that the instructions are being obeyed * Trains, locomotives, cars, crews, maintenance equipment ** Track, bridges, tunnels, switches, terminals
Architecture Prerequisite systems for PTC Positive Train Control (PTC) Systems directly related to PTC Other control center systems Other train-borne systems Other infrastructure-based systems Law and regulations Impediments to implementation Implementation recommendations Summary Network-Centric Railway Operations Utilizing Intelligent Railway Systems NCW
NETWORK CENTRIC RAILWAY OPERATIONS PASSENGERS RAILWAY MANAGEMENT CENTERS Traveler Information and Reservations Operating Data Systems Train Control Centers Tactical and Strategic Traffic Planners Train, Locomotive, Car & Crew Scheduling Commercial Communications Carriers or Internet FREIGHT SHIPPERS Shipment Reservations Customer Information and Reservations Locomotive Maintenance Facilities Freight Can Maintenance Facilities Track Maintenance Facilities Shipment Information Commercial Cellular or Satellite Communications Railway Backbone Communications Network - microwave, fiber optic, copper cable, leased circuits Switches Roadway Workers Weather Sensors Railway Mobile Radios VHF & UHF Track Circuits Locomotives Grade Crossings Freight Cars Defect Detectors In-Train Communications – ECP Brakes Automatic Equipment Identification End-of-Train Devices AEI UHF antennas Differential GPS DGPS MF xmtr TRAINS & MAINTENANCE CREWS TRACKSIDE
Prerequisite Systems forPositive Train Control Digital data link communications networks GPS and Differential GPS (DGPS) Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) Home
Digital Data Link Communications • The key enabler of network-centric railway operations • Can use any communications medium as a backbone: microwave, fiber optic cable, copper wire, cell phones, satellite communications • Current analog mobile radios used by train crews and roadway workers need to be replaced with digital mobile radios • Permits discretely addressed messages to individuals or multiple parties; not broadcast • FCC has provided 181 VHF and 12 UHF frequencies for railway mobile radio
Why Switch from Voice Radio to Digital Data Link? • Limited communications channels between dispatcher and field • Congestion • Exchange of information not timely • Erroneous information not stopped • Train collisions caused by communications mistakes • Dispatchers, train and MOW crews, safety officials believe poor communications contributes to accidents
Global Positioning SystemGPS • GPS Nominal • Constellation: • 24 satellites in • 6 orbital planes • 4 satellites in each • plane • Altitude 20,200 km • Inclination 55 degrees
Differential GPS • GPS satellite constellation provides 10 m accuracy • DGPS is an augmentation of GPS providing 1-to-2 meter positioning accuracy • DGPS monitors GPS integrity; users receive warning of GPS degradation within 5 seconds • Currently operational with single coverage over 90% of continental US and double coverage over 45% • DGPS signals available to anyone with proper receiver; no user fee • Managed and monitored 24/7 at USCG Navigation Center, Alexandria, VA
Differential GPS • Uses decommissioned USAF Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN) sites to send out correction signals • International standard (RTCM 104) developed by US Coast Guard; used in 40 countries • Joint project with FRA, USCG, FHWA, OST, USACE, TVA, states, and others • Date for Full Operational Capability with double coverage uncertain due to funding limitations • High-Accuracy DGPS (HA-DGPS) developed and tested by FHWA and USCG at Hagerstown, MD site: 10-20 cm accuracy
Differential GPS Coverage Source: 2008 Federal Radionavigation Plan
Automatic Equipment Identification • Two passive AEI (ie., RFID) tags installed on each North American freight car and locomotive since 1995; AAR Interchange Rule, no government involvement • Readers at track-side interrogate tags at 900 MHz radio frequency; the readers require periodic “tuning” to maintain 100% read rate • Tags respond with vehicle initial and number • Can be integrated with wayside equipment sensors to identify specific freight cars with problems • Active tags with read-write capability also available, but require periodic battery replacement • Provides accurate confirmation of train consists to PTC computers
AEI Tags for Containers and Trailers • ISO has adopted the same tag for international shipping containers as a voluntary standard • The US railway AEI standard was based on the draft ISO container tag standard • ATA has adopted the same tag for US road truck trailers and chassis as a voluntary standard • It would be ideal if container and trailer tagging standards became mandatory industry standards as with rail freight cars
Positive Train Control (PTC) Components • Along the wayside • Digital data radios and backbone communications network • Wayside interface units at switches and detectors • On locomotives and roadway maintenance vehicles • Digital mobile radios (data and voice) • On-board computer with digital maps (maps made by surveying the track network with DGPS) • DGPS receivers • Throttle-brake interface • Integrated displays • At the control center • Dispatching computer with displays • Digital communications terminals (data and voice)
Multiple inputs on train position are integrated: DGPS Odometer Switch position indicators Digital track map in control center and on-board computers Train and roadway worker position is sent over the data link to the control center; movement authorities are sent over the data link from the control center to trains and roadway workers Track centers are 4 m apart, which requires 1-2 m positioning accuracy (i.e., DGPS) Accurate positioning also needed at clearance points at switches PTC Positioning
Positive Train Control • Reduces probability of overspeed accidents and of train collisions and train-roadway worker collisions by a factor of 100 • Provides enhanced security through: • Monitoring location and speed of all trains • Monitoring all switches, bridges, tunnels, etc. • Only authorized persons can control trains • On-board enforcement of all movement authorities • Remote intervention capability from control center
Comparison of Train Control Systems Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) Bought by the mile, installed along the track Costs: 80% wayside, 20% control center Stays in place along the track Positive Train Control (PTC) Bought by the region, significant portion vehicle-borne Costs: 40% vehicle-borne, 40% wayside, 20% control center Moves where the traffic moves Cheaper than replacing and retaining existing signal systems, plus offers greater functionality
Capital vs. O&M costs for PTC • An FRA report in March 2004 estimated the capital cost of PTC on all the US railroads would be $4.4 billion. • FRA’s PTC NPRM in July 2009 estimated the capital cost of PTC to be $5 billion. • However, FRA also added $5 to 8 billion (depending on interest rate) as the NPV of 20 years of PTC operations and maintenance. This is different from the capital cost!
Cost comparison – PTC vs. current signal systems • Railroads currently spend for communications and signaling $564 million per year on capital and $500 million per year on maintenance. • PTC spending would be in place of most of this, not in addition to it. • It would take $9 billion to replace current CTC systems with modern ones, at a cost of $140,000 per mile. And that is on just 50% of the railroad network.
Why railroads say there are no business benefits from PTC • One railroad (since merged out of existence) wrote to FRA saying that there could be no business benefits from PTC because, on that railroad, running time, running time reliability, and asset utilization were so good that there was no room for any improvement. • If a railroad implements PTC using the track block occupancy paradigm, it will not get the business benefits.
Business benefits can be achieved with Network-Centric Systems • Previous train control systems - DTC, TWC, ABS, CTC, ATS, ATC - all function on the principle of track block occupancy, and the signal systems then use relay logic to determine what authority can be granted to a train. • PTC, on the other hand, functions with a totally different paradigm: real-time, precise, continuous information about the location and speed of trains and maintenance vehicles, and the principle that no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. • As a result, PTC can support improved meet-pass planning, closer spacing between trains, and greater awareness of “windows” for maintenance and inspection.
How PTC Permits More Efficient Train Meets Accurate projections of train location reveal opportunities to reduce meet/pass delays.
How PTC Permits More Efficient Train Passes The ability to operate with short headways can reduce meet/pass delays.
PTC displays - dispatcher and cab Track forces terminals Wayside track sensors Locomotive health monitoring systems Energy management systems Work order reporting systems Tactical traffic planners Strategic traffic planners Crew registration and time keeping systems Intelligent weather systems Emergency notification systems Systems Directly Related to PTC Home
Control Center Displays Control center displays will provide dispatchers with: • Precise location and speed information on each train and maintenance vehicle • Ability to efficiently issue movement authorities • Performance of trains against schedule • Tactical and strategic traffic plans • Health status of locomotives and cars • Interface for crisp and informed tactical decisions • Status of on-board and wayside systems
How PTC Control Centers Help Dispatchers • Reduce dispatchers’ communication load • Improve dispatchers’ communication efficiency and speed • Increase dispatchers’ communication precision • Radically change dispatchers’ communication focus: • Traffic planning and problem solving replace information gathering and movement authorization as dispatchers’ primary tasks
Locomotive Cab Displays Coordinated displays of relevant information to train crews in both graphical and textual formats: • Train position and speed • Current movement authority • Current and upcoming route profile • Train consist, with special handling instructions • In-train forces • Actual and recommended throttle and brake settings • Locomotive and car health • Set-out and pick-up instructions
Track Forces Terminals • Provide the interface for communications to and from roadway workers • Can be laptop computers or PDAs • Enable crews to determine future track occupancy and to request “track and time” from dispatcher • Display current movement authority • Enable crews to place slow orders and to transmit administrative data • Should greatly improve productivity of roadway workers by eliminating uncertainty of track availability
Wayside Track Sensors • Track sensors detect conditions/anomalies that occur on or alongside the track • Information is transmitted over the data link to train and track crews and the control center for immediate action or logging for unscheduled maintenance • Conditions detected include: switch position, broken rail, misaligned track, high water, rock and snow slides, excessive rail stress, misaligned bridges and trestles, blocked culverts, weather information
Locomotive Health Monitoring Systems • Provide real-time and historical internal health monitoring data for engines, electrical systems, dynamic and air brake systems, hydraulic systems, exhaust systems, fuel tanks • Transmit health data to locomotive cab, and over the data link to the control center, locomotive scheduling center, and locomotive shops • Include event recorders • Allow collection of health data for maintenance-based decision making • Improve reliability, availability, and utilization rate of locomotives
Energy Management Systems • Goal is to optimize fuel consumption and emissions • Use train, locomotive health, track, and schedule information to determine best speed profile • Provide guidance to locomotive engineers for best throttle settings
Work Order Reporting • Instructions sent from control center to train crews to set out and pick up loaded and empty cars en route • On-board train consist updated automatically based on crew acknowledgement of work order completed • Train consists in control center and central computer data bases also updated in real time • Location of set-outs automatically recorded • Customers can be automatically notified of impending or actual car placement • Important for establishing “custody chain” of shipments
Tracking Hazmat and Other Shipments • AEI confirms the locos and cars on each train and sends it to operating data system • DGPS receiver determines location of the loco to within 1-2 meters and speed to within 1-2 km/hr and data radio transmits it back to dispatchers and operating data system • Work order reporting system confirms set-outs and pick-ups and sends them to operating data system • Data in train location, train consist, work order reporting, and waybill data bases can be merged to precisely locate every car/shipment • Authorized parties (at railway and shipper) can inquire about precise car/shipment location
Tactical Traffic Planners • Enable dispatchers to look ahead in time • Identify where trains should meet and pass, and which trains should take sidings • Allow roadway workers to select best “windows” • Feedback provided by the PTC system will allow replanning as necessary • Receive target times from the Strategic Traffic Planner
Strategic Traffic Planners • STPs can measure train movements against a set of externally-defined schedules • Cost-minimizing decisions can be made on whether, and how, to adjust train priorities and schedules on a real-time basis • Display the performance of trains against schedule and show the real-time location and future location of every train by type • Federal Aviation Administration applies this philosophy to the management of air traffic • System, rather than local, optimization is possible
Hierarchy of Rail Traffic Flow Control
Crew Registration and Time-Keeping Systems • Use passwords, card keys, biometrics to identify crew members authorized to operate trains • Movement authority issued only when designated crew is on board and logged in • On and off duty times, and terminal departure and arrival times, automatically sent to operating data system for payroll accuracy [ Airline O-O-O-I systems]
Intelligent Weather Systems • Combine data from railway weather sensors (wayside and on-board) and national, regional, and local forecast data to alert train control centers and train crews of actual or potential hazardous weather conditions • Advanced warning for flooding, track washouts, fog, high winds, sudden freezes, snow, avalanches, mud, and rock slides