The challenge: Support a European operator in rolling out the ERTMS
Our client, a national rail infrastructure operator in Europe wants to develop and modernise its network to make it safer and more effective. For signalling, this means rolling out the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). Even though the specifications have existed for more than 20 years, the ERTMS is still being rolled out. Each country has its own signalling rules and therefore must undertake work to bring it into line with the ERTMS. This entails a complex process that posed challenges to our customer:
- Recruitment of experts with highly specialised profiles that combine railway engineering and on-board electronics: Implementing the ERTMS also entails implementing new technologies applied to the railway sector.
- Change management: From a technical perspective, the roll-out of the ERTMS requires numerous software and hardware developments and adaptations to arrive at a smart and communicating system. The project requires creating different working groups associated with new services to complete the project’s various tasks.
- Considering the logistic and technological constraints specific to the rail sector to complete the work, such as the availability of frequently used railways.
- Respecting an ambitious schedule: The rollout schedule’s target is for all these network lines to be modernised by 2025: This is a real challenge, especially given that several sub-projects have been delayed following the use of equipment pending qualification.
The solution: Ensure that onboard electronics are safe to operate
Our expertise in operational safety for signalling products, our long-standing relationship with the supplier and their products, as well as a rapport of trust built up over previous contracts led our customer to choose Expleo to tackle its challenges.
Our services are linked to global capabilities in compliance and product reliability and performance verification, especially our RAMS and operational safety expertise.
Expleo supports customers in ERTMS Level 2 product engineering, especially Radio Block Centre (RBC) systems:
We are working on drafting different scenarios to identify potential defects and risks when commissioning RBC systems. This fits into a broader validation cycle and allows the customer to prepare complete, high-quality commissioning certification files.
When the projects are handed over to the maintenance teams, they are trained specifically in working with the new technologies.
The result for the customer: four railways are now in commercial service
- Safety files prepared according to CENELEC rules (mainly EN50126, EN50128 and EN50129) to demonstrate the installations’ reliability and safety during audits by and approvals from outside certification processes
- Maintenance teams are trained in using the new signalling products
- Time optimisation for reliable commissioning
Managing Director, Belgium, Expleo
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