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News Article | March 27, 2017

UK-based design consultancy Arup and bridge specialist Mabey announced they have delivered the world’s first modular, rapid-assembly glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge. “There is always room for innovation in bridging, and we pride ourselves on pushing boundaries with new materials so we can safely build longer-lasting structures even faster,” said Michael Treacy, CEO of Mabey. “What we have developed from Arup’s concept will change the game for our customers who tell us cost and ease-of-use come first. This is a significant step in our ongoing mission to lead the future of modular bridging and we look forward to seeing the [bridge] make its UK debut.” The post-tensioned bridge is designed to be assembled in hard to reach sites where large cranes or heavy machinery cannot be used. Partially funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the modular bridge is expected to be of particular interest to the rail industry and will provide a safer alternative to level crossings where traditional pedestrian bridges cannot be installed. The bridge has been installed at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for Network Rail in Oxford. The bridge modules were light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry and then assembled on site and lifted from a distance. The bridge is pre-engineered, modular, fully customizable, and features include identical modules, one meter in length, which are fixed together with bolted shear connectors and then post-tensioned. The system allows spans of up to 30 meters, so it can adapt to suit any application. In addition, by being 70 percent lighter than steel, the modules only require a pallet truck or forklift to move, enabling faster, safer and more efficient project delivery. The material provides additional resistance to fire, graffiti, vandalism, and ultra-violet radiation. “This modular bridge is quick and easy to install, minimizes disruption to the surrounding communities and significantly reduces ongoing maintenance costs,” said Rebecca Stewart, an associate at Arup. “We can see this bridge being useful for a whole host of global applications – from rail footbridges to road and river spans.” As part of the collaboration, Mabey will become the first licensed distribution partner for the bridge. Based on Arup’s concept, Mabey is launching the bridge to its customers under the brand name Pedesta™ at Bridges 2017 – a notable bridge conference taking place at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada from July, 27–31 2017.

News Article | May 12, 2017

A reconfigurable train carriage system designed to allow trains to automatically switch between passenger and cargo modes is poised to undergo trials on the UK rail network. Developed by Cambridgeshire product development firm 42 Technology the so-called ‘Adaptable Carriage’ system allows the seats and tables within a passenger train carriage to be automatically stowed to create space cargo that would otherwise go by road. The system – which can either be retrofitted to existing carriages or integrated into new design – has been developed as part of a two-year programme funded by RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board). According to 42 Technology the carriage features three key innovations: a concept that enables spare passenger-carrying capacity on, for example, off-peak services, to be used for cargo; a forward-folding seat design that allows any rubbish left on seats to be tipped onto the floor for easier cleaning; and a sliding mechanism to configure the seats into a seated position and to lock them in position along the carriage. The reconfiguration process is fully automated, takes under three minutes to complete and as a result the 20 rows of seats in a typical passenger carriage (with four seats per row) can be compressed to create cargo space equivalent to the capacity of an articulated lorry. All the seats, tables and draught screens within each section of an Adaptable Carriage are connected together and can be moved along the length of the carriage via a system that also acts to cover the working mechanism in passenger configuration. The control system ensures that all seats are safely secured in both the passenger and cargo-carrying configurations, and it can be readily integrated with the carriage control system to automate door locking ensuring complete passenger safety. The system is claimed to be fully compatible with both steel-frame and modern aluminium train carriage designs using cantilevered seats. Commenting on the project RSSB technical director Chris Lawrence said: “Adaptable Carriage is an example of what can be achieved when the UK rail industry partners with a cross-sector innovation consultancy to deliver solutions to specific rail challenges.” 42 Technology is already working with a number of interested parties to support initial trials of Adaptable Carriage and to enable further commercial development of the technology. A company spokesman said that the firm hopes to be able to make an announcement about specific trials before the end of this year.

Harrison C.,RSSB | Weltz R.,RSSB
Risk, Reliability and Safety: Innovating Theory and Practice - Proceedings of the 26th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2016 | Year: 2017

Network Rail (NR) own and manage most of the infrastructure on the Great Britain (GB) rail network. NR publish operational data feeds to encourage the development of software applications and websites that are of interest to passengers and the GB rail industry. These data feeds include the real time tracking of trains as they progress along their journeys, train scheduling information and aggregated minute by minute train performance statistics. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

News Article | December 19, 2016

A PROJECT that could lead to major cost savings for UK rail operators has earned a prestigious award for a University of Huddersfield researcher. Dr Yousif Muhamedsalih, of the University's Institute of Railway Research, has been named Best Young Researcher of 2016 by Rail Research UK Association (RRUK), in tandem with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Judges praised him for tackling "a problem that has been of interest to mechanical engineers since the railways began". The problem is how to extend the life of railway wheelsets - how often and how much they can safely be reprofiled before they have to be scrapped and replaced. One approach is known as Economic Tyre Turning (ETT), described as "the process of turning wheels to a profile that has the same tread shape but a thinner flange, allowing less material to be removed from the wheel diameter". The use of ETT can extend wheel life, especially as modern lathes are capable of the required precision - but current GB railway standards do not permit its use. This was the background to the research conducted by Dr Yousif Muhamedsalih, Julian Stow and Dr Adam Bevan, and described by Dr Muhamedsalih in detail in a presentation for the 11th World Congress on Railway Research that took place in Milan, Italy. His research was undertaken by computer simulation and by carrying out tests on the iconic Pendolino trains run by Virgin Trains. Dr Muhamedsalih has concluded that ETT is not only safe, but it could have the ability to avoid the unnecessary costs in early replacement of wheelsets when they have significant remaining life. This could lead to changes in overhaul strategies, reducing costs to the rail industry. Computer simulations were used to predict both the magnitude of wheel wear and the worn shape of the designed and re-profiled wheels and this provided data for in-service trials carried out by Virgin Trains after it had been given the go-ahead by the Rolling Stock Standards Committee. It was in December 2015 that appraisal of ETT on a Pendolino began, when Alstom Transport had turned 20 axles on five vehicles to thin flange wheel profiles. Trials continued until March 2016, after the train had covered around 70,000 miles travelling between Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston. Dr Muhamedsalih carried out weekly assessments of the wear on the wheelsets. "The outcome supported the simulation results, which predicted that tread and flange wear rate would be the same for thin and full flange profiles. The ride quality assessments results shows that the change of flange thickness had limited overall effect on the average passenger comfort," he states. This helps to make the case for ETT - already widely employed in Europe - being allowed in Britain. The project earned Dr Muhamedsalih a nomination for the RRUK Best Young Researcher of the Year Award, and he was selected by the panel of judges. He has received his certificate and £1,000 prize at the RRUK's London AGM. Yousif Muhamedsalih was born in Britain, but his family returned to Iraq, where he obtained his first degrees. He relocated to the UK for a University of Huddersfield MSc in Control Systems, moving on to doctoral research. After being awarded his PhD in 2015, he was appointed a research fellow at the University's Institute of Railway Research, where he carries out work with the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) as part of a strategic partnership.

Leicestershire, UK, 31-Oct-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Loughborough University’s Control Systems Group has today announced that a consortium led by Ricardo Rail Ltd will develop the first installation of a radical new track switch product. Repoint is a patented ultra-high availability/maintainability track switch that could help support increased levels of day-to-day rail traffic across the network.The design introduces the concept of using several actuators to operate the same points, meaning that in the event of a single failure the remaining actuators continue to function safely. With this additional redundancy built into each machine, rail traffic can still pass and remedial maintenance can be scheduled without causing immediate disruption to services. Repoint also uses a unique ‘lift, hop and drop’ mechanism, a method that eliminates the friction experienced by the slide chairs used in traditional point machines. It is also much faster to operate:  Repoint can move a switch in under half a second, compared to four seconds for conventional designs – an improvement that can help support increased network capacity. The first full-scale Repoint will be integrated with London Underground infrastructure in early 2018. The development of Repoint originates from a request by the industry’s independent body RSSB, to explore ways to increase network capacity. Following discussions with industry stakeholders, the limitations of switch machines, and the extent of disruption caused by a single failure, was seen by the University as an area that could benefit from a fresh approach. The UK has over 20,000 switch and crossing units and, despite representing only 5% of network mileage, they account for over 15% of the track maintenance budget. Ricardo Rail have assembled a consortium including Progress Rail, DEG Signal and MPEC Technology and will now assist with the next stage of design, build and trial of a Repoint switch. The contract is the result of an invitation to provide industrial development assistance publicised for official tender (OJEU) in June 2016. ‘This is an incredibly exciting time for us. Until now, the technology has been developed solely in our laboratory with the long-term support of RSSB. Our ambition now is to have a prototype deployed in the ballast. By partnering with the right industrial expertise we can complete this step to a much higher standard. Signing this agreement with such a well-known and highly regarded organisation is a significant milestone on the road to a successful network deployment, moving us closer to the step-change in performance that the industry tasked us with in 2010.’ Ricardo Rail will also assist in Repoint’s development beyond the prototype phase. Shakeel Meharban, Senior Commercial Manager at Ricardo Rail, commented: ‘This is an important first step in helping to bring this unique technology to the global market. Ricardo prides itself in its ‘one stop shop’ capability from expert advice through to niche production, and so we felt we were the perfect partner to support Loughborough University on such an innovative project. We are extremely proud to have this opportunity and look forward to a long and successful relationship with the team. Neil Webster, RSSB Innovation Programme Director, stated: ‘Our continued support for Repoint reinforces our belief in the technology and its potential to deliver real, tangible benefits to the future of the rail industry.’

News Article | March 8, 2016

Repoint is a robust and reliable points concept which breaks with 200 years of tradition to offer a change in design that will increase reliability, reduce maintenance costs and boost capacity on the railways. It is the result of research carried out with industry experts into improved switches which eradicate known issues with existing designs. The two-and-a-half-year project, funded by the UK rail safety body RSSB (formerly known as the Rail Safety and Standards Board), will see a full scale, prototype track switch developed and deployed. Using safety concepts derived from aerospace and the nuclear industries, Repoint allows redundant, fail-safe actuation and locking of track switches for the first time. This means that a failure of a single actuator element will not cause the failure of the entire switch – allowing trains to continue until such a time as maintenance becomes feasible. With increasing traffic density throughout the network, windows for maintenance work are becoming tighter, which is why the Repoint technology - which will be developed alongside RSSB, London Underground, and its supply base - has so much potential. Repoint has been led by Professor Roger Dixon, Senior Project Engineer Sam Bemment, Professor Roger Goodall, and Dr Chris Ward. The team are part of the Control Systems Research Group in the University's Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering. Professor Dixon, Head of the Control Systems Research Group, said: "Bringing Repoint a step closer to operation is a fantastic achievement with the potential to fix a 200-year-old problem on rail networks around the world. "Great Britain's rail network, in particular, is under pressure to provide increased capacity and reliability at a reduced cost. With the support of RSSB, we can make track switch failures a thing of the past by introducing a cost-effective alternative which has not been seen before." Neil Webster, RSSB Future Railway Programme Director, commented: "Our continued support for the Repoint project reinforces our belief in the technology and the potential it has to deliver real, tangible benefits to the future of the rail industry. We look forward to seeing the design once implemented, improving reliability and increasing capacity on our ever expanding rail network." With RSSB and Loughborough University at the forefront of implementing the technology in the UK, opportunities are now being pursued with development partners to roll out the patented technology across international rail networks, with discussions so far held with companies in South Africa, Australia and China. Explore further: Rail researchers work on UK's first Tram-Train scheme

News Article | December 15, 2015

The north-Indian state of Punjab has further strengthened its position in the nation’s solar power market, commissioning another large rooftop solar power project of 12 MW. Tata Power Solar, a leading integrated solar power solutions company, recently announced that it commissioned a 12 MW rooftop solar power project in Punjab, claiming that the project is the world’s largest rooftop solar power project to be commissioned in a single phase. The project was commissioned at RSSB Educational and Environmental Society at Amritsar. Another similar project, with 7.2 MW capacity was also commissioned at the same location in 2014, which was proclaimed the world’s largest solar power system on a single rooftop. According to Tata Power Solar, the new 12 MW rooftop solar power system is expected to generate over 15 million kWh of electricity and offset greenhouse gas emission equivalent to 19,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Last year, Tata Power Solar also commissioned a 2 MW rooftop solar power project for a textile manufacturing company in the state of Tamil Nadu. The project, which is expected to have an eventual capacity of 4 MW, is claimed to be the largest rooftop solar power project in southern India. Tata Power Solar, which emerged from the remnants of a joint venture between British Petroleum and Tata Power (Tata BP Solar), constructs solar power projects as well as manufacturing solar power modules and other related equipment. The company is among the leading names in India’s rooftop and distributed solar power market. As India plans to set up 40 GW of operational rooftop solar power capacity, as part of its larger plans to set up 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022, Tata Power Solar eyes a massive market opportunity.   Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

News Article | September 20, 2016

PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year(Credit: PriestmanGoode) Although the designs are currently conceptual, they were funded by the UK's Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) with a view, ultimately, to improving passenger experience. In addition, PriestmanGoode itself has a strong track record of transport design, including the new driverless trains for the London Underground, as well as airplane business class cabins for Swiss International Air Lines, Virgin Australia and United Airlines. The seat designs are based on the premise that many cities and their transport networks are faced with increasing levels of overcrowding. Designer and chairman at PriestmanGoode Paul Priestman points out that, while it's important for us to encourage the more sustainable use of public transport over the use of personal vehicles, such services become unpleasant to use as capacity begins to fall short of passenger numbers. "In many countries the existing public transport infrastructure cannot be improved sufficiently quickly to keep pace with these rapidly increasing passenger numbers and, in many cases, platforms cannot be extended nor the size of trains increased," says Priestman in a press release. "So, as designers, we need to innovate to help alleviate the problem and improve passenger experience." The first of PriestmanGoode's two seats, the Horizon, is designed to take up considerably less space than a typical commuter train seat, allowing for 20-30 percent more seating in a carriage. The two-seat, side-by-side unit also has a slightly staggered configuration, increasing shoulder space and personal space for each passenger. Luggage storage space and bag hooks at the Horizon seats allow passengers to keep their belongings close at hand at all times and eliminate the need for luggage racks. They are also said to provide a fully supported seating position and each seat has two footrests so as to accommodate passengers of different heights. Mobile device mounts can support tablets and smartphones at a range of viewing angles and there are USB charging points as well. The Island Bay seat, meanwhile, is designed to be a flexible solution that can provide regular seating during off-peak times and a more economic setup at busier times. To do so, its base flips up to provide a seat that is higher, is thinner and takes up less space, but that is still fully supportive, unlike perch seats commonly found on public transport. In addition to providing more standing space, this also brings into play an additional flip-up seat mounted underneath the window, which can otherwise be used as a table. Around 15-20 percent more seats can be fitted into a train carriage by way of the Island Bay seats and they are said to afford wider-than-average aisles too, which are more accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, large luggage and folding bicycles. Also built into the Island Bay seats are anti-theft/pick-pocket shields and twin USB charging ports. PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year. The firm also suggests they could be used in combination with regular seats.

Pepin F.,RSSB | Vigliotti M.G.,RSSB
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2016

The three-key Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (Triple Data Encryption Algorithm is also known in the literature as Triple-Des, or Triple DEA or TDEA) (3Des) is a symmetric encryption algorithm currently used in the European Traffic Management System (ERTMS) for integrity and authentication purposes. In a recent publication [1], 3Des has been withdrawn in favour of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) [2] (The National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) standard [1] allows to both algorithms can be used for specific purposes until 2030 with the intention of gradually phasing out 3Des towards AES). In this paper, we have investigated, from a practical point of view, known attacks to 3Des and proved that, in order to carry out such attacks, a disproportionate amount of hardware and money would be necessary. In practical terms this means that these attacks do not represent a realistic risk. In our work we assume that basic security measures have been taken in the implementation such as: 3Des does not leak any information and a cryptographically secure random number generator for production of the keys is used. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.

Bearfield G.,RSSB
IET Seminar Digest | Year: 2014

Presents a collection of slides covering the following topics: risk evaluation; risk assessment; health and safety; and safety decisions.

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