Ricardo to Support Copenhagen S-Bane’s Journey to Fully Automated Operation

Ricardo to Support Copenhagen S-Bane’s Journey to Fully Automated Operation

Ricardo Certification has been appointed as the Assessment Body (AsBo) for the transformation of Copenhagen’s S-Bane railway into a fully automated system.

DSB, the future operator of the S-Bane, requires the support of an independent AsBo to ensure that the processes used for managing hazards and evaluating risk throughout the programme will be compliant with the European Common Safety Method on Risk Evaluation and Assessment Regulation (CSM RA), a mandatory framework for all rail projects that involve significant engineering, operational or organisational change.

Ricardo Copenhagen S-Bane

Our experts will work with DSB’s project teams during every step of the programme, from the tendering and design phases though to full operation, to perform independent assessments and compile Safety Assessment Reports and supporting documentation for inclusion in the project’s Application that will be submitted to the National Safety Authority for phased approvals of the system.

Mark Dodsworth, Business Manager for Ricardo Certification Denmark, said:

“We’re extremely proud to be given the opportunity to bring our expertise to this major project.

“Having supported the S-Bane’s signalling upgrades over the past ten years we have a deep understanding of the system and the processes and technologies that underpin it. We look forward to assisting the S-Bane’s transformation into one of the most modern mass-transit systems in the world.”

A Fully Automated Suburban Network with ‘Metro Style’ Frequencies

The 172km S-Bane is integral to Copenhagen’s public transport system. A stand-alone network serving 84 stations, its routes extend from the city centre to the surrounding suburbs and commuter districts further afield, providing interchanges with national mainline services and the Copenhagen Metro.

The decision to convert the S-Bane to Grade of Automation 4 (GoA4, meaning the system is capable of safely operating without onboard staff, although stewards still frequently travel on such systems) takes advantage of the recent upgrades to the network’s signalling technology to Communications Based Train Control Supervised Train Operation (STO), and the planned introduction of a new generation of trains to replace a fleet that is nearing retirement.

Once fully automated – all lines are anticipated to be under GoA4 operation by 2037 – the S-Bane will be one of the largest and fastest automated mass-transit systems in the world. It will then be able to transition from a timetabled service to a system offering ‘metro-style’ frequencies managed by state-of-the-art control technology to ensure safety and reliability.

A Proactive and Collaborative Approach

As the organisation responsible for introducing GoA4, DSB must oversee the safe integration of a range of technical, operational and organisational aspects, from a new generation of trains to upgraded passenger communications and extensive platform and wayside enhancements.

The programme will also involve significant organisational changes with the transition of infrastructure and operational staff from Banedanmark, the national infrastructure manager, to DSB. This will eventually take the form of a new organisation, currently referred to as Future S-network, to oversee the migration period and ongoing operation.

With such complex changes to navigate over the years, DSB will look to benefit from our experience of major migration projects and the continuity we will provide as various system suppliers, partners and stakeholders join and leave the programme as it progresses.

Our experience of performing an equivalent role on Denmark’s adoption of ETCS technology on its national mainline network, for example, has shown how migrating from existing systems to new automated processes requires robust Approvals strategies, clearly communicated transition arrangements, and a consistent method for capturing compliance evidence that is understood by project teams and the supply chain alike.

As the appointed AsBo, our experts will work closely with DSB’s project teams, bringing an approach via the Ricardo Compliance Tool that will promote collaboration, remove unnecessary paperwork, and reduce the risks of delays and cost overruns.

This article was originally published by Ricardo Rail.

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