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 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 focused 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

Proof-of-concept: The JUNCTION on-the-fly desktop capacity 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 part of the Shinkansen consortium that has been awarded the first 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.

Automatic placement of ETCS data points based on a planned Class B siganling system at Scheibenberg

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.

Catenary modeling with RailCOMPLETE (Source: Norconsult AS)

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 

The RailCOMPLETE booth at Innotrans 2018

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

RailCOMPLETE gir tidsbesparelser

picture shows a mast and blue sky

-RailCOMPLETE gir stor grad av automatisering og effektivisering av prosessene. På mange områder bidrar programmet til å spare tid, mener den erfarne senioringeniøren Knut Atle Stene Andersen hos Norconsult.

-Med RailCOMPLETE som sentralt lager for dataverdier, og med programmering av tabellene i RailCOMPLETE, har kvaliteten økt i forhold til de mer manuelle arbeidsprosessene vi drev med tidligere. Men det viktigste er at tiden det tar å produsere tegninger har gått ned betydelig, sier senioringeniør Stene Andersen.

bildet viser en mann med bart og skjegg

Stramme tidsfrister og strenge bestemmelser

Knut Atle Stene Andersen har arbeidet med kontaktledningsanlegg og jernbane siden 1993. I 2010 begynte han med prosjektering av slike anlegg, og har siden den gang deltatt i flere store prosjekter i forbindelse med elektrifisering og oppgradering av den norske jernbanen. I disse dager er han sentral i arbeidet med å utarbeide tegninger for elektrifisering av Trønder- og Meråkerbanen, oppdrag «ETM».

Dette oppdraget utføres som underleverandør til NRC, som har en totalentreprise for Bane NOR. Strekningen fra Trondheim med Tyholt-tunnelen og videre møt øst utgjør ca. 120 kilometer med enkeltspor og et titalls stasjoner. Oppdraget strekker seg fra Marienborg via Stavne-Leangbanen og fra Trondheim stasjon til Stjørdal stasjon på Nordlandsbanen, samt fra Hell stasjon til Riksgrensen på Meråkerbanen. Det er ikke kontaktledningsanlegg på strekningen fra før, og strekningen er preget av mange og skarpe kurver.

-Prosjektet skal være sluttført innen november 2023. Det er stramme tidsfrister og strenge bestemmelser. RailCOMPLETE bidrar til god gjennomføring, mener Stene Andersen.

Bildet viser strekningsplan
Figur 1: Strekningstegning for KL-anlegg, laget med RailCOMPLETE

Sparer masse tid og reduserer muligheten for feil

Det er et omfattende arbeid Stene Andersen holder på med sammen sine kollegaer i Norconsult. Han kontrollerer ledningsføring, utstyrsplassering og dimensjonering i henhold til Bane NORs omfattende tekniske regelverk, og at tegninger og tabeller har korrekt utseende og innhold. Det er flere hundre tegninger i prosjektet, både strekningstegninger i målestokk 1:500 og 1:1000 for kontaktledningsanlegg, og det er jordingsplaner i målestokk. Alle tegningene inneholder tabeller med hundrevis av tall som naturligvis skal være korrekte.

Underveis i prosjektet, og når det er bygget, skal tusenvis av prosjekterte objekter rapporteres til Bane NORs system for oppfølging av byggeprosjekter, og til sist skal sentrale dataverdier overføres til driftsdatabasen hos Bane NOR, «Banedata».

I dette oppdraget lages det ikke fundamentplaner som tegninger, i stedet overføres stikningsdata fra RailCOMPLETE til NRC som datafiler. Det lages heller ikke 3D-modeller i dette oppdraget.

-Det er mange prosesser og mange mulige feilkilder i et slikt prosjekt. RailCOMPLETE bidrar til økt grad av automatisering og effektivisering av prosessene. Men selv om det sparer oss for tid og reduserer faren for feil, kreves det fremdeles betydelig fagkunnskap å drive frem et slikt prosjekt, sier Stene Andersen. -Det du legger inn i programmet må være korrekt.

bildet viser ledningsparttabell
Bildet viser mastetabell
Figur 2: Maste-tabell og ledningstabell, automatisk generert med RailCOMPLETE