Tuesday 18 October 2022

DAS (Driver Advisory Systems) / SFERA Workshop

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The UIC SFERA Working Group just published the 2nd edition of IRS 90940 which aims to improve the initially proposed SFERA protocol by taking many of the stakeholders’ comments and change requests into account.

To celebrate this, the SFERA Working Group held a workshop on 10 October, where they presented their DAS and implementations following the SFERA protocol.

The workshop was held at UIC Headquarters with 56 in-person participants and around 30 online. Its first section was moderated by Bart Van der Spiegel from Infrabel, and the second by Thomas Sutter from SBB, who are both vital to the SFERA Working Group.

In her welcome speech, Lucie Anderton, Head of the UIC Sustainability Unit, highlighted how implementing SFERA would increase the capacity to save energy alongside making rail an even more efficient, reliable, comfortable, and sustainable mode of transport, on top of already being 6 to 11 times more energy efficient than road or aviation. Anderton will be at COP27 next month talking about the importance of the railway as a solution to climate change.

Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Deputy Director of the Rail System Department, also gave an introductory speech underlining that SFERA is a step in the right direction for improving services and operations, while also useful for IMs to manage fleets and optimise capacity. SFERA helps both sustainability and continuing the train system’s automation. It will also be implemented alongside the Automatic Train Operation (ATO) system, on all existing ATP (Automatic Train Protection) systems.

Jean-Michel Rinfray and Christophe Gueudar Delahaye (SNCF Voyageurs) talked about how necessary DAS and the SFERA protocol are for saving energy and forming a basis for the new generation of driving tools. Rinfray also underlined the importance of IMs proposing this solution as a way to improve interoperability and make railways more competitive. Geudar Delahaye stressed the importance of saving energy in light of the 2022 energy crisis due to recent wars and problems with nuclear energy. DAS and C DAS (Connected Driver Advisory System) are also vital for the global SNCF Voyageurs programme “Cap Energie”.

Sébastien Dislaire (SNCF Réseau), Théo Vis (NS) and Tibor Weidner (DB Netz), spoke about IRS 90940 Edition 2 and the main changes made from Edition 1, which include new functions to improve user experience, to simplify implementation, and to enhance performance.

These new functions include:

  • advised speed limits in temporary situations,
  • a new timetable mode,
  • new real-time data in the status report,
  • a new option to include network specific parameters in several areas of the data structure,
  • interoperability improvements.

The User Group and Working Group members presented their steps for implementing DAS and SFERA:

  • Amel Smailji (CFL Infrastructure) and Mohammad SABBAGHIAN (Cubris), gave a presentation on “A Connected Driver Advisory System for CFL” showing their choice for using DAS as a solution in their ATO strategy, with C-DAS as a steppingstone,
  • Markus Wachter (Emch+Berger) presented SOB’s implementation, with new insights into how SFERA may be applied for ATO on the Train Control System Level 1 Limited Supervision in Switzerland,
  • On behalf of SignatureRail/TTG, Robert Yee presented C-DAS - Layered INformation eXchange (LINX), the C-DAS Pilot, and the 3-phase peak power demand study,
  • Pim Sierhuis (Prorail) and Theo Vis (NS) gave a presentation on the specific situation, challenges and next steps of the Dutch SFERA implementation,
  • Daniel Friedl (ÖBB) gave a presentation remotely on the preliminary stages of Adaptive Train Control (Adaptive Zuglenkung) and the next steps to be taken,
  • Sebastien Dislaire presented ATO and C-DAS strategy deployment and its constraints for SNCF Réseau,
  • Daniele Arena (UIC) gave a presentation on the current status of and updates on various SFERA members such as SBB, SNCF Voyageurs, DB Netz, Infrabel, Trafikverket, and SNCB.

Benoit Bienfait and Harm Jonker presented the joint SFERA and X2Rail project, X2Rail4, and spoke about the situation regarding TSI 2022, the planned SFERA roadmap, and SFERA and Shift2Rail’s collaborative work.

The event finished with an interactive networking fair where posters were displayed explaining SFERA and some of the solutions developed with SFERA, Cubris, TTG, Transrail, and NS/ProRail.

For further information please contact Philippe Stefanos, Energy Environment and Sustainability Advisor – Sustainable Development Unit:
stefanos@uic.org

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