University of Twente Student Theses


Railway capacity effects of ERTMS, 3 KV DC overhead power and ATO on a Dutch railway network

Arem, Martijn van (2023) Railway capacity effects of ERTMS, 3 KV DC overhead power and ATO on a Dutch railway network.

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Abstract:In previous years, NS and ProRail always aimed to provide more frequent service on the Dutch railway network. With this as a goal, the number of trains on the network approached the maximum capacity considering the current safety system, power supply and train control system. The SAAL project increases the frequency of trains on the route from the timetable of 2030. This project focuses on the subnetwork of Schiphol, Amsterdam, Almere and Lelystad. Unfortunately, the intercity services at Amsterdam Central station in the direction of Weesp and back are removed with this project. For intercity passengers, this increases the travel time towards Amsterdam Central station, as they now need to use the slower sprinter services. This research aims to increase the railway network capacity by other means than building extra tracks. After this, the opportunity to reintroduce the intercity service between Hilversum and Amsterdam central station is investigated. Currently, ProRail is implementing ERTMS/ETCS (European rail traffic management system/European train control system) level 2 on the first parts of the Dutch network, intending to use this signalling system on the whole network eventually. The goal of ERTMS/ETCS is to increase the railway network's safety and interconnectivity with the European railway networks. Another intended change is increasing the overhead current from 1,5 kV DC to 3 kV DC, allowing trains to have an extended period of maximum tractive effort. Further benefits of increasing the overhead current are reduced energy loss due to the higher voltage on the power supply and a more significant benefit from regenerative braking. A third system tested by ProRail is Automatic Train Operation (ATO), with tests conducted on passenger and freight trains for the Dutch network. An unintended benefit of these systems is the advantageous capacity effects on the network. ERTMS/ETCS increases awareness of location data of the trains and changes the method of providing movement authority to trains, combined with moving the signalling to the driver from the trackside towards inside the cabin. While ERTMS/ETCS level 2 increases the capacity performance of the safety systems, a 3 kV DC overhead current allows trains to exit signalling sections faster, thus reducing the blocking time of these sections. This allows the next train to use those tracks after a shorter time interval. With ATO, safety margins reduce, and the predictability of trains increases. These advantages let the schedulers plan the trains closer together compared to the current situation. Therefore, these three measures individually show their option to increase the number of trains. A literature study found that reports often investigate these measures individually using line case studies. At the same time, combining the measures and investigating their interactions provides insight into the effectiveness of implementing measures simultaneously on a larger network area. Another finding was the disability of the individual measures of providing sufficient extra capacity to introduce new services. Considering these two findings in the literature, this research aims to close the gap between the individual and combined capacity effects of the measures on the line and network levels. In line with previous research, this report uses a case study to find the capacity effects of the measures. As one of the aims is the reintroduction of an intercity towards Amsterdam, the network case study includes the routes from Amsterdam to Amersfoort (Gooi line) and the route from Amsterdam Zuid to Almere (part of the SAAL line). These interact near Weesp, joining and then splitting once again. To investigate the combined effects of the measures, the line between Hilversum and Weesp was used as a case study. By using an OpenTrack model, the capacity consumption of the proposed 2030 timetable was investigated.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Royal Haskoning DHV
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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