Advanced Train Management System (ATMS)

 
  landmark Station Staff

A bit more press. This time the international rail journal.

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/signalling/artc-presses-on-with-atms-implementation.html?channel=542

"DESPITE speculation that Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) might not proceed with its implementation of an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) on the interstate network, a further $A 50m ($US 49m) was allocated in last week's Federal Budget to allow the technology to be rolled out on the Port Augusta - Tarcoola line."

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  raymcd Locomotive Driver

Location: Artarmon NSW
A bit more press. This time the international rail journal.

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/signalling/artc-presses-on-with-atms-implementation.html?channel=542

"DESPITE speculation that Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) might not proceed with its implementation of an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) on the interstate network, a further $A 50m ($US 49m) was allocated in last week's Federal Budget to allow the technology to be rolled out on the Port Augusta - Tarcoola line."
landmark

Why bother? Aren't they installing currently CTC on this section ?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Why bother? Aren't they installing currently CTC on this section ?
"raymcd"


ATMS is a long term project, the roll out is a continuation of the trial

CTC is being installed to speed up the section in the mean time
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There must be something better to that ARTC could spend $50,000,000 on. They could proof read their Annual report for example. If they did they might find the correct spelling of Nullarbor, the correct location of Burando and the correct definition of GTKs (gross ton kilometres).
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
ATMS is a long term project, the roll out is a continuation of the trial

CTC is being installed to speed up the section in the mean time
Pressman

The ATMS may cost $45 million to develop, and $5m to install across the whole non-CTC areas in Australia. If so, that would be very good value.

ATMS is late because no doubt software is also problematic to develop, and nothing is available off-the-shelf.

ARTC is installing off-the-shelf CTC between Port Pirie and Tarcoola because increasing traffic needs something now.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
ATMS is a long term project, the roll out is a continuation of the trial

CTC is being installed to speed up the section in the mean time
Pressman

Yep.

As for the Railpage reactionaries, the CTC bit has previously been explained by ARTC ...

"An ARTC spokesperson said that while initially a limited version of ATMS was considered because of the need to have increased capacity on the line in mid-2013, the company has decided that it was prudent to complete the proof of concept and establish a full rollout program for ATMS.
The proof of concept phase was originally scheduled for completion in October 2011, but according to the spokesperson the proof of concept phase is still ongoing.
“Introduction of CTC does not limit the introduction of a full ATMS system on the corridor in the future,” the spokesperson said.
“Development of ATMS is a significant technology project and one that ARTC is very much committed to. ARTC has made a significant investment in ATMS and the program remains a priority for the company.”

http://www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2013/january-2013/january-17th-2013/other-top-stories/upgrades-for-east-west-corridor-but-doubts-over-atms

$50m is the next instalment to take ATMS to progress the project now that proof of concept has been signed off.

As if $50m will get you much otherwise and certainly nothing like the same ROI LaughingRolling Eyes

Some people just don't get it...

Rather than the 'can't do', 'all to hard', 'koala park' mentality, ARTC must be the first mob in decades working to set up a sustainable network for the medium to long term with the funding they can procure. Of course it won't be all smooth going but better than this sort of make do 'strategy' http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/IR-SteelSleeper-final.pdf
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Yep.

As for the Railpage reactionaries, the CTC bit has previously been explained by ARTC ...

"An ARTC spokesperson said that while initially a limited version of ATMS was considered because of the need to have increased capacity on the line in mid-2013, the company has decided that it was prudent to complete the proof of concept and establish a full rollout program for ATMS.
The proof of concept phase was originally scheduled for completion in October 2011, but according to the spokesperson the proof of concept phase is still ongoing.
“Introduction of CTC does not limit the introduction of a full ATMS system on the corridor in the future,” the spokesperson said.
“Development of ATMS is a significant technology project and one that ARTC is very much committed to. ARTC has made a significant investment in ATMS and the program remains a priority for the company.”

http://www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2013/january-2013/january-17th-2013/other-top-stories/upgrades-for-east-west-corridor-but-doubts-over-atms

$50m is the next instalment to take ATMS to progress the project now that proof of concept has been signed off.

As if $50m will get you much otherwise and certainly nothing like the same ROI LaughingRolling Eyes

Some people just don't get it...

Rather than the 'can't do', 'all to hard', 'koala park' mentality, ARTC must be the first mob in decades working to set up a sustainable network for the medium to long term with the funding they can procure. Of course it won't be all smooth going but better than this sort of make do 'strategy' http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/IR-SteelSleeper-final.pdf
cootanee
Sore point - comes from years of having to win over the  'can't do', 'all to hard', 'koala park' lot Rolling Eyes
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

“Introduction of CTC does not limit the introduction of a full ATMS system on the corridor in the future,” the spokesperson said.
cootanee

The power worked points of the CTC scheme, and power supplies for same, are still needed for the later ATMS. Possibly some track circuits also.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
ATMS featured prominently in this speech...

Technology and Smart Ideas Key Pathway to Rail Success

Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO, John Fullerton keynote address Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation Conference: Junction 2013 Crown Plaza, Adelaide, Tuesday 23 July 2013.

http://www.artc.com.au/Article/Detail.aspx?p=6&np=4&id=400
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
ATMS featured prominently in this speech...

Technology and Smart Ideas Key Pathway to Rail Success

Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO, John Fullerton keynote address Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation Conference: Junction 2013 Crown Plaza, Adelaide, Tuesday 23 July 2013.

http://www.artc.com.au/Article/Detail.aspx?p=6&np=4&id=400
cootanee

The Proof of Concept video is also up on youtube. Speed enforcement capability seems topical given the incident in Spain.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zfo8pK00_iA
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
One assumes that monitoring systems discussed below could be integrated into the ATMS system. It would be a more direct and reliable means of getting a train to stop in time noting that ATMS allows active intervention in emergencies.

"What the ATSB found
The ATSB determined that runoff from the heavy rain that had fallen in the catchment area adjacent to Roto the morning of 4 March 2012 caused a flash flood event. The volume of floodwater exceeded the capacity of a drainage culvert, which resulted in water overtopping the track formation with ballast and sub-grade scouring on either side of the culvert.
The magnitude of the scouring meant that the track could not support the weight of train 7SP3 as it passed over the affected areas. The resulting deformation in the alignment of the track initiated the derailment.
The ATSB also found that the track manager’s systems and operational procedures provided limited information and guidance to assist the network control staff in identifying and assessing the potential threat to the safety of rail traffic resulting from the significant localised weather event.
What's been done as a result
The track manager is trialling the use of flood sensors at high-risk locations and has engaged the services of a third party to provide early warning information on potential high-risk weather events.
Safety message
It is essential that rail transport operators have robust systems in place to monitor and mitigate the risks to infrastructure from significant weather events to ensure that the safety of rail operations is not compromised."

http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2012/rair/ro-2012-002.aspx
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

The track manager is trialling the use of flood sensors at high-risk locations and has engaged the services of a third party to provide early warning information on potential high-risk weather events.

cootanee

Track circuits can provide flood protection for washed-away culvets and bridges, and even bridge dislodged by stray barges, provided that there are protecting signals. One thinks of a very nasty accident in NZ in the 1950s.

One small problem is that long welded rails, being very strong, may not actually break, and cause the track circuits to fail and put the signal to stop. Such rails dangle in the air and keep the track circuit up.

IIRC, there was a advert in Trains Magazine for a washway detector. Basically it was a plug and socket for two wires, buried in the embankment. Any washaway would separate that plug and socket, rather like one would do to a household extension cable, thus putting the signal(s) to stop.

Were the plug to have only one wire, the circuit might continue to be closed by water, defeating the purpose of the system. By having two wires in a "double switch" arrangement, any water would short the positive and negative wires and blow the fuse, guaranteeing that the circuit de-energize.

The plug and socket is off course much weaker than the rails.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Track circuits can provide flood protection for washed-away culvets and bridges, and even bridge dislodged by stray barges, provided that there are protecting signals. One thinks of a very nasty accident in NZ in the 1950s.

One small problem is that long welded rails, being very strong, may not actually break, and cause the track circuits to fail and put the signal to stop. Such rails dangle in the air and keep the track circuit up.

...
awsgc24

This was in Western NSW where such flash floods and resulting washaways are not uncommon. The report goes into detail about the events leading up to and during the incident including actions of preceding trains.

The only warning the crew had was seeing the water over the tracks. Whilst the formation was compromised the rails were unbroken. Water over tracks, washaways (and throw in landslips) are much more likely than complete structures being washed away, therefore track circuits wouldn't help (also need to consider signal distances out there).

As an aside, the USAF are currently converting old F-16s into pilotless drones (although hardly ground-breaking) so anything is possible Wink
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Are current wayside detection systems directly connected into the signalling system, or is it more indirect?

Given the frequency and timescale associated with extreme weather events (low and long) I wouldn't have thought too direct a connection was necessary.  Actually having some means of detecting and reporting that there is (or could be) a problem is the important part.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
This was in Western NSW where such flash floods and resulting washaways are not uncommon. The report goes into detail about the events leading up to and during the incident including actions of preceding trains.

The only warning the crew had was seeing the water over the tracks. Whilst the formation was compromised the rails were unbroken. Water over tracks, washaways (and throw in landslips) are much more likely than complete structures being washed away, therefore track circuits wouldn't help (also need to consider signal distances out there).

As an aside, the USAF are currently converting old F-16s into pilotless drones (although hardly ground-breaking) so anything is possible Wink
cootanee

Without track circuits, etc., and mobile phone towers in remote locations it is hard to transmitted information about washaways to anywhere, and then to get it to the driver. Here the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) would be useful.

The plug and socket sensor as described above, is only a tiny part of the whole cost of the complete system.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Without track circuits, etc., and mobile phone towers in remote locations it is hard to transmitted information about washaways to anywhere, and then to get it to the driver. Here the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) would be useful.

The plug and socket sensor as described above, is only a tiny part of the whole cost of the complete system.
awsgc24


That's why I put this in the context of ATMS. Whilst this was in a 'remote' area ARTC have NTCS (3G/Sats) which ATMS will use as well.

Remote monitoring systems are in widespread use e.g. irrigation systems, the Snowy Mountain Scheme and some sensitive ones I won't divulge. Typically using UHF, 3G and/or Sat comms.

Had some crazy things happen though. A system using 3G was constantly disconnected by the Telco (not good when you need it and it's not there). Turns out the data frequency was so low they treated it as inactive.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
That's why I put this in the context of ATMS. Whilst this was in a 'remote' area ARTC have NTCS (3G/Sats) which ATMS will use as well.

Remote monitoring systems are in widespread use e.g. irrigation systems, the Snowy Mountain Scheme and some sensitive ones I won't divulge. Typically using UHF, 3G and/or Sat comms.

Had some crazy things happen though. A system using 3G was constantly disconnected by the Telco (not good when you need it and it's not there). Turns out the data frequency was so low they treated it as inactive.
cootanee

ATMS sounds like the best thing since sliced bread for washaways, etc.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
ATMS sounds like the best thing since sliced bread for washaways, etc.
awsgc24


Still need the detection devices in place but it's hardly revolutionary with plenty of companies here building automated monitoring systems. Integration with ATMS shouldn't be an issue.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
$50 million made available for ARTC to progress ATMS roll-out.

http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/wt/releases/2014/March/wt032_2014.aspx
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Is this additional money or a re-labelled announcement Question

15 May 2013
"ARTC has welcomed the Australian Government’s Nation Building investment of $50 million into the first stage implementation of an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Interstate network, CEO John Fullerton said today."
http://www.artc.com.au/Article/Detail.aspx?p=6&np=4&id=390
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Practically I suspect somewhere in between.  My recollection (I may be getting my projects confused - but I think I went looking for more detail when last year's announcement came out) was that the $50 million referred to in the nation building program was a forward estimates type number - "we intend to spend this money at roughly this time".  As with anything, the further out something is in the estimates, the lower the confidence in it actually happening as described.

With the change in regime I suspect it would tricky to find the same documents today to confirm this.

What this recent announcement then suggests is that you've gone from "we'll probably do this $50 million thing" to "we are doing this $50 million thing".
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

Are current wayside detection systems directly connected into the signalling system, or is it more indirect?

Given the frequency and timescale associated with extreme weather events (low and long) I wouldn't have thought too direct a connection was necessary. Actually having some means of detecting and reporting that there is (or could be) a problem is the important part.
donttellmywife


We've had both. Some detectors control signals to stop trains that haven't already passed them as well as setting off an alarm in the signal box. Instruction plates like "slip site - do not pass at stop without authority from signaller" can be used. I don't think it's expensive to do, but obviously this method requires lineside (or perhaps in-cab) signals. Otherwise, detectors may simply trigger an alarm in the signal box / control office. Some systems can broadcast recorded warning messages to trains in the area by open channel radio. Risk reducing civil infrastructure, comprehensive and frequent civil inspections and patrols, including extra patrols during bad weather events in flood or slip prone areas would help. Hang on, that requires money and gangs of men on the ground throughout the network - not compatible with the current fix when fail and bandaid culture...

I look forward to seeing third party wireless communication networks disconnect and drop out systems like ATMS. Still, it will be good while it's working... Here's an alternative ending: when current infrastructure falls due for renewal, a future privatised and pennypinching ARTC and uninterested/broke government might just downsize or scrap the whole ATMS thing in preference for an el cheapo American style verbal/paper train order system - it's quick and easy to move trains, quick and easy to crash them. I guess that will be the emergency procedure employed when ATMS goes down anyway.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Reading some of comments here reminds me of how much angst there was when block signalling took over from time block signal, and the countless other implemented ideas that have lead to improvements in safeworking and management of trains across the network.

I will hold my opinion in reserve for when the system is fully implemented. A shocking concept for Railpage, but it seems far more appropriate then the "the sky will be falling in" style that some posters across these boards have.
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

Reading some of comments here reminds me of how much angst there was when block signalling took over from time block signal, and the countless other implemented ideas that have lead to improvements in safeworking and management of trains across the network.

I will hold my opinion in reserve for when the system is fully implemented. A shocking concept for Railpage, but it seems far more appropriate then the "the sky will be falling in" style that some posters across these boards have.
seb2351


At the risk of venturing off topic on this highly pure thread, I think the angst in relation to the move from time interval to block working, interlocking and continuous automatic brakes was more about the money. It was sometimes embellished with colourfully pseudophilosophical arguments about drivers not taking responsibility for their actions etc. but most arguments could be traced to money in one way or another. Private railways had been giving shareholders respectable returns at one point, but mandated safety technology probably put a dampener on things. I'd feel safer under the block system than time interval, even if it occasionally meant I got delayed, waiting for the train ahead to definitely arrive at the next station/clear the next signal overlap, instead of merely waiting a few minutes before charging off into the fog, hoping that the guard of the train ahead laid dets if his train broke down. I'd also feel safer knowing that when I entered a station, there would not be an engine shunting on the main line, headed straight towards me. The technology had been around for awhile, but because it wasn't mandatory, people were still getting killed and something had to be done. That was the UK in 1889. Australian colonies mostly followed suit.

Despite inventing the automatic air brake and being a leader in power signalling technology, America was slower to actually adopt the signalling and interlocking side of things, but there were always exceptions like the recent development of ATMS-style positive train control (PTC) systems, e.g. the Wabtec electronic train management system (ETMS) and several others including some of the same people involved in ATMS. In the US, where some signalling systems have simply been switched off and the line reverted to a modern form of "dark territory", money was again the main factor. It's cheaper just to have a central train dispatcher planning everything, with only non-interlocked points thrown by train crews at loops and sidings. It works on quieter lines as an alternative to spending millions on signal renewal projects but isn't much good for busy, high speed passenger lines.

You could say ATMS is also about money, or rather a lack of it, right? Among other things, they have accepted that money for conventional infrastructure boosts is going to be hard to come by, and are trying to maximise the efficiency of the network they have. It's also an opportunity to incorporate extra safety measures without the cost and restrictions of fixed block signalling. Nothing wrong with that; I'm certainly not saying that ATMS is dangerous, but that doesn't mean the system won't have its weaknesses or less impressive aspects, because most do. If it turns out to be extremely reliable, that's great. But if a wireless comms link or some other failure crashes the system, I'll laugh as I do when telemetry failures crash conventional remote control systems, or semaphore signal wires snap. Given the other benefits on offer, the occasional system meltdown is a price the powers will probably be willing to pay. As for the possibility of the system being cut back or scrapped, or for a partial privatisation of ARTC, it's hardly unknown for those things to happen in the Australian rail landscape, but you still could call it worthless speculation due to a lack of evidence and even appeal to the mods to silence such idle talk, if you liked... On the other hand, the "speculators" and fear mongers could respond that until the system is fully implemented, any claims and projections from its proponents about what it supposedly will do are also speculation even if they have a rational basis; sure to go down like a lead balloon. Welcome to the world of online discussion fora. Not all of it is scientific grade fact, or intended to be taken seriously. Most people are smart enough to tell the difference.

I look forward to seeing your reserved opinion post implementation, along with the hard facts of the system's performance that will become available.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
"Advanced Train Management System implementation underway

AUSTRALIA will soon start live testing of the next generation of rail freight management systems on the national rail track system.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss welcomed the signing of a contract by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Lockheed Martin Australia to implement the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS).

“The system is custom–engineered technology and will transform the way freight rail infrastructure is managed and monitored across the country,” Mr Truss said."

http://www.artc.com.au/library/141029%20Advanced%20Train%20Management%20System%20implementation%20underway.pdf

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