Railcomplete at InnoTrans 2022
The benefits of RailCOMPLETE (R)
RailCOMPLETE® is an AutoCAD® plug-in for planning railway systems with a high level of detail. We combine the planning of control and safety technology, overhead lines, track systems, cable ducts, low-voltage systems and earthing in one tool. Since 2015, we have been working tirelessly and passionately to revolutionise the world of planning tools and deliver real added value to our customers. With RailCOMPLETE, we want to make our contribution to the modernisation of the rail industry, digital planning processes and the achievement of uniform standards in the European rail market.
We have come a long way in recent years and have continuously improved and expanded RailCOMPLETE. In the meantime, the tool has a range of functions that partially automate the planning process for control and safety technology and overhead contact line systems.
This has not gone undetected in the railway industry: Our first customer was the engineering service provider Norconsult AS in Norway, which is still Railcomplete AS’ largest customer. Since then, the companies Sweco and Multiconsult have joined. These three companies are leaders in overhead contact line planning in Norway. Norconsult is also a planning office in the field of control and safety technology for mainline railway.
Cooperations with SNCF, Deutsche Bahn and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. have already demonstrated the benefits of RailCOMPLETE far beyond the Norwegian borders.
InnoTrans is the world’s largest trade fair for transport technology. Every two years, Berlin becomes the meeting place for the industry to present innovations, to explore new trends and to exchange ideas.
Over the past few years, RailCOMPLETE has been continuously expanded and improved in terms of function, scope and user experience. We will present the results of our work and the possibilities in planning processes using RailCOMPLETE at two demo stands.
We will give an introduction to the tool and show how RailCOMPLETE can save time in the planning process, minimise errors and save personnel resources on the basis of concrete use cases.
RailCOMPLETE® with EULYNX DataPrep – looking deeper
EULYNX DataPrep (DP) is an abstract data model whose purpose is to enable text-only data exchange between stakeholders in the railway signalling industry. Its UML model contains the constructs needed to describe the main European signalling systems in a common, formal way. It contains modelling mechanisms for virtually every aspect of existing and future interlocking types and their trackside physical components.
Numerable components from adjacent disciplines, notably track and to some extent the overhead catenary system, have been modelled. The EULYNX DP model has been expressed formally as XML Schema Definitions, a set of XSD files. The UML is also converted and made available as an Object Oriented code library that software builders can plug into their product. Each software supplier is free to incorporate this library in their software product, be it an authoring tool, a data viewer or a validation tool.
The existence of a well-documented and managed code library (DLL) ensures that two different software suppliers will understand and express concepts in the same way during data exchange. The depth of modelling is adequate for expressing interlocking requirements and electrical connections, depending on the tool and the scope. EULYNX DP is based on RSM, the Railway System Model brought forward by UIC. The RSM models a very basic level where linear placement (kilometer, lateral and vertical offset) as well as direct positions (coordinates) and topology (nodes and edges) are available concepts for software designers to use.
EULYNX DP is not a storage format for authoring tools, partly because EULYNX DP does not represent graphical symbols for the various equipment types, or tool-dependent information such as CAD layers. A EULYNX DP file is more like a snapshot – a photograph – of a complex system in a given state. On the other extreme, an authoring tool such as RailCOMPLETE stores not only multiple states of the modelled system, but also automation methods for creating and manipulating data inside the model, much in the same way that an Excel™ spreadsheet contains VBA code to automate tasks. An authoring tool must also take care of all the nitty-gritty information needed for the user to interact with the data model, i.e., an efficient user interface as well as import/export functions towards Excel™, LandXML™, railML™ and other relevant exchange formats.
This RailCOMPLETE release provides an import and an export script for the object types contained in DNA for which a data exhange need with EULYNX DP is anticipated. When RailCOMPLETE reads a EULYNX DP file, the import scripts for the various EULYNX DP object types will control how RailCOMPLETE creates and configures corresponding national railway objects, according to the railway administration’s DNA. When RailCOMPLETE exports a national design to the EULYNX DP format, it does so by using an export script for each relevant DNA object type to translate from its RailCOMPLETE formulation to its EULYNX DP formulation.
We recommend our readers to consult the well-illustrated documentation on the EULYNX DataPrep web pages.
RailCOMPLETE® launches version 2022.2: Improved 3D functionality and user experience
Since 2015, we at Railcomplete AS have been working tirelessly to make our vision for planning tools in the railway market come true: all relevant planning projects around the railway line, united in one tool. With our version update 2022.2 we have come one step closer to this goal.
The history of RailCOMPLETE is characterised by continuous improvements and extensions to our software – the tool already has a large number of functions that partially automate the planning process for control and safety technology and catenary systems. With the version update 2022.2, we are again improving the user experience and expanding our functions: Large models are accelerated and we introduce a new interface for the 3D representation of point objects and alignment objects.
3D graphics can be broken down into smaller parts and then parametrically reassembled to display an object in 3D.
An example of how this can look is shown below with a light pole, which at the same time provides a glimpse of the upcoming NO-BN-DNA-2022.a update:
One patch – many possibilities
With RC version 2022.2, the possibilities for the users become more transparent and at the same time considerably expanded. In the new version, only those commands are displayed that are available for the respective license level of the user.
We have also added advanced settings for OffsetProfiles and a profile offset that moves the PVIs orthogonally to the source.
RailCOMPLETE 2022.2 and a detailed list of all function changes can be downloaded from www.railcomplete.com/rcdl.
Highlights of the RailCOMPLETE® development – A BIM success story
The planning process for electrotechnical systems in railway engineering is characterised by many system discontinuities, different planning procedures in control and safety technology and overhead line construction. The planning process is not yet based on a standardised data model and consistent data management. In addition, each national railway in Europe has its own planning procedure.
That was the starting point for me, Claus Feyling and my team, to begin developing a generic planning tool. Since the beginnings in 2015 RailCOMPLETE has been constantly expanded with new functions. Today, the tool has a wide range of functions that partially automate the planning process of the control and safety technology and catenary systems and thus make it more economical for the end customer – planning periods are shortened and the planning effort is reduced. You can find more details about this in the tutorial: Introduction to RailCOMPLETE v2021.0.pdf
Our first customer was the engineering service provider Norconsult AS in Norway, which is still Railcomplete AS’ largest customer today. Since then the companies Sweco AS and Multiconsult AS have joined . These companies are leaders in overhead contact line planning in Norway, and Norconsult is also a planning office in the field of control and safety technology for long-distance traffic. You can see a current project example from Norconsult AS here: RailCOMPLETE saves time and increases planning efficiency.
Since 2019, we have realised extensive pilot applications which focus on new concepts for the planning of control and safety technologies. We were able to prove and show that RailCOMPLETE is the suitable tool for the representation of control and safety technology in 2D, 3D and tables and which functional range the future desktop capacity simulator will have. You can see our demo video here: The JUNCTION simulator
In cooperation with SNCF we have developed a comprehensive embedded scripting system. We demonstrated the scripting by importing object data as Excel files from the national “Gaia ” asset database and having RailCOMPLETE convert them from Excel into track and control and safety objects in 2D and 3D – see Converting SNCF GAÏA asset data from Excel to an editable BIM model.
Since 2018, we have been working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd in Japan, High-Speed Rail Division. At the end of 2021, we concluded a contract for a pilot project, a tool evaluation phase. The focus of the contract is on control and safety technology and overhead line construction. The pilot project will run until the end of 2022. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd is seeking adoption of RailCOMPLETE for use in a future high-speed rail contract in the USA, Texas High Speed Rail project (TxHSR) which will build a closed Shinkansen system based on proven Japanese technology.
In 2021, we were commissioned by the European project EULYNX to develop a first demonstrator showing that RailCOMPLETE is a project planning tool to implement the upcoming data exchange format “EULYNX ” for control and safety technology and that EULYNX DP is suitable to become a European standard in the planning process. This could replace the national exchange formats such as PlanPro, IMSpoor, Gaia etc. and create interoperability in planning for cross-border projects. Have a look at the Eulynx project and our demo which shows that the DLL of the EULYNX format has been integrated into RailCOMPLETE and that the German planning attributes could be created for DB Netz – RailCOMPLETE models German signaling using the Eulynx exchange language.
Since 2021 we have been present on the German market and can help to comprehensively automate the planning process, especially against the background of the planned rollout of ETCS and digital interlockings (DSTW).
We have demonstrated that a RailCOMPLETE script can successfully convert a Class B signaling model into an ETCS model with data points. The script was converted from a Java implementation of the German ETCS rule set draft of the University of Dresden for the placement of ETCS data points.
Since autumn 2020, we have been a member of the standardisation committee for IFC Rail Alignment With Cant of Building Smart International. We were able to ensure that almost all basic concepts and real requirements of rail planning will be mapped in the upcoming IFC Rail 4×3. RailCOMPLETE will include its own IFC export and import from 2023. A property set editor is expected to be available by the end of 2022.
We are gradually growing and expanding our team of developers, to develop more exciting and beneficial functions for rail planning. We are actively looking for partners to support us in our growth. In the meantime, you can try RailCOMPLETE for yourself – download the RC application and the latest official Norwegian DNA version and take advantage of our extended 60-day free trial for new customers.
Meet us at Innotrans 2022
Innotrans 2022 is the greatest railway event of the year, from Tuesday 20th to Friday 23rd September in Berlin. Please visit us at our booth #100 in building 6.1.
Norconsult AS: “RailCOMPLETE saves time”
– RailCOMPLETE provides a high degree of automation and streamlining of processes. In many areas, the program helps to save time, says experienced senior engineer Knut Atle Stene Andersen at Norconsult.
– With RailCOMPLETE as the central repository for the data, and with the programming of the tables in RailCOMPLETE, the quality has improved compared to the more manual work processes we used to do. But most importantly, the time it takes to produce drawings has gone down significantly, says senior engineer Stene Andersen.
Tight deadlines and strict rules
Knut Atle Stene Andersen has been working with overhead contact lines and railway since 1993. In 2010 he started with the project management of such installations and has since then participated in several large projects in connection with the electrification and upgrading of the Norwegian railway. These days he is central in the work on the drawings for the electrification of the Trønder and Meråker railway, assignment “ETM”.
This assignment is carried out as a subcontractor to NRC, which has a turnkey contract for Bane NOR. The section of railway line from Trondheim with the Tyholt tunnel and further east is approximately 120 km with single track and a dozen stations. The contract extends from Marienborg via Stavne-Leangbanen and from Trondheim station to Stjørdal station on the Nordlandsbanen, and from Hell station to Riksgrensen on the Meråkerbanen. There are no contact lines from before, and the railway line is characterized by many and sharp curves.
– The project must be completed by November 2023. These are tight deadlines and strict regulations. RailCOMPLETE contributes to good implementation, says Stene Andersen.
Saves a lot of time and reduces the possibility of errors
Stene Andersen and his colleagues at Norconsult are working on this extensive project. He checks wiring, equipment placement and dimensioning in accordance with Bane NOR’s extensive technical regulations, and that drawings and tables have the correct appearance and content. There are several hundred drawings in the project, both line drawings in scale 1:500 and 1:1000 for contact line installations, and there are earthing plans in scale. All drawings contain tables with hundreds of figures which of course must be correct.
During the project, and once it is built, thousands of engineered objects must be reported to Bane NOR’s system for monitoring construction projects, and finally key data must be transferred to Bane NOR’s operational database, “Banedata”.
In this assignment, foundation plans are not stored as drawings, instead, the XYZ object placement coordinates from RailCOMPLETE are transferred to NRC as data files. There are also no 3D models in this mission.
-There are many processes and many possible sources of error in such a project. RailCOMPLETE contributes to an increased degree of automation and efficiency of the processes. But although it saves us time and reduces the risk of errors, it still requires considerable expertise to drive such a project forward, says Stene Andersen.
RailCOMPLETE® at Nordic Rail 2017
3D model preview for railway objects
RailCOMPLETE now has a function that previews the associated 3D model for a given object. The example below shows a controlled balise. When the CAD cursor hovers over the 2D symbol in AutoCAD model space, then an image of the associated 3D model is shown from a specified angle (here: from front/left side).
Automated Model Checks in RailCOMPLETE objects
Tired of spending countless hours of checking your railway drawings?
We are proud to announce that RailCOMPLETE objects now compute their own local model checks. Each time an object is used, refreshed or inspected, its model checks are re-evaluated. Model checking automates the tedious process of finding small and large inconsistencies in your model, or between your model and other discipline’s models.
In the example below (*) we have defined Error, Warning and OK distance intervals between neighboring balises in the up and down directions measured along the track. We have also introduced distance checks against balises in flyover tracks or in adjacent tracks. Looking for all objects with a problem is easily done from the Object Manager, in order to review and fix your model before delivery.
(*) ATC for the Bane NOR national rail administration, Norway.
The Manage Properties window shows this…
…when the AutoCAD modelspace shows this:
Invitation to railway BIM product launch, Oslo, 28th of November