Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

Re-railing Innovation

28 May 2012

Each year, the IMechE Railway Division holds a competition of technical presentations to give Young Members the chance to win £1000! Five regional heats have been held across the country showcasing a very high standard of engineering talent. These five winners will now compete for the prize in an evening of six presentations on Innovation in the Rail Industry.


Re-railing innovation

: - John Clancy, Network Rail
Employing innovation to protect the infrastructure from rock fall

The Rail Industry is continually searching for new ways to ensure Safety and increase the Reliability of the Infrastructure. There have been several occurrences over the years of Rock fall impacting the Network, this presentation will describe the legacy system used to monitor Rock Fall and assess some of the limitations.

- Tim Fairbrother, Interfleet Technology
Mating and tweeting in the cold- A discussion of ways to improve autocoupler and warning horn reliability in winter conditions

Following the severe winter conditions experienced across the UK over recent years, the rail industry has been called on to deliver improvements in seasonal preparedness. Couplers and warning horns face similar issues during winter with their function requiring exposure to the elements on leading vehicle ends. Having led a GB rail industry research project into warning horn reliability during ice and snow, Tim will present some of his findings and recommendations on these challenges.

- Sarah Guilfoyle, Network Rail
Level crossing survey improvements' from using two poles and some string to LiDar ranging to provide accurate vertical profile data

The vertical profile across level crossings must be surveyed regularly to ensure there is not a risk of vehicles grounding as they pass over. Network Rail are always keen to evaluate the benefits of new technology in their asset management programme in order to improve safety, decision making and save expenditure. This presentation aims to discuss a recent trial on the use of Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) equipment in which three types of crossings were surveyed.

- Sam Jones, Network Rail
Trialling a device new to the UK to ensure correct overhead line tension in all conditions

As part of the New Electrification Programme, a new overhead line auto-tension product to the UK rail infrastructure is being trialled. This product provides many benefits over the existing UK infrastructure and has the potential for cost savings if used in future electrification schemes. This presentation will give an introduction into auto-tension overhead equipment and will discuss the process and challenges involved in installing the new product.

- Tom Oliver, Invensys Rail
Automatic Train Control (ATC): a Graduate Engineer’s perspective

This presentation combines the concept of modern mass-transit signalling projects with real experiences. It outlines current signalling demand for ATC, describes typical 'trainborne' systems and details the complex interfaces between the train and its system environment. Two mass-transit projects will be compared and contrasted, one in the UK and the other in South East Asia. Finally considering the convergence between mass-transit and mainline solutions, and what the future looks like for Automatic Train Control.

- Guest Speaker
Roger Goodall, Professor of Control Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University

Duration: 2hrs