On 25 June 2015, 4Tel and John Holland Rail successfully delivered Electronic Authorities (EA) into train control operation. One year later, over 21,000 Electronic Authorities have been issued with 99% of all train movement authorities for 2016 being Electronic.
Operational statistics have shown that time spent in voice communication between train controller and train driver in Electronic Authority territory is so low that it is now equivalent to signalled territory, providing significant efficiencies for train control and train crew.
With trains now releasing at every location, trains are able to follow much more closely than is practical using voice authorities, thus improving operational headways without infrastructure changes.
In addition to operational benefits, Electronic Authorities has been assessed to deliver a 30% improvement in safety. The automatic delivery of out-of-authority alarms to the locomotive has been a key contributor. This feature has been particularly well received and commended by industry.
The technology has also dramatically reduced Network Controller workload with time efficiency savings of roughly 95% of an equivalent voice train order system.
These improvements and efficiencies have been achieved by applying technology to enhance the previous method of voice operations. The use of voice authorities has therefore not been lost with staff periodically required to use paper-based and voice practices, ensuring that the skills held by operational staff are maintained.
Operational staff are delighted with the increased safety and efficiency of the network.
Derel Wust, Managing Director, said “To be able to deliver a modern software system that can produce such a huge increase in safety is very special.”
Wust said, “Also relevant is that the system is more efficient in line utilisation, because it also increases the line capacity to that of an equivalent track-circuited solution.”
4Tel will be opening its new transport technology research and development facility in Newcastle on July 19.