Commercial off the shelf signalling system alternatives: safety and flexibility at low cost

Railway signalling and control systems, particularly those based on processors, have traditionally been railway specific products developed by railway oriented companies and designed with the intention of replicating the large electromechanical interlockings they superseded. These systems are often based on proprietary hardware and application software, and are perceived as being expensive and with high whole-of-life costs. At the same time, there has been a history of deploying “non-railway” (i.e. generic) processor based systems in locations such as private railways, yards and depots. These installations have often been one-off attempts to provide a level of control without resorting to the cost and complexity of a rail-specific system. With these systems, there have been historical issues with their appropriateness for the purpose, maintainability and reliability. In parallel with the railway signalling field, other safety critical industries have been following a more standards driven, and industry-based collaborative philosophy. Advances in communications technology, processor power and ability, as well as the dynamics of a larger market, has meant that more sophisticated and appropriate generic systems are now available. This paper explores some of the benefits that may be achieved by looking outside of the existing sources of railway specific processor based systems, from both a cost and functionality perspective. Generic safety critical processor systems are now being shown to be able to provide a cost effective solution for all kinds of railway signalling and control applications.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 13p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: AusRAIL PLUS 2013, driving the costs out of rail, 26-28 November 2013, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532220
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 12:02PM