A review of urban railway line capacity

Urban and suburban railways are increasingly being pushed to handle more trains and passengers because of the high cost of new infrastructure. The highly peaked nature of suburban passenger flows leads to poor whole-of-day infrastructure and rolling stock utilisation. It is therefore important to be sure that realistically available line capacity is being fully exploited before pursuing the development of new infrastructure. Communications based signalling is currently being developed as an alternative to fixed block wayside signalling. Such signalling technology can potentially offer sufficient line capacity improvements to obviate the development of some new infrastructure. It is thus very important to assess the merits of such signalling technology in a familiar context, such as the Sydney Metropolitan Railways. Railway signalling systems are designed to be used by trains with particular performance properties, including capacity and access/egress. In the Sydney suburban railway operating environment these trains must stop at a small number of heavily patronised CBD stations whose dwell times will directly affect the headways between successive trains. The properties of classic fixed block signalling and of communications based signalling can thus be described, modelled and assessed on a comparable basis. Through system analysis, surveys of station dwell behaviour and MTRAIN train performance and signal system simulation TMG determined that new signalling systems do not deliver a significantly higher capacity than is currently available from Sydney's high capacity inner area wayside signalling. Nevertheless, the long term protection of train flows offered by communications based signalling means that it should desirably be introduced as part of progressive infrastructure maintenance and renewal.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Cost efficient railways through engineering: CORE 2002: conference on railway engineering, November 10-13 2002, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 11:54AM