Case Study – Train Association Producer at Wimbledon

Train Association Producer at Wimbledon

TREsa, Hitachi’s automatic route setting (ARS) product, is installed at Wimbledon ASC on panels 1 and 2. One of its roles is to provide Automatic Code Insertion (ACI) functionality at Waterloo (Platforms 1-24) and Clapham (Platforms 1 and 2). In order for it to do this TREsa needs to associate trains in the timetable so that when a train arrives at a terminus with a specified head-code, it automatically inserts the next train head-code into the system. At a station like Waterloo, the busiest in the UK, this saves valuable time and has become something that the signallers rely on.

The Network Rail timetable is received from ITPS on a daily basis in a Common Interface Format (CIF) file. This file contains only a few of the associations that TREsa needs to implement ACI, therefore a method of deriving the majority of the associations is required. The solution to this problem has been provided by Hitachi’s Train Association Producer (TAP). TAP uses information within the CIF file to provide standard scenarios out of the box. Complex associations (multiple join/divide/next operations) can be configured through analysis of the timetable and platform activities in consultation with the operator.

Filtered view of associations at Waterloo

Prior to the installation of TREsa at Wimbledon, the HICSE team produced a set of timetable association rules for each of the platforms at Waterloo and Clapham using the TAP configuration tool. Once a timetable was loaded and the rules applied, the success of the associations was checked against information such as the South Western Railway Carriage Working Notice. This document contains information about all of the planned associations in the area for the coming timetable period.

TREsa operates on a 3 day cycle for timetable loading and processing. On Day A, at 20:00, a CIF timetable is received for Day C. At approximately 02:00 on Day B, TREsa processes the timetable and TAP produces its associations which are then presented via a web browser from the signallers SACS system. This allows the SSM a 12 hour window on Day B to review the associations that have been made before they are applied to the database. The associations are by default accepted at 14:00 on Day B for the following day’s timetable.

TAP Daily Processing Timeline

The Network Rail Timetable is dynamic and therefore it is necessary for TREsa to continue to re-calculate its associations on a daily basis. As new platforms have been brought into service at Waterloo station, TAP has continued to provide reliable ACI functionality for the control system at Wimbledon.