E.S.M. has recently been involved with two rail projects: one to conduct signalling project management for a level-crossing removal project and the other to analyse the performance of automatic train protection (ATP) on a line that has issues with poor on-time-running performance.

Rail signalling systems are predominantly fail-safe control systems, similar to those used on nuclear plants and power stations, so they fit-well into E.S.M.’s skill set. Such systems have a guaranteed level of reliability and integrity and are developed in accordance with strict adherence to processes and standards, such as EN 50129, which is based on the Functional Safety standard AS IEC 61508.

For the level crossing removal project, E.S.M.’s scope of work was to manage the signalling design contractor, the independent design reviewer, and the installation contractors. E.S.M. also reviewed the Rail Systems Safety Documentation for removing the level crossing.

For the automatic train protection (ATP) analysis project, E.S.M. worked with a CQ University human-factors specialist to analyse the factors affecting on-time running (OTR) of the line, which included the ATP system, but it also included many factors affecting OTR performance, for example: the geography of the line, the varied patronage and driver behaviours, which made it a complex problem to solve. As a complex problem, it had a complex outcome with numerous recommendations for change and improvement, all of which were accepted by the rial operator as issues that need to be addressed.

E.S.M. looks forwards to involvement in future rail projects.