ETCS: The foundation for efficient and attractive railways

ETCS: The foundation for efficient and attractive railways

RST-cover-Mar2016

The article that Dr. Felix Laube and I wrote about the advanced railway TMS being developed for Banedanmark was just published in the Japanese railway journal: Rolling Stock & Technology (Number 231). They did a nice job including graphics from the presentation Dr. Laube made in Japan with the text.

ETCS: The foundation for efficient and attractive railways (Japanese)

ETCS: The foundation for efficient and attractive railways (English)

See also my presentation on Banedanmark’s TMS at TRB in January 2016 for more information and graphics.

Banedanmark TMS Presentation at TRB

Banedanmark TMS Presentation at TRB

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I’m giving a presentation on the Banedanmark (railway) Traffic Management System (TMS) project at the US Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting on Tuesday January 12, 2016.

Banedanmark, Denmark’s national railway infrastructure owner, is completely replacing the country’s railway signalling system with a European Rail Traffic Control System (ETCS). The digital data from the ETCS, combined with improved technologies for managing staff and resources, provides the foundation for developing an advanced TMS that can significantly improve railway efficiency and attractiveness.

Banedanmark’s TMS takes a fresh approach to railway operations by creating Production Plans consisting of precisely defined tasks to be carried-out in operating the railway. Production plans are developed based on a very clear definition of customer needs called Service Intentions. Banedanmark’s approach integrates planning and operations by using the same algorithms and data. It improves the precision of planning and provides updated Production Plans quickly enough to significantly reduce the impact of delays and disturbances.

I’ll explain more about these concepts at the presentation. In the meantime you can download a PDF of the presentation: Banedanmark TMS: ETCS as the foundation for attractive and efficient railway service.

TRB Annual Meeting 2016

TRB Annual Meeting 2016

Ringstrasse150 homepage screenshot.

My Ring Ride – Ringstrasse150 project is being awarded an honourable mention award at the 2016 US Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting – Yea!

Here are my presentations and papers at the TRB Annual Meeting – Sunday 10 January -to- Thursday 14 January 2016:

  • Repurposing Travel Lanes for Multimodal Projects – Workshop 114 – Analyze This! What Planners Want to Know; Andy Nash, Green City Streets with Natalie Stiffler, City of Boulder. The workshop considers three problems, our problem considers the evaluation of and communications about the potential congestion impacts of sidewalk widening, bike lane, and transit lane projects. We’ll use Boulder’s Folsom Street project as a case study and try to develop strategies for improve the evaluation of these projects and communications about congestion. Sunday 10 January – 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 140A.
  • Enhanced Resource Conflict Graph Rescheduling Model for Freight Rail Traffic: Introducing Energy Saving; Toletti, Ambra, Valerio De Martinis, Ulrich Weidmann and Andrew Nash; Monday -1:30 PM- 3:15 PM – Session 367 – Current Research on Freight Rail Transportation, Convention Center, 149.
  • Tram Safety in Mixed Traffic: Best Practices from Switzerland; Improving Light Rail Through Operational and Safety Analysis – Marti, Christian, Jonas Kupferschmid, Michael Schwertner, Andrew Nash, and Ulrich Weidmann;  Monday – 7:30 PM- 9:30 PM – Session 470 – Convention Center, 143A.
  • Banedanmark TMS: ETCS as the foundation for attractive and efficient railway service; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, Marriott Marquis, Capitol (M4).
  • Evaluation of Freight Train Energy-Saving Potential Using Onboard Monitoring Data; De Martinis, Valerio, Ulrich Weidmann, Andrew Nash; Tuesday – 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM – Session 576 – Energy Efficiency Technologies for Rail Transportation – Convention Center, 147B.
  • Ring Ride – Ringstrasse 150 Project; Honourable Mention Award: Communicating with John and Jane Q. Public Contest 2016; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 10:45 AM- 12:30 PM – Session 585 – Public Involvement; Convention Center, Hall E.

Hope to see you there!

Lucerne Switzerland

Lucerne Switzerland

DC-3 and Coronado Airplanes at the Verkehrshaus - Swiss Transport Museum - Lucerne

DC-3 and Coronado Airplanes at the Verkehrshaus – Swiss Transport Museum – Lucerne

Model cable railway in Swiss Transportation Museum Lucerne

Model cable railway in Swiss Transportation Museum Lucerne

I visited Lucerne Switzerland in March. Lucerne is about 45-minutes by train from Zurich and it’s a wonderful day trip with several excellent museums and a very nice historic old city to walk around. I visited one of my favourite transport museums, the Verkehrshaus (Transport House). The museum has a great collection of railway locomotives and cars, trams, a couple airplanes, exhibits on cable railways, ships and more. It’s a little pricy (normal adult admission is 30 Swiss Francs, which is close to $30 now! – although they have family plans, and you can also get a discount if you use the Swiss National Railway’s Railaway program). Here are a couple photos.

Light and dark beer at the Rathaus Brauerei Lucerne

Light and dark beer at the Rathaus Brauerei Lucerne

We discovered an excellent restaurant in Lucerne right on the river called Nix … they had excellent local microbrewery beer from Luzerner Bier (by the way, Luzerner delivers its beer by bike!), a nice Flammkuchen and superb lamb. A great meal, and probably really pleasant to visit in warmer weather when you can sit outside in front of the river.

We also had a beer at the Rathaus Braueri, a traditional beer cellar in the old city hall located across the river from Nix. It was a little touristy, but it also looked like they had good beer food. The beer was quite good (see photo).

Historic tram at the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne.

Historic tram at the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne.

My photos of Lucerne on Flickr.

My photos of the Verkehrshaus (Swiss Transport Museum) are in my Transport Museums set on Flickr use the tag: verkehrshaus.

Antwerp – December 2013

Antwerp – December 2013

MAS Museum Antwerp

MAS Museum Antwerp

I visited Antwerp in December as part of a business trip to Brussels. Antwerp is only about a half-hour from Brussels Airport and there are about two trips per hour from the Brussels Airport train station.

MAS Museum Antwerp - view from one of the sky lobbies.

MAS Museum Antwerp – view from one of the sky lobbies.

The main purpose of my trip was to visit the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). The MAS museum “tells the story of the people, the past, present and future of the city of Antwerp and the world.” The building, as you can see from these photos is really spectacular. There are changing exhibits and permanent exhibits about the city and port as well as some more esoteric subjects. You can ride the escalators up the building to a lobby on each floor without paying admission. From the 9th floor you can walk up a set of stairs to the roof where there’s an outdoor area with spectacular views of the city and river. It’s a very neat museum and experience.

De Groote Witte Arend Restaurant Antwerp - courtyard.

De Groote Witte Arend Restaurant Antwerp – courtyard.

Next I had lunch in a restaurant called De Groote Witte Arend (Flemish only website) which specialises in Belgian cuisine and beer. It’s on the other side of the historic city center from the MAS museum, about 15-20 minute walk. The building is quite old, there’s a short history at the back of the menu. For many years it was a nunnery and there is still a chapel off the side of the courtyard. The restaurant has several rooms arranged around the courtyard. It was quite quiet at late lunch on a mid-December weekday, but I can imagine it being a lot of fun when it’s crowded.

Carbonnades at De Groote Witte Arend restaurant Antwerp.

Carbonnades at De Groote Witte Arend restaurant Antwerp.

I ordered one of my favourite Belgium meals: carbonnade (or: Vlaamsche Stooflees in Flemish). It’s beef stew cooked in the local dark beer and is said to be the national dish of Belgium. Generally served with “Belgium” fries, here with a chicory salad too. The version here was the best I have ever had, the beef was cooked just right and the fries were just out of the cooker, the salad was a great counterpoint. One of the best meals I ate all year! I drank a De Arend blond beer with it. The waiter was extremely friendly and helpful (in English) in helping me pick a beer. In short, a great place to visit for the food and the beer!

Antwerp Zuiderterrace

Antwerp Zuiderterrace

After lunch I walked over to the river, it was a very grey day, but it’s always fun watching the water go by. There’s a beautiful art deco building that serves as a boarding ramp for large passenger boats, now there’s a restaurant inside too. It has great Antwerpen signs.

Tile diagram of St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp.

Tile diagram of St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp.

Next I walked across the street to the St Anna pedestrian – bike tunnel located at the Sint-Jansvliet square (end of the Hoogstraat).

St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp

St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp

This historic landmark is a 572 meter long tunnel under the Scheldt river. It was built in 1931-1933 to link the old city centre with the settlement on the left bank of the river. The building looks like the Battery Tunnel entrance in Manhattan and so I fantasised about filming a Men in Black parody here … They have preserved the wooden escalators, but there’s also an elevator for bikers. Quite neat.

St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp

St Anna Pedestrian Bike Tunnel Antwerp

I walked back through the old city to the Central Railway Station. The station has been renovated in recent years to allow trains to travel through on their way from Brussels and south, to Amsterdam and north. I visited while it was under construction several years ago, but now it’s finished and it’s wild. At least four levels of trains plus connections to the city’s metro system. They managed to keep the historic train shed – beautiful – and headhouse building. The photos here do not do the station justice, it’s very hard to photograph … just visit it!

Antwerp Central Station

Antwerp Central Station

The trip back to Brussels took about half an hour (we did not go via the airport station). By the way, it was very easy to buy my railway tickets on line at the Belgium railway’s website www.belgianrail.be.

Check out soundbitecity blog’s post Beer City Antwerp about Antwerp brewery DeKoninck and restaurant café Pelgrim across the street … they’re on my list for next time!

Here’s a link to my flickr photos of Antwerp. Here’s a link to a map with my flickr photos flickr Antwerp photos map. 

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