The 2nd UIC-Asia Workshop on Control Command and Signaling Systems took place in China in the ancient town Chengdu the capital of Sichuan. The workshop was hosted by the Southwest Jiaotong University, one of the prominent Chinese research and academic centers in the domains of high-tech transportation systems, and was supported by the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The place of the workshop and the high level research, academic and industry interest and participation are symbolic for the rapid evolution and growth of the modern CCS systems in the Asia – Pacific area.
The workshop marks an important milestone on the roadmap for worldwide convergence of the traffic management, control, command and signaling systems, as established by the UIC-Asia General Assembly in June 2007 in Moscow.
Dr Masayuki Matsumoto, Executive Officer Electrical and Signal Network System Department of the JR East, has chaired the workshop. In his opening speech, Dr Matsumoto has remembered that, as adopted last year, the workshop’s missions are to consolidate the knowledge on the state of the art of the systems, to identify the trends of evolution and to pave the way on the converging principles and leading technologies.
Key note presentations have been delivered by Prof Fang Xuming Southwest Jiaotong University, Prof Kinji Mori, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Mr George Barbu, UIC. Invited speech was delivered by Prof Tang Tao Director of the State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety. The key note presentations have unanimously recognised that the modern CSS systems such as the ETCS, CCTS and ATACS converge in their conception and principles and deliver high level functionality, safety, implementation scalability, flexibility and use of leading edge technologies.
During the 3 following sessions of presentations and discussions the workshop mission was accomplished. Detailed and high level scientific debates on the communication based train control, information signaling, interlocking evolution and centralized traffic control have been supported by presentations delivered by 20 speakers representing the Southwest Jiaotong University, Beijing Jiaotong University, JR-East, KORAIL, Chinese Railway Company and Hitachi. There are clear identified trends in the realization and evolution of CCS systems which place in the central structure the train on-board “intelligence” based on autonomous positioning and train parameters recognition, to enforce the movement authority orders received from the traffic control and radio block centers. The train-ground communication either by specific train-track means (such as encoded track circuits) or by radio (GSM-R, space-wav radio, leaking cable radiation) plays the linking role between the trains and the traffic control centre. Here, at the centralized level, the tendency is to bring together the train routing, train spacing and train protection functions and traffic regulation functionalities within a coherent and performing system.
There is also a shared wish to propose future worldwide standardization of the leading converging conception and principles of the modern CCS systems.
In his concluding speech Dr Matsumoto highlighted that, based on similar basic conception, varieties of CCS systems are developed worldwide and efforts are ongoing towards the convergent use of technologies and future standardization of basic conception and principles. In conclusion all participants have stated that “the signaling system is a core of railway’s safety, reliability and customers’ satisfaction. In order to improve the CCS systems it is really important to clarify the common vision, concepts and essential information to progress”. To this respect the 2nd UIC-Asia CCS Workshop has carried out its duty.
Before starting the UIC-Asia CCS Workshop, Dr Matsumoto and Mr Barbu have participated to the opening ceremony of the International Forum on Electrification and Automation of High Speed Railway System which took place in parallel, at the Southwest Jiaotong University. In his short speech at the social event, during the evening of 2nd November, Mr George Barbu has observed that Signalling, Electrification and Automation are tightly closed within an undeniable and unique rail system conception to which the UIC gives a high importance.