Ricardo Certification* is providing Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) services for the European Train Control System (ETCS) technology to be installed on the networks serving Brisbane and its surrounding neighbourhoods.
The economic success of South-East Queensland over the past twenty years has underpinned a steady growth in the region's population over the same period, with average increases of around 50,000 a year. By 2030, the Brisbane commuter area is expected to be home to over four million residents.
With demand expected to increase on a rail network that already supports 50 million passenger journeys a year, Queensland Rail is responding with an investment programme of new routes, new rolling stock and the introduction of Level 2 European Train Control System (ETCS L2) system, a form of Automatic Train Protection signalling that will improve operational efficiency and increase network capacity.
Trackside and onboard equipment
Hitachi Rail STS has been appointed to provide the train control technology, with Ricardo Certification chosen by the manufacturer to independently assess that the system is designed, installed, commissioned and documented in accordance with applicable IEC standards (including IEC 62278/EN50126, IEC 62279/EN50128 and IEC 62425/EN50129).
The ETCS L2 system, comprised of hardware and software, involves the installation of onboard equipment on both existing and new rolling stock, along with new trackside equipment, traffic management technologies and digital radio systems.
Whilst the system will be retrofitted across the network – and integrate with existing safety systems – it will also be used on the 10 kilometre north-south Cross River Rail line that is currently under construction beneath the Brisbane River and the city’s central districts.
Existing trains are expected to be upgraded with onboard equipment over the next three years with the ETCS system fully installed and operational by 2026.
*Ricardo Certification comprises a set of companies within the Ricardo group that perform independent assurance and testing services, including Notified Body, Designated Body and Independent Safety Assessments. For more information see Ricardo Certification.