Management System for Train Movements
In 2017, the PSA team started to develop a set of tools to interact with microprocessor-based interlocking controllers for one of the biggest players in the world rail market. In addition to the Designer and Simulator that help execute interlocking functions on location, we have designed a new version of the system for the real-time management of wayside devices. The tool is expected to inform the dispatcher about what was going on in specific location and allow them to manage rail situation.
Enable dispatchers to continuously monitor the current on-track situation and intervene if necessary. Eliminate human mistakes while managing the respective rail territories.
Create a new version of the system for the real-time management of train movements that can be easily implemented for every separate rail sector.
PSA’s engineering team has created a handy tool – a software package that allows dispatchers to:
Monitor the rail situation within a section – track circuits, trains, signals, and authorities are displayed graphically
Manage the rail situation – move switches, change signals, get crossings down, and so on
Be informed about signaling failures – monitor the status of interlocking controllers, and research the reasons for errors
Jointly manage the station’s elements on the borders of rail sections
Study the data in technical representation – this function is relevant for engineers
The system is in constant communication with interlocking controllers within a rail station. It collects the data from the field, transfers it to the working computer, and represents it in a way that a dispatcher can understand. This software is easily installed on the operator’s working computer and prohibits running other tools when operating.
To provide this service, we developed 3 components of the system that are delivered in a software package:
Client component – GUI that the operator interacts with
Communication component – a server that communicates with wayside equipment
Protection component – a tool that blocks the operation of other programs
The software package of this tool is developed and delivered for every rail station separately, considering each location's unique features: amount and arrangement of switches and signals, construction features, restrictions, and so on. Thus, the package is created for the unique configuration of different interlocking controllers.
Many times while developing the package for the new location we encountered incorrect 3rd party data. The most challenging was to eliminate conflicts in operating interlocking controllers that were incorrectly programmed to use one IP address. We overcame this by setting up one process for all of them.
For observing the historical data from controllers for their entire deployment, we delivered an additional tool – a data collector. It can be connected to the wayside devices and the management software, where the operator can select a period of time and view the data for a particular device.
As a result, the client received a dispatching system tool for continuous safety monitoring of train movements. The system can be delivered to any rail location where the client’s equipment is used.
- Requirements definition
- Architecture design
- Software development
- GUI development
- Writing technical documentation
- Product testing
- User manuals creation
- Continuous support
The system was developed and uniquely customized for 10 stations across the US
Human errors were eliminated
Signaling failures are resolved 2x faster
We continue cooperation upon the customer’s request by developing software packages for rail signaling solutions at every specific rail location. Also, we are developing a new, more productive version of the data collector.