The Train Management and Control System (TMACS) is a computer-based Train Order Working (TOW) system for the control of rural and regional railway lines. Train Order Working is a method of Safe Working ideally suited for controlling train movements, particularly on lines that comprise single track lines with passing loops. TMACS utilises a centralised radio-based interlocking for the control of trains using both voice and electronic movement authorities. Versions of the software are currently used in Australia (regional NSW on the Australian Rail Track (ARTC) single-track main and NSW rural lines).
TMACS is proven in both operational service and safety performance. The product uses screen-based forms and GPS tracking of train movements against issued authorities, to produce a total safety solution for radio-based train order working.
This system works over both private and public communications networks (e.g. mobile phone) offering flexibility for deployment. The additional benefit is that track-side infrastructure is limited to inexpensive static signs, there-by maximising rail infrastructure reliability and minimising the through-life operational costs of the railway.
TMACS is the ONLY radio-based train movement authority system in Australia that is formally accredited to international standard IEC 61508 for Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL-2) by using a GPS Watchdog Server to monitor actual train movements against authorised train movements. This is important because as more processes in rail are computerised and interfaces automated, the behaviour of a safety-related system needs to be independently verified. TMACS has this formal verification.
TMACS is currently used as a Level 1 voice-based system and Level 2 electronic authorities as its underlying databases and GPS checking support the issue of full Electronic Authorities for data transmission to locomotives and vehicles. Mixed fleet working (voice and electronic authorities) is also supported as a core capability.
The development path for the TMACS suite, so that it can be used simultaneously on any line for any mix of locomotive technology is:
- TMACS Level 1 – for mixed-fleet, voice-based, conventional train order working
- TMACS Level 2 – for mixed voice and electronic movement authorities to trains
- TMACS Level 3 – for mixed voice and electronic movements authorities to trains with on-board enforcement (available December 2016)
The Train Management and Control System features:
- Radio-based voice orders to mixed locomotive and vehicle fleets
- Only trackside signage infrastructure that reduces track costs
- Very cost effective control of remote and rural single line tracks
- Electronic train graphs for efficiency and safety incident replay
- SIL-2 Watchdog software processes for safety management
- UNIX servers for high availability
- Suitable software for evolution to Electronic Authorities
- Extensive use in NSW
- Compatibility with the new National Safe-working Environment