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Railways Signalling Design Practices & Scope for Standardisation

Railways Signalling Design Practices & Scope for Standardisation

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Published by gkdwivedy

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Published by: gkdwivedy on Aug 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/11/2014

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Executive Summary
This project report is the outcome of a study on the Signalling Plan designpractices of different zonal railways, status of compliance of various provisions of Signal Engineering Manual pertaining to signalling plans in particular, identification of the common issues and finding the solutions to achieve a standard format of theplan; unambiguous with adequate clarity and presentational quality to minimise therisk of misinterpretation by various users in different life cycles of a signalling system,viz. Concept, design, safety review, installation, testing, commissioning, operation,maintenance and decommissioning.The motivation for the study comes with reference to observations of Commissioner of Railway Safety, Dy. Commissioner of Railway Safety (S&T), andreservations shown by sister departments involved with the railway projectimplementation and train operation. Revisiting or altering the plans at the stage of signing-off of Station Working Rules, CRS sanction, physical work at site or duringtesting or commissioning has been a painful, retrogressive and expensive exercise.It comes from either the communication gap or poor understanding of the layoutsand flexibilities in the operations achieved and variations in the practices of zonalrailways.In view of outsourcing of design activities, standardisation of format,documentation of zonal railway practices and a general agreement on it will achievethe production and approval of a signalling plan that is safe, understandable,implementable and fit for purpose.During the course of the project, signalling plans of CR, ER, NCR, NER, SCR,SER, SR and WR were studied and discussion held with concerned SSTE/ D&D andDy. CSTE/ P&D of the railways. The observations were recorded on a questionnairein tabular form for comparison purpose. In addition, issues compiled by railway boardin response to the letter of CSTE/ NFR during March 2009 to Additional Member (Signal) were also discussed with Director (Signal), Railway Board to find out thecommon issues pertaining to signalling plans encountered by all zonal railways tofind out a comprehensive solution to the problem.While finding out the solution to the issues pertaining to signalling plan,experience gained while working for Network Rail, U.K. on deputation and referenceof relevant standards, specifications and code of practice has also been used.Issues require action on the part of railway is presentational, discipline tofollow the provisions of SEM, absence of clear guidelines for the approval andconsent of user and interface departments, absence of documentation of zonalrailway practices on plan production and amendment process and content of theplan notes and other details. Another important aspect missing in the plan productionis the robust and meaningful signal sighting and survey before approval of the plan.
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