Managing the UK's first C-DAS project
Paul Greenwood: "we have DAS fitted onto 82 class 158 and 159 cabs and the fitment of the class 458 fleet has just started."
Elaine Greenwood says: "I am the Project Manager for ESG’s turnkey contract with Stagecoach Group, to deliver GreenSpeed DAS onto a total of 498 cabs (249 units) operated by the South West Trains (SWT) franchise."
Currently we have DAS fitted onto 82 class 158 and 159 cabs and the fitment of the class 458 fleet has just started. The project is due for completion later this year. I have found the management of this project to be extremely rewarding and demanding. I have enjoyed maintaining great relationships with both our customer (SWT), supplier (Cubris) and integrator.
What does my job actually involve?
I have to manage this project right from initial design, through the installation and certification of all 249 units, to the final acceptance by the customer, all within the agreed timescales and budget. I have to lead the internal team, liaise with suppliers, sub-contractors and customer representatives, to ensure successful delivery into service across the class 158/159/458/444/450 fleets.
There have been a number of expected challenges throughout the project, including the accuracy of third party supplied data, limited wireless internet reception hampering trials and excessive glare on the panel PC screens. Such issues have, however, been overcome through excellent teamwork and project management, with all parties pulling together to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome.
What exactly is DAS?
A driver advisory system (DAS) is an advanced computerised system that assists drivers in their delivery of a train service. DAS takes data from a huge range of sources to calculate the ideal speed profile for a train on a particular route.
This speed profile ensures that the train arrives at its destination exactly on time, with minimum energy consumption. The information is presented to the driver via an in-cab display (see photo). DAS enhances the working environment for drivers, helping to reduce the stress that they face, whilst improving a train’s punctuality and the capacity of a line.
DAS also has the very important added benefit of lowering the energy consumption of a train, making it more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run for operators.
What is C-DAS?
This project is the first major connected DAS (C-DAS) installation in the UK. C-DAS means that the system will be fully connected to the Network Rail Traffic Management System (TMS). The TMS will calculate the network wide optimal flow of train services, adjusting the planned service to manage delivery on the day. The TMS will then inform DAS of any changes to the target times for a train’s arrival. Greenspeed was chosen by a large group of industry stakeholders as the product of choice to link to C-DAS.
The SWT’s DAS project is an important part of the former SWT-Network Rail alliance. With passenger numbers continuing to grow, the GreenSpeed DAS will help SWT deliver an increasingly reliable service to passengers, whilst simultaneously helping to manage traffic into and out of the busiest railway station in the UK (London Waterloo).
Why did we chose the GreenSpeed DAS system?
We selected the IT engineering company Cubris as our partner because of its superior ‘GreenSpeed’ solution. Cubris also have more than 10 years of experience in supplying DAS systems and so are experienced in everything from problem solving, to product adaptation and implementation.
The Cubris GreenSpeed system is proven and has been running on Danish Railways on 430 cabs since 2012, where it has helped to raise the punctuality of trains from 91 to 94%. GreenSpeed is also in operation in Sweden, with a tablet version in use with over 200 drivers.
What are our future plans?
I believe that our experience and our partnership with Cubris, puts us in a strong position for winning additional DAS orders in the UK. More and more operators are recognising the important role that DAS can play in helping to increase capacity, whilst improving the punctuality of a service delivered and of course reducing cost, by lowering energy consumption.
With demand for rail travel continuing to grow and line capacity at its maximum on many routes, solutions, which are an easy and cost effective way of increasing the number of trains that can operate on a particular route are of increasing interest to our industry. We are excited about the opportunity to work with operators across Europe, alongside Cubris, with this exciting product.