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How the TKL train control system works
30 Nov 2017 (66 views)

1.  FIXED OR MOVING BLOCK

The traditional train control system adopts a fixed block or moving block approach.  I use a different concept, which is out of the box. It is simple and based on common sense. 

Each train leaves the first station at the start time and has to travel 45 km and stop at 30 stations along the way to the destination. They travel at an average speed of say 45 kph (allowing for waiting time at the station). At every km point, the train will send its position (in km along the track) to the control center. The control center can calculate if the train is ahead or behind schedule and instruct the train to travel at a different speed to be back on schedule. 

If there is a slow train in front (i.e. behind schedule, due to train fault), the collision avoidance device on the following train will reduce the speed to avoid collision.  I do not need the control center to operating a "fixed block" or "moving block" approach. 

2.  INTERVAL OF TRAINS 

If the trains leave the station every 2 minutes and keep to the schedule, they will always be 1.6 km apart, which is a long distance. 

It should be possible to get the trains to leave the station every 1 minute and they will still be 1.6 km apart. We will leave it to the collision avoidance system to handle the local condition, e.g. train fault or track fault.
If the trains are 1 min apart, and we need a 0.5 km buffer (or 20 mins), it means that a slow train can cause many trains to be late. The control center should get the slow train off the track as soon as possible.

3.  EQUIPMENT ON EACH TRAIN

My approach requires good equipment on the train, i.e. 
a) a reliable and sturdy collision avoidance system
b) ability to read the km point and send a signal to the control center.
c) ability to read the signals indicating that the train is approaching a station (and to decelerate) and to stop exactly at the platform and open the doors for passengers to alight and board. 

These devices are available and are not expensive. The collision avoidance systems are already installed in cars. Millions of people are sending and receiving data every second.

We do need top quality equipment. I have set aside a budget of $50,000 for each train. 

4.  COST TO OPERATE TWO LINES

I estimated the total cost of my system to operate the North South Line and East West Line  to be $20 million to cover the equipment on the train, the signals along the track and the control center software. It is 10% of what is paid to Thales.

5.  TESTING THE SYSTEM

The testing should also be quite simple, as follows:
a) Does the collision avoidance system work?  
b) Do the signals work? Do they send the data to the control center?
c) Does the software in the control center work?

Surely, this is not difficult to test? Let the suppliers provide the proof. 

6.  PROOF OF CONCEPT

You can watch the monitor screen on http://tklcloud.com/MRT/monitor.aspx.
Pick a specific train and see how it moves along the journey. The full journey will take slightly more than 1 hour (as it is real time simulation) but you can probably get the idea after 15 minutes.

Tan Kin Lian
kinlian@gmail.com

 


How the TKL train control system works
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1.  FIXED OR MOVING BLOCK

The traditional train control system adopts a fixed block or moving block approach.  I use a different concept, which is out of the box. It is simple and based on common sense. 

Each train leaves the first station at the start time and has to travel 45 km and stop at 30 stations along the way to the destination. They travel at an average speed of say 45 kph (allowing for waiting time at the station). At every km point, the train will send its position (in km along the track) to the control center. The control center can calculate if the train is ahead or behind schedule and instruct the train to travel at a different speed to be back on schedule. 

If there is a slow train in front (i.e. behind schedule, due to train fault), the collision avoidance device on the following train will reduce the speed to avoid collision.  I do not need the control center to operating a "fixed block" or "moving block" approach. 

2.  INTERVAL OF TRAINS 

If the trains leave the station every 2 minutes and keep to the schedule, they will always be 1.6 km apart, which is a long distance. 

It should be possible to get the trains to leave the station every 1 minute and they will still be 1.6 km apart. We will leave it to the collision avoidance system to handle the local condition, e.g. train fault or track fault.
If the trains are 1 min apart, and we need a 0.5 km buffer (or 20 mins), it means that a slow train can cause many trains to be late. The control center should get the slow train off the track as soon as possible.

3.  EQUIPMENT ON EACH TRAIN

My approach requires good equipment on the train, i.e. 
a) a reliable and sturdy collision avoidance system
b) ability to read the km point and send a signal to the control center.
c) ability to read the signals indicating that the train is approaching a station (and to decelerate) and to stop exactly at the platform and open the doors for passengers to alight and board. 

These devices are available and are not expensive. The collision avoidance systems are already installed in cars. Millions of people are sending and receiving data every second.

We do need top quality equipment. I have set aside a budget of $50,000 for each train. 

4.  COST TO OPERATE TWO LINES

I estimated the total cost of my system to operate the North South Line and East West Line  to be $20 million to cover the equipment on the train, the signals along the track and the control center software. It is 10% of what is paid to Thales.

5.  TESTING THE SYSTEM

The testing should also be quite simple, as follows:
a) Does the collision avoidance system work?  
b) Do the signals work? Do they send the data to the control center?
c) Does the software in the control center work?

Surely, this is not difficult to test? Let the suppliers provide the proof. 

6.  PROOF OF CONCEPT

You can watch the monitor screen on http://tklcloud.com/MRT/monitor.aspx.
Pick a specific train and see how it moves along the journey. The full journey will take slightly more than 1 hour (as it is real time simulation) but you can probably get the idea after 15 minutes.

Tan Kin Lian
kinlian@gmail.com