Advanced Train Management System (ATMS)

 
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
It's all well and good to bemoan the lack of significant rail infrastructure investment but that doesn't change the reality that neither side of politics seems willing to provide ARTC with a guaranteed stream of funds for such work. It has been and will continue to be a lucky dip.

ARTC has to work with the funding reality that exists now. Considering the entire network ATMS should deliver more for the cost that other any single project. It is also something that the pollies are more likely to warm to (the road equivalent would be state guvmnts pushing 'intelligent' motorways for federal funding).

The alternative is that ARTC simply sits on it's hands because it's all too hard - and we've seen that before Rolling Eyes.

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  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Coota that sounds like someone thinking anything is better than nothing when the anything doesn't achieve very much . To me it sounds like fools pretending to forge progress when the goal is actually political mileage .
The real truth is that a given trains performance overnight on the Sydney Melbourne corridor is no better now than it was 15 years ago provided it didn't catch up to anything .
About all you can say about ATMS is that it could allow a few more trains on the corridor but the average speed of the trains will be lower . The individual operators won't thank anyone for this because individually their trains will be less competitive with road freight not more .
Actually you can see this being better for ARTC because a few more trains means a few more access bucks - for a while anyway .
Time is money in the freight forwarding business so if if all gets too hard/takes to long where do you think more of the customers are going to put their freight ? Yep , on the back of a cut throat priced truck .

Like Rome the Hume wasn't built in a day and a small number of significant deviations WILL do more than any Play Station signalling system could ever hope to .
Throwing good money after bad is something the present failed Government is good at , shame its not our money and some day soon the lenders will want it back . Not to worry , it won't be the liars or the gooses problem then will it ?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Coota that sounds like someone thinking anything is better than nothing when the anything doesn't achieve very much . To me it sounds like fools pretending to forge progress when the goal is actually political mileage .
The real truth is that a given trains performance overnight on the Sydney Melbourne corridor is no better now than it was 15 years ago provided it didn't catch up to anything .
About all you can say about ATMS is that it could allow a few more trains on the corridor but the average speed of the trains will be lower . The individual operators won't thank anyone for this because individually their trains will be less competitive with road freight not more .
Actually you can see this being better for ARTC because a few more trains means a few more access bucks - for a while anyway .
Time is money in the freight forwarding business so if if all gets too hard/takes to long where do you think more of the customers are going to put their freight ? Yep , on the back of a cut throat priced truck .

Like Rome the Hume wasn't built in a day and a small number of significant deviations WILL do more than any Play Station signalling system could ever hope to .
Throwing good money after bad is something the present failed Government is good at , shame its not our money and some day soon the lenders will want it back . Not to worry , it won't be the liars or the gooses problem then will it ?
BDA
Here's $500m - go for it...

Of course the future PM for bitumen will make it all better Rolling Eyes

P.S. Have you heard that Lindsay Tanner in now chairing the ARA Surprised

BER, Batts, Greens etc, etc LaughingLaughingLaughing
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Here's $500m - go for it...

Of course the future PM for bitumen will make it all better Rolling Eyes

P.S. Have you heard that Lindsay Tanner in now chairing the ARA Surprised

BER, Batts, Greens etc, etc LaughingLaughingLaughing
cootanee
What does the ARA actually do?
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
What does the ARA actually do?
MD

Oppose railway progress and ensure that profits are placed before workers safety.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Coota that sounds like someone thinking anything is better than nothing when the anything doesn't achieve very much . To me it sounds like fools pretending to forge progress when the goal is actually political mileage .
The real truth is that a given trains performance overnight on the Sydney Melbourne corridor is no better now than it was 15 years ago provided it didn't catch up to anything .
About all you can say about ATMS is that it could allow a few more trains on the corridor but the average speed of the trains will be lower . The individual operators won't thank anyone for this because individually their trains will be less competitive with road freight not more .
Actually you can see this being better for ARTC because a few more trains means a few more access bucks - for a while anyway .
Time is money in the freight forwarding business so if if all gets too hard/takes to long where do you think more of the customers are going to put their freight ? Yep , on the back of a cut throat priced truck .

Like Rome the Hume wasn't built in a day and a small number of significant deviations WILL do more than any Play Station signalling system could ever hope to .
Throwing good money after bad is something the present failed Government is good at , shame its not our money and some day soon the lenders will want it back . Not to worry , it won't be the liars or the gooses problem then will it ?
BDA
I suspect that if you look at minutes saved per dollar spent, a successfully implemented ATMS would comfortably beat your "realign and duplicate" everything on the east coast (assuming a scope for what you propose).  I suspect it is competitive with many of the much smaller "deviate this, passing lane here" incremental type projects.  Even if someone did stumble over a spare ten billion or so to provide the massive upgrade you seek (noting that ten billion probably only gets the approaches to Sydney sorted...), ATMS would still make that more effective - in fact - I suspect the cost of signalling that sort of upgrade over the east coast network would be more than the cost of ATMS.

You mention the theoretical maximum capacity of a line is based on the speed of the slowest train.  But note that is the theoretical maximum.  If you could come down from the academic ivory tower that your train cab sits upon, then you would realise that in the real world practical issues (I enjoyed writing that...) mean that the actual maximum capacity of the line is less than that.  The overall efficacy of the safeworking system used is one of the reasons for the gap between the theoretical maximum and the real capacity.  In your "own goal" - you identified one of those practical aspects - the spacing of mid section signals.  ATMS helps to address that gap.  At other times there have been discussion of signal sighting issues, advance warning issues, designing signalling for the lowest common denominator (worst performing) train etc (I'm sure you've been one to complain about all of these!) - ATMS solves or helps to mitigate all of these.

I don't have time to track it down, but in one of the recent Hunter Valley capacity planning documents there was a reference to how many additional tonnes of capacity ATMS was expected to deliver (it wasn't huge - but it might have been of the order of a couple of percent increase or something).  That's despite that system already having extensive line side signalling and also having relatively easy access to whatever capital it needs to fund other track improvements (because the main track users ultimately can be made to pay).  

Then you have all the safety aspects on top of that.  It is not hard to find recent incidents that the system would go a long way towards preventing.  

Then there are the differences in systems between states (and within states) - that doesn't come without ongoing complexity and cost.  Finally you have the simple reality that maintaining lots of line side infrastructure is expensive.  All up it is a pretty compelling situation.

Whether your massive "duplicate and realign" project would be worth doing in the first place is really a separate issue.  I think we can all be pretty confident that the sort of funding required isn't to be realistically expected within the next decade.

Finally, note I emphasised successfully implemented.  Because it is system wide, because it is safety critical, because it has a huge impact on the efficiency of the rail network and because there is signficant up-front cost, you don't want to cock this up.  Hence spending some time and money to make sure that this thing works as required seems like a pretty good idea to me.  While the current delay makes me rather nervous, hopefully I won't be disappointed in the long run.  Just have to wait and see...
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
...
Like Rome the Hume wasn't built in a day and a small number of significant deviations WILL do more than any Play Station signalling system could ever hope to .
...
BDA

BDA you keep banging on about the Hume but unlike that piece of road there isn't the political commitment (by Nazi or Commo lots) to rail. That's the reality that 'fools' like us work in.

Of course the network is more than one piece of track. ATMS buys ARTC some breathing space and potentially saves money whilst it continues to lobby for significant improvements.  Again the crystal ball is showing no indication how that will pan out.

But that's simply a balanced, objective assessment of how things go.

Much easier to throw smeg around, whinging and bitching about all us fools. About as useful as a kid screaming for the toy on the top shelf that mummy is never going to buy you (where's the Ritalin Rolling Eyes).
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Silly me, forgot to have a look at some of the recent state based investigations.  In OTSI's most recent...

"The use of a form of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) as widely used overseas would have either prevented the incident or at least reduced the impact of of the SPAD by reducing the distance that the train travelled beyond the signal."
...
"ARTC is introducing an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS).  ATMS does not require line-side signals and therefore the possibility of 'SPADs' will no longer exist.  However, the analogous risk of a 'limit of authority overrun' would be present; ATMS includes 'automatic protection' against this risk.  ATMS is being introduced for a range of operational reasons but will also achieve significant safety outcomes."

What's more interesting though, is that the recommendations say...

"No recommendations are made in relation to the key safety issues identified during the investigation as appropriate remedial actions have been taken, or are in train, to minimise the potential for this type of incident to recur.  These actions are:
...
- the installation of an automatic train management system."

So the safety mob very much think ATMS (or something very much like it) is going ahead, and are basing their recommendations around that.  Looks like there's a bit of an expectation created there!  Recommendations are only recommendations, but I wonder what those recommendations would have been if ATMS was not proceeding?
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
How does ATMS prevent spads?
That would require that ATMS takes over control of the locomotives from the driver.
Can anyone explain precisely how this will be done?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
How does ATMS prevent spads?
That would require that ATMS takes over control of the locomotives from the driver.
Can anyone explain precisely how this will be done?
MD
The mothership has told the train based system what its limit of authority is.  The train based system knows where it is and has some idea of the train's typical braking performance.  If the train based system calculates that the train is past the point at which typical braking would allow it to stop before the limit of authority then it throws out whatever anchors it can find to pull up.  Similar protection exists for line speed issues.  If you can tolerate the background music, more here.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Silly me, forgot to have a look at some of the recent state based investigations.  In OTSI's most recent...

"The use of a form of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) as widely used overseas would have either prevented the incident or at least reduced the impact of of the SPAD by reducing the distance that the train travelled beyond the signal."
...
"ARTC is introducing an Advanced Train Management System (ATMS).  ATMS does not require line-side signals and therefore the possibility of 'SPADs' will no longer exist.  However, the analogous risk of a 'limit of authority overrun' would be present; ATMS includes 'automatic protection' against this risk.  ATMS is being introduced for a range of operational reasons but will also achieve significant safety outcomes."

What's more interesting though, is that the recommendations say...

"No recommendations are made in relation to the key safety issues identified during the investigation as appropriate remedial actions have been taken, or are in train, to minimise the potential for this type of incident to recur.  These actions are:
...
- the installation of an automatic train management system."

So the safety mob very much think ATMS (or something very much like it) is going ahead, and are basing their recommendations around that.  Looks like there's a bit of an expectation created there!  Recommendations are only recommendations, but I wonder what those recommendations would have been if ATMS was not proceeding?
donttellmywife
I think I noticed this in the report about the SPAD at Gunnedah last year.

I wouldn't lend too much weight to anything OTSI puts in its reports, though, especially when it comes to initiatives over which it has no control. More than likely, ARTC would have simply told OTSI that similar accidents would be prevented by a system they are currently considering and OTSI ran with it because it sounded good.

OTSI and ITSR have already proven that politics and government image mean more to them than safety. After recent events, their credibility is in the toilet among those in the know.


Oppose railway progress and ensure that profits are placed before workers safety.
seb2351
hahaha - the "Anti-Railway Association"? I didn't realize it was like that!

Sounds like the ALP - "Anti Labor Party"
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes on a dollar per minute basis and by your analagy don't spend much money and don't get much gain .
I know there is not the will to spend the money to do it right and this is why as a general form of land transport non bulk rail is a dismal failure in Australia . Compared to road it has SFA capacity and running trains nose to tail on current alignments won't change that .
By the way google Nazis , you'll find they are socialists too .
Actually think about this example - ARTC six years ago in cooperation with Rail Corp decides we don't need an SSFL , we can just have ATMS between Macarthur and Sefton Jct . Yeah right .
Then the North Strathfield underpass idea is scrapped because ATMS is cheaper and the be all and end all ...
Failed concept ?
Could have saved a fortune using ATMS instead of the flyover that gets coal trains into Hunter coal terminals because - drum roll - ATMS beats anything on a cost/minute basis .
All the passing lanes south of Junee and the standardisation of the North East Victorian broad gauge , all a complete and utter waste of of time and money when a "cheap" gem like ATMS would have had a FAR better cost benefit ratio .  

Still think ATMS is a better idea than physical infrastructure ? Run it past an honest Shrink .

I didn't say anything about theoretical capacity being limited by the slowest train , I was speaking actuals and if you gods know how to get a string of faster trains past a slow one without running around it the railway world wants to hear about it .

But anyway go ahead and promote ATMS , like a lot of theoretical BS it has to be proven that the gains in productivity are minimul to zip but after the moneys spent - its gone so you have to rape the tax payers for more . Going to love that aren't they ?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
BDA you continue to miss the point. ATMS is another piece of infrastructure - it doesn't preclude other works if you can get the funding for them. It delivers a number of benefits that appear worthwhile for $500m compared to any other single investment of that amount.

However it may never happen if ARTC can't get the funding - just like all the deviations and other projects that haven't happened yet and that neither Julia or Tony are going to pay for.

P.S. No prizes for guessing which side of Aussie politics National Socialist Workers Joe or Hermann would be more at home with. They loved their autobahns too Laughing
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
... more here.
donttellmywife
Continue to be bemused by the questions and comments many of which are covered off on the website.

Another upside to ATMS - less copper out there Winkhttp://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-12429/
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
2013 Federal budget... $65m to commence implementation.

That would suggest that ARTC management had signed-off to continue the project beyond Proof of Concept.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
2013 Federal budget... $65m to commence implementation.

That would suggest that ARTC management had signed-off to continue the project beyond Proof of Concept.
cootanee
http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-12563/
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-12563/
bevans
Lets ask a specific question.
How would ATMS be installed in say an NR class, such that the ATMS system could take over from the driver and prevent a spad?
We have a horizontally integrated rail regime.
ARTC doesnt own the locomotives.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Lets ask a specific question.
How would ATMS be installed in say an NR class, such that the ATMS system could take over from the driver and prevent a spad?
We have a horizontally integrated rail regime.
ARTC doesnt own the locomotives.
MD

Looking a few years down the track...


Dear Mrs Pacific National,

As discussed and negotiated over the last few years, if you want to run your locomotive on our network after this date you will need to have this shiny thing with "ATMS" written on the outside installed and working.

Hugs and kisses,

Mr ARTC.


(The state government doesn't own our cars.  But a representative of the state government (he was dressed in blue and drove a car with a blue flashing light on top) was getting quite antsy a few weeks back when he noticed someone trying to drive past my place with less than the normal number of wheels installed on their vehicle.)
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Lets ask a specific question.
How would ATMS be installed in say an NR class, such that the ATMS system could take over from the driver and prevent a spad?
We have a horizontally integrated rail regime.
ARTC doesnt own the locomotives.
MD

Hi MD...

Idea from the ATMS site FAQ (easy enough to find but here's the link anyway http://atms.artc.com.au/faqs/)

"ATMS will stop a train if it is at risk of exceeding the authorities provided by the responsible train controller.  The driver of the subject train will be provided with both audio and visual warnings that will allow him adequate time to bring the train back to safe operations.  If these alerts are not responded to in a positive manner a countdown will be initiated by ATMS.  At the end of that countdown, if the train is not back within its authorised speed profile, the train will be stopped."

Of course no one has raised the 'who pays' question with ARTC and ARTC hasn't even considered it. Laughing
But lets consider the possibilities (noting that non ATMS locos can still operate with certain constraints as per the FAQ)

- ARTC provides at no cost
- Operator provides at own cost
- ARTC / Operator share cost
- ARTC provides for fee (leased)
- ARTC offsets operator cost through access fee discounts

Shall we go on...
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Still not answering the question.
How is it done.
Who manufactures the "shiny thing."
How do you retrofit the "shiny thing " into an XPT or an Explorer or Endeavour rail car.

The issue Im trying to raise is how do you retrofit to every class of SG loco that exists something to do what ATMS says it can do.
How many existing locos have been retrofitted with ATMS gear, and what are their numbers?

In the existing trials that ARTC has carried out , did the ATMS gear take over from the driver to prevent spads?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Still not answering the question.
How is it done.
Who manufactures the "shiny thing."
How do you retrofit the "shiny thing " into an XPT or an Explorer or Endeavour rail car.
MD
I think the SPAD question is.
Look it's just electronic equipment (which may or may not be shiny). The trainborne subsystem's various components including interface bits technically is not any show stopper. If you are interested there is a heck of a lot of reading material up on the ATMS site - but unfortunately no 'How do I install this in my loco' manual Wink

From the FAQ (again)

Will other suppliers other than Lockheed Martin and Ansaldo-STS have a chance to provide parts of the ATMS?Yes. ATMS is being built with an open system architecture that will facilitate a competition for the supply of system components.
  Roadmaster Locomotive Driver

Still not answering the question.
How is it done.
Who manufactures the "shiny thing."
How do you retrofit the "shiny thing " into an XPT or an Explorer or Endeavour rail car.

The issue Im trying to raise is how do you retrofit to every class of SG loco that exists something to do what ATMS says it can do.
How many existing locos have been retrofitted with ATMS gear, and what are their numbers?

In the existing trials that ARTC has carried out , did the ATMS gear take over from the driver to prevent spads?
MD
The US government has mandated 'positive train control' across most of the network by 2015 (a deadline that railroads are saying they can't meet) that will require the retro-fitment of equipment to a huge amount of locos and other rolling stock. Whatever form it takes, PTC will have to work across systems, much like ATMS will have to work in Australia. These things can be done. It might be complex, difficult, expensive and time consuming but it can be done.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Still not answering the question.
How is it done.
Who manufactures the "shiny thing."
How do you retrofit the "shiny thing " into an XPT or an Explorer or Endeavour rail car.

The issue Im trying to raise is how do you retrofit to every class of SG loco that exists something to do what ATMS says it can do.
How many existing locos have been retrofitted with ATMS gear, and what are their numbers?

In the existing trials that ARTC has carried out , did the ATMS gear take over from the driver to prevent spads?
MD

I suspect the number of ATMS fitted locomotives is less than or equal to two, and possibly zero.  Certainly their documents indicate that for the first phase of field testing their test locomotive was a Toyota Landcruiser.

In addition to cootanee's comments, I imagine each operator would have to work out how best to install the system in their respective machines and arrange for the necessary customisation of any interfaces.  They need to position a screen somewhere accessible for the driver, there's probably a separate box or two of electronics with the real brains and the inertial navigation stuff that can be hidden somewhere, they need to provide power to the system, they need to mount in an appropriately exposed place any antennas (2 x GPS, comms) for the system, they need to give the system some way of applying the brakes and cutting tractive effort (presumably similar to how vigilance controls work today), they probably need to give the system a reading of train speed (independent of GPS), they probably need to give the system access to things like brake pipe pressure and throttle position (so the onboard computer can predict what the train is about to do).

Equipment that has been delivered in the last decade or so will already have significant on-board systems - interfacing with those may satisfy some of the requirements above.  There aren't that many locomotive system vendors active in the market.  You see occasional retrofits of monitoring systems to existing fleets from time to time (fuel systems, new radios, etc).  Failing that, in the worse case you start from scratch - applying the brakes requires a solenoid, measuring speed might be a doppler radar, brake pipe pressure is a pressure transducer, throttle position is a position sensor of some sort., etc.

This won't all happen overnight.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
I suspect the number of ATMS fitted locomotives is less than or equal to two, and possibly zero.  Certainly their documents indicate that for the first phase of field testing their test locomotive was a Toyota Landcruiser.

In addition to cootanee's comments, I imagine each operator would have to work out how best to install the system in their respective machines and arrange for the necessary customisation of any interfaces.  They need to position a screen somewhere accessible for the driver, there's probably a separate box or two of electronics with the real brains and the inertial navigation stuff that can be hidden somewhere, they need to provide power to the system, they need to mount in an appropriately exposed place any antennas (2 x GPS, comms) for the system, they need to give the system some way of applying the brakes and cutting tractive effort (presumably similar to how vigilance controls work today), they probably need to give the system a reading of train speed (independent of GPS), they probably need to give the system access to things like brake pipe pressure and throttle position (so the onboard computer can predict what the train is about to do).

Equipment that has been delivered in the last decade or so will already have significant on-board systems - interfacing with those may satisfy some of the requirements above.  There aren't that many locomotive system vendors active in the market.  You see occasional retrofits of monitoring systems to existing fleets from time to time (fuel systems, new radios, etc).  Failing that, in the worse case you start from scratch - applying the brakes requires a solenoid, measuring speed might be a doppler radar, brake pipe pressure is a pressure transducer, throttle position is a position sensor of some sort., etc.

This won't all happen overnight.
donttellmywife
As above...
Anyone who has worked on any large ITC system development will understand the time and effort that goes into such things. However it's still only rocket science Wink

Clearly ARTC management are satisfied with the Proof of Concept to the extent they were able to successfully obtain further federal funding even in a competitive budget context.
Meanwhile state road authorities have been busy developing ITS management of motorways over a few years now and specific deployments are now being put up for federal funding.
  landmark Station Staff

In the existing trials that ARTC has carried out , did the ATMS gear take over from the driver to prevent spads?
MD


Yes it did. I am reliably informed a GW 22 class loco was fitted out with the full ATMS set of equipment. This included an interface to both the service and emergency brakes and a series of trials run with this loco and trailing wagons.

Whilst there is an amount of installation and wiring work to be performed, technically the braking interface would be no different to those used for many of the current vigilance systems and an extra switch can be placed in line with these components.

Reading the design documentation, it appears there are only two major components installed on the train along with connections to various inputs and antennas. The two components are the display and the train control computer. The computer contains all the electronic and navigation equipment and appears to be about 30cm by 30cm by 30cm.

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