Safety Assessment of driverless vehicles for Beijing’s Yanfang Line

Safety Assessment of driverless vehicles for Beijing’s Yanfang Line
19 February 2016

Ricardo Rail is currently providing Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) services for their new driverless vehicles that will serve Beijing’s Yanfang Line, the city’s first automated metro line and the first in China to use sub-systems developed and supplied entirely by domestic manufacturers.

Qingdao Sifang Company (one of the largest manufacturers under the newly-formed China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation) has tasked Ricardo’s experts with providing a full independent review of safety design and manufacture of the train.

The scope of the assessment includes the bogies, wheelsets and axles, the braking system, passenger doors and fire alarm system, as well as the vehicle’s interface with the line’s signalling and communication technology. The Ricardo project team will also provide a full RAMS assessment.

The ISA role is phased in alignment with the staged introduction of the core systems on the line: Stage One - the introduction to service of Yan Cun Bei (YCB) yard/depot - was successfully completed in late 2015 by a team of Ricardo safety experts from our Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong offices. As a mark of the team's successfull contribution, Beijing Metro presented a personal award to our project manager, Sun Justin, for his input.

A first for Beijing metro
The Yanfang Line will use Unattended Train Operation (UTO) throughout its 21km route between Yanhua Station in Fangshan district and Yancun North Station (where it connects to the network’s Fangshan Line). The line will serve 11 stations in total with vehicles capable of travelling at top speeds of 80km per hour.

The signalling technology in use along the line is also domestically developed, being a communications-based train control (CBTC) system supplied by Beijing Traffic Control Technology Co Ltd. Ricardo Rail (formerly Lloyd’s Register Rail) has previously certified this technology at both product and application level on a number of other metro lines across China.