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Fiches descriptives

PROSE AG

Monbijoustrasse 35
3011 Bern
Switzerland

Homologation support for the approval of an automatic coupler

SBB Cargo AG implements technological possibilities along the entire value-added chain of its freight transport within the scope of its strategic automation programme. The “one-man operation” project aims at enabling one person, instead of two persons, to add wagons to a freight train within intermodal traffic in Switzerland.

Project specification

SBB Cargo AG implements technological possibilities along the entire value-added chain of its freight transport within the scope of its strategic automation programme. The “one-man operation” project aims at enabling one person, instead of two persons, to add wagons to a freight train within intermodal traffic in Switzerland.
With the project “automatic couplers” SBB Cargo is planning to retrofit in total three locomotives of the types Tm232, Re420 and Am843 with automatic couplers. On the Am843 and Re420 locomotive an automatic hybrid coupler will be installed; whereas on the locomotive Tm232 the existing screw coupler is complemented by a shunting coupler.
The buffers remain on the locomotives to allow operation of standard freight wagons with screw couplers.


Our approach

PROSE managed the homologation process and supported the coordination between SBB Cargo AG and the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) to achieve the approval for the automatic coupler for commercial operation.
This process was based on RTE 49100 guideline, which is published by the Association of Swiss Transport Companies (VöV). The necessary working steps included a description of the modifications on the vehicle in current state, the desired state, and the hazard and risk analysis which was compiled in accordance to RTE 49100 in a joint workshop with SBB Cargo.
Specific steps for the verification process were derived from the hazard and risk analysis to finalise the homologation concept and to submit the application for operating approval. For each vehicle type a specific set of documents adapted to its technical solution was compiled.
In a second phase, the documents were presented from SBB Cargo AG to the FOT for review and comment. Finally, the feedback from the FOT verification was incorporated


Customer benefit

The customer gains an overview of the valid regulations to be considered for the approval process with the FOT. Consequently, the authorities received a fast processing time and later the customer a lean, efficient verification and issue of the operating approval. PROSE has made a valuable, risk-minimising contribution to the “automatic couplers” project which is essential for the success of the strategic automation programme.

Project information


SBB Cargo, Switzerland

Project tasks:
  • Analysis and description of the modifications
  • Formulation of the proposed modifications
  • Classification of the modifications and associated risks in accordance with RTE 49100
  • Preparation of an approval concept
  • Preparation of the documents to be presented to the FOT
  • Integration of FOT’s comments into the approval concept

Retrofitted locomotives:
  • Re420
  • (electric main-line loc)
  • Weight: 80 t
  • Length: 15.5 m
  • Power: 4,650
  • Tm232
  • (diesel-hydraulic shunting loc)
  • Weight: 30 t
  • Length: 7.7 m
  • Power: 310 kW
  • Am843
  • (diesel-hydraulic shunting loc)
  • Weight: 80 t
  • Length: 15.2 m
  • Power: 1,500 kW
Sandro Napoli

Sandro Napoli

Consultant

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PROSE Berlin GmbH

Colditzstraße 28 Geb. 7 Aufg. C
12099 Berlin
Germany

Ensuring the trafficability of planned track layouts using existing vehicles

Würzburger Strassenbahn GmbH (WSB) plans to expand its network. The transition from the existing network to the planned extension poses a challenge in terms of track layout due to the existing buildings and the hillside location.

Project specification

Würzburger Strassenbahn GmbH (WSB) plans to expand its network. The transition from the existing network to the planned extension poses a challenge in terms of track layout due to the existing buildings and the hillside location. The existing GT-E and GT-N vehicles must be able to run on the new route, while ensuring derailment safety, tolerable torsional loads and being free of constraints. PROSE has been commissioned to investigate these issues by performing a running dynamics simulation.


Our approach

Available vehicle data was compiled for the model set-up. Missing data was supplemented by PROSE using calculated estimates.

Torsional stiffness of the running gear and the car bodies are of particular importance here. These figures were not known at the beginning of the project and cannot be adequately estimated. Therefore, distortion measurements were carried out in advance by PROSE’s accredited testing laboratory.

Using the two vehicle models, the simulations were first carried out on a route on the existing network. This reference route is currently used regularly by both vehicle types and is presumably the current critical point when it comes to the torsional loads.

The core work for this project is the simulation of the newly planned route. Boundary conditions such as loading, winter stiffening of the rubber springs, etc. can be varied. The results are evaluated against rules and regulations, as well as the reference run.

At this point the trafficabilty of the route was not established, so PROSE adjusted the track layout - in particular the superelevation. This ensured that the track layout could be used. While at the beginning the project exit strategy was still to be defined, PROSE was able to work out a track layout which can be used by both vehicle types GT-E and GT-N within the given scope.


Customer benefit

The immediate benefit for WSB was being guaranteed, during the planning phase, that the new route could be used before the building work began. At the same time the risk of consequences which could arise later, such as cracks in the vehicle structure, occurring after the construction project had been completed was minimised.

An indirect benefit is that the vehicle models are available for further investigations without further initial effort.

Furthermore, the vehicle models have been documented independently of the software, so that WSB now has complete data sets of all relevant running dynamics parameters.

Project information


Würzburger Strassenbahn GmbH (WSB), Germany

Project tasks:
  • Measurement of torsional stiffness
  • The set-up, plausibility checks and documentation of running dynamics simulation models
  • Investigation of the accessibility of the planned track layout
  • Delivery of the final track layout

Technical data:
  • 90 per mill ascent/descent
  • 20 m tight bend radius
Johannes Keudel

Johannes Keudel

Manager Engineering Berlin

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PROSE AG

Monbijoustrasse 35
3011 Bern
Switzerland

Expert assessment - Operation of UIC and AAR brake systems in the same train

ISR commissioned PROSE with the preparation of an independent expert assessment to find out whether it is possible and safe to operate a train with different brake systems.

Project specification

The entire rolling stock of Israel Railways (ISR) has brake systems according to UIC standards. There is however a small fleet of diesel-electric locomotives with AAR brake system, which are used in freight trains. In this case, a train consists of two AAR locomotives at the front and up to thirty UIC freight wagons. When such a train is operated, train separation sometimes occurs, or the brakes on some of the wagons are released, whereas the brakes of the other wagons are applied. Moreover, emergency braking triggered by a PC System is either delayed or not initiated at all. The root cause of these problems in operatin trains with mixed brake systems is unknown at ISR.


Our approach

ISR commissioned PROSE with the preparation of an independent expert assessment to find out whether it is possible and safe to operate a train with different brake systems. The study focused on the analysis and comparison of the standards for UIC and AAR brake systems as well as on the technical differences and operational characteristics of the two brake systems. The brake systems of the existing vehicles were analysed, and the technical and operational risks for the various train compositions identified.


Customer benefit

ISR has now an independent expert assessment about the risks of operating trains that consist of AAR locomotives and UIC freight wagons. Moreover, PROSE listed the measures together with a suggested solution for the immediate reduction of the operational risks and for the long-term stable operation of trains which consist of both AAR and UIC rolling stock.

Project information


Customer: Israel Railways Ltd., Israel

Project tasks:
  • Analysis and comparison of the standards for UIC and AAR brake systems
  • Analysis and comparison of technical differences and operational characteristics of the two brake systems
  • Analysis of brake systems of the existing vehicles
  • Identification of technical and operational risks for the various train compositions

Thomas Döring

Thomas Döring

Senior Consultant

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PROSE Berlin GmbH

Colditzstraße 28 Geb. 7 Aufg. C
12099 Berlin
Germany

Driving a 2,200t freight train safely down the Brenner Pass railway track

The project is part of an extensive analysis regarding the safety of the operation of heavy freight trains for an Italian based freight train operator, in which PROSE was commissioned to analyse the longitudinal dynamics of different train configurations in specific brake scenarios on the transalpine Brenner Pass railway track.

Project specification

The project is part of an extensive analysis regarding the safety of the operation of heavy freight trains for an Italian based freight train operator, in which PROSE was commissioned to analyse the longitudinal dynamics of different train configurations in specific brake scenarios on the transalpine Brenner Pass railway track. For this purpose, extensive multibody simulations were performed – during which the forces in the buffers and draw gears as well as the wheel/rail forces were observed and examined.


Our approach

When it comes to the maximum forces in the buffers and draw gears, PROSE determined the most sensitive setup in terms of train configuration, point of brake initiation as well as failure mode. This was achieved using numerous variations which lead to a trade-off of modeling depth, degrees of freedom as well as numbers of variations.

This brought along challenges such as identifying the most sensitive case on basis on a limited number of simulations. Another challenge was that of developing a buffer and draw gear model that combines an accurate picture of the reality with a suitable numerical efficiency.

PROSE overcame these challenges by using a simulation model, which follows two steps in line with the requirements; but also by choosing the starting points of the variations with great care and profound experience.


Customer benefit

The results show that in some cases, the originally proposed train configuration leads to high forces in the buffers and draw gears. Given this, more suitable configurations have been proposed, that in addition lead to cost savings.
PROSE also developed a more realistic model for the buffers and draw gears. As a result, the quasi-static curve negotiation can be simulated more accurately than it is the case using standard solutions.

Project information


Services:
  • Multi-body simulations of a freight train
  • Emergency brake application in a downhill slope of 22.5 ‰
  • Passing of a narrow switch under maximum traction
  • Determination of maximum draw gear forces
  • Determination of maximum buffer forces
  • Monitoring of limit values

Technical data:
  • Overall weight of the train: up to 2’370 t
  • Downhill slope: 22.5 ‰
  • Number of wagons: up to 37
  • Configurations: with/without rear locomotive
  • Brake scenarios: electrodynamic brake of the rear loco on/off, brake isolated wagons
  • Maximum velocity: 75 km/h

Robbin Wetter

Robbin Wetter

Engineer Simulation

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PROSE AG

Monbijoustrasse 35
3011 Bern
Switzerland

Driverless Operation Feasibility- Waldenburgerbahn

Baselland Transport AG (BLT), as the new operator of the Waldenburgerbahn, wants to check the feasibility of automatic and/or autonomous operation as part of a complete renewal.

Project specification

Baselland Transport AG (BLT), as the new operator of the Waldenburgerbahn, wants to check the feasibility of automatic and/or autonomous operation as part of a complete renewal. The aim is a gradual introduction of innovative technologies to secure future-oriented investments. The results of the feasibility study are to be integrated in the preparation of the tender for the new rolling stock, as well as in the parallel tasks of project planning of the infrastructure.


Our approach

A diversified broad-ranging taking phase as well as a separate phase for in-depth analysis were carried out before the feasibility phase. This ensured the conclusion of well-founded statements. During the first phase, a market overview was carried out together with a detailed description of the planned infrastructure – which ensured the achievement of the range required. The next step was creating the additional depth required by using standard technology and safety analyses. After consolidation, various variants were developed and evaluated during the feasibility phase. In coordination with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the best variant was selected and subsequently specified by proposed implementation measures.


Customer benefit

Thanks to PROSE’s structured approach, BLT received a well-founded result based on a diversified analysis. During the realisation of the project, BLT already received an overview of the current state of the art autonomous transport systems and of present projects. In the end PROSE developed a coordinated proposal for a step by step introduction of autonomous operation, as well as further steps required for implementation, which were co-ordinated with the FOT.

Project information

Customer: BLT Transport AG, Switzerland

Project tasks:

  • Overall observation of the market
  • Detailed description of the planned infrastructure
  • Analysis of standards, technology and safety
  • Examination of the specifications
  • Conclusion of asset of proposed measures of realisation - in coordination with FOT

Sandro Napoli

Sandro Napoli

Consultant

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PROSE AG

Monbijoustrasse 35
3011 Bern
Switzerland

Support by the procurement of a road-rail motor tower car

To be able to maintain and repair its overhead contact line systems for trams and trolleys, BERNMOBIL needs a new motor tower car. As some sections of the tram network are separate tracks, a road-rail vehicle is the ideal solution.

Project specification

To be able to maintain and repair its overhead contact line systems for trams and trolleys, BERNMOBIL needs a new motor tower car. As some sections of the tram network are separate tracks, a road-rail vehicle is the ideal solution. The selected road-rail motor tower car has been manufactured by Hilton Kommunal GmbH and was manufactured and tested in Germany.


Our approach

In the tender phase BERNMOBIL entrusted PROSE with the requirements management, inclusive of the preparation of the requirements specification and all other documents needed for the public call for tenders (simap, 148171). It mainly includes the contract for work and materials, the requirements for availability and reliability, the evaluation model with the assessment matrix and the general conditions for the future maintenance and support contract for the first ten years of operation. Upon receipt of the tenders PROSE supported the tender evaluation as an independent expert. In the execution phase PROSE supported the customer. In the procurement phase PROSE assisted with the analysis of the construction documents and with the manufacturing supervision within the scope of the intermediate tests at the works, the intermediate acceptance and the final acceptance. In parallel PROSE supports all homologation activities, inclusive of the co-operation with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT).


Customer benefit

BERNMOBIL profits from PROSE’s vast experience with procurement of rolling stock and from PROSE’s rail-specific expert knowledge. Competent and experienced experts provide support in the fields of design, development, manufacture and homologation of vehicles so that the customer does not have to provide project-specific resources.

Project information

Customer: BERNMOBIL, public transport company in Bern, Switzerland

Project tasks:

  • Requirements management
  • Contract for work and materials as well as call for tenders
  • Evaluation of tenders
  • Examination of the specifications
  • Manufacturing supervision
  • Acceptance support

Technical data of the vehicle:

  • Catenary vehicle, two-axle truck
  • Total weight: 18 t
  • Homologation: CH for road and rail operation
  • Running gear for the rail: Gauge: 1000 mm, Max. inclination: 70 %
  • Work equipment: insulated scissors lift, cabinet for materials and tools, licensed for 4 persons
  • Maintenance and support for at least 10 years
Rolf Mühlemann

Rolf Mühlemann

General Manager Switzerland

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