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SIGNALLING, POWER & TELECOMS


The widespread roll-out of in-cab signalling in the UK is fast approaching, but currently it is still only the Cambrian line in Wales where the infrastructure for ETCS is in place and operational. Hitachi recently completed a successful test of its on-board equipment, proving it could communicate properly with the lineside infrastructure installed by another supplier. RTM spoke to Hitachi Rail Europe signalling project manager, Richard Tomlin, about the V-Train 3 project.


H


itachi Rail Europe’s ‘Verifi cation Train 3’, or V-Train 3, completed a series of


successful trials this summer, proving that its ETCS Level 2 on-board equipment could communicate with the lineside infrastructure on the Cambrian Line.


That is despite the fact that the existing lineside equipment was installed by another company, Ansaldo-STS, headquartered in Paris.


Richard Tomlin, signalling project manager at Hitachi Rail Europe, told RTM: “This is an important milestone, not only for Hitachi but for the UK, because there are two different suppliers working together in terms of technology. For Hitachi, it’s fantastic for us to bring our technology into the UK and demonstrate its reliability and safety.”


On-board equipment


Hitachi’s on-board equipment is fi tted to one of Network Rail’s Class 97s (pictured). The core technology is based on the technical specifi cations as agreed under the Europe-wide ERTMS framework, but aspects have been developed by Hitachi in its own way.


Tomlin explained: “We’ve taken those specifi cations and developed our systems, and have gone through the European approvals system to verify and validate our system such that we can demonstrate safety integrity level 4. There’s a whole tranche of work that’s been happening at Hitachi over the last six years, since we started working on this project, to actually design, develop and achieve this.


“We’ve had a number of key elements happen in Europe, such as independent technical testing of our system. An accredited Test Laboratory (Multitel) has taken our on-board equipment and performed a defi ned sequence of tests to ensure that we are compliant with those specs and will therefore work with another system.


“That’s been a big part of the background to this.


“Hitachi’s technology isn’t yet in working use in wider Europe, but we do have a version of the system that is currently working now in China – Chinese Train Control System (CTCS), with other European suppliers.”


The V-Train 3 project is managed from Hitachi Rail Europe’s London offi ce, with assistance


from engineering development and signalling system support staff at Mito Works in Japan.


Interoperability between suppliers


Hitachi Rail Europe has no contractual relationship with Ansaldo-STS, the groundside supplier on the Cambrian. Instead, it has been working through Network Rail, the owner and manager of the infrastructure. Tomlin explained: “We needed to ensure fi rstly that there is a defi ned radio interface – the radio communication is so important, because the movement authority and other key data is sent over the GSM-R radio system and delivered to the train.


“It’s very important to get your radio protocol interface correct, and we’ve done that over the last year by analysing some of the existing data that is produced on the existing groundside system.


“We’ve had our technical experts looking at that, so we know what to expect over the radio waves. That’s a key thing for any supplier coming to the UK or Europe, when you need interoperability between different suppliers.


i 66 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 13


More stories like this at:


www.railtechnologymagazine.com/ track-and-signalling


© Richard Jones


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