Shunting automatic Cab Signalling

About the system

The innovative Russian Shunting Automatic Cab Signalling system
  • ensures the safety of shunting and hump operations in mainline and industrial railway stations and yards.
  • transmits route jobs and allowed speed limits, including stop commands, to engines via radio.
  • prevents SPAD and speed limit violations.
  • supervises the movements and locations of engines using satellite navigation with results displayed on graphical screen and trips recorded in text and graphical form.
  • is interfaced and communicates with all types of electrical and marshaling interlocking systems, station-level information and planning systems, computer-based onboard control systems.
  • is deployed in the following stations: Solnechnaya, Avtovo, Orekhovo-Zuevo, Sochi, Adler, Imeretinsky Resort, Cheliabinsk Glavny, Bekasovo Sortirovochnoye, Luzhskaya (shunting system, Northern, Oil and Southern yards).

Awards and certificates

Diploma of the XXI vek: molodost intellekta conference
Diploma of the International Salon of Inventions in Geneva
Diploma of the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions
Diploma of the Vremia innovatsiy 2017 prize winner
Certificate of official registration of software, 2005.
Utility model patent, 2010.
Patent for invention, 2011.
Patent for invention, 2014.
Certificate of official registration of software

Aims and goals

MALS ensures the safety of wagon fleet and motive power and, most importantly, prevents casualties caused by human error.
Safety

Safety

prevention of accidents in railway stations
Monitoring

Monitoring

supervision of location, movements and status of locomotives, electronic archiving
Analytics

Analytics

efficiency evaluation of shunting engine operations in stations, decision-making support
Unmanned technologies

Unmanned technologies

unmanned technologies of driverless locomotive operation, remote control panels

Safety

MALS helps prevent traffic safety violations caused by the following factors:
  • non-observance of signals;
  • violation of voice communication rules;
  • movement without foreman's command;
  • poor brake control;
  • poor knowledge of the station's technological instructions;
  • sleeping in locomotive;
  • poor signal visibility;
  • speed limit violation;
  • erroneous perception of adjacent track's signal as own track's signal;
  • foreman's command to driver containing a wrong locomotive identification number;
  • damage to wagons during coupling due to shunting master's error or misperception of command by driver;
  • erroneous setting of movement direction.
Kamensk-Uralsky station
13.10.2012
Poor knowledge of station instructions.
Perception of adjacent track's clear aspect of exit signal as own track's signal.
Moscow Yaroslavskaya station
01.04.2002
Violation of voice communication rules during shunting operations
Moscow Yaroslavskaya station
19.08.2005
Poor brake control.

Losta station
19.10.2017
Train crew falling asleep

Dynamic modelling and prevention of accidents using MALS

Monitoring

Supervises the locations and movements of locomotives by means of satellite navigation and station-based automation devices with graphical display of information.

Identifies and visually indicates operations and speed violations, threats to traffic safety, violations of instructions and norms. Enables transmission of current information, graphical and text records to remote terminals via wire and wireless channels.

MALS continuously (24/7) archives the status of interlocking facilities and locomotives. Data is recorded every second and can be later used for reviewing process-specific situations, as well as in analytics. MALS contains a set of utilities for archive viewing and provides a number of tools for visual representation of data that help to make fast and efficient evaluation of locomotive operations in its dynamics, to pin down discipline violations, to provide required recommendations.

Example of speed gauge reflecting the implementation of a shunting route:

Speed, km/h
Speed limit violation
Warning
Braking
Distance to obstacle (stop signal, single-ended siding, etc.), m
Allowed speed range
Current speed:
normal
excess

Analytics

Based on archive data, MALS generates a statistical report on the operation of locomotives equipped with the system's devices, that contains indicators that allow evaluating the efficiency of shunting engine operation, identifying bottlenecks in the station and hump operation process, pinning down process discipline violations by train crew members. The significant advantage of the MALS statistics is the fully automated acquisition of information that ensures high integrity of locomotive operation indicators.

Based on archive data, MALS generates a statistical report on the operation of locomotives equipped with the system's devices, that contains indicators that allow evaluating the efficiency of shunting engine operation, identifying bottlenecks in the station and hump operation process, pinning down process discipline violations by train crew members. The significant advantage of the MALS statistics is the fully automated acquisition of information that ensures high integrity of locomotive operation indicators.

Economic efficiency

The economic effect of MALS-generated statistics analysis can be expressed in the optimization of the fleet of shunting engines operated in a station. Information on the duration of hump operations (in stations equipped with a shunting hump) can be used in the improvement of the operating procedures aimed at reducing downtime.
The system's economic efficiency is also ensured by combining shunting and train operations in the same part of the station with an increased level of traffic safety.
"In railway stations equipped with Shunting Automatic Cab Signalling (MALS), before reception and dispatching of trains it is allowed not to interrupt shunting operations in the tracks, from which it is impossible to prevent the exit of rolling stock into a train route by setting switches into safety position. The locomotive performing shunting operations must have the onboard shunting automatic cab signalling in working order. The list of such railway stations is to be defined by the infrastructure owner, private railway tracks owner." (Item 1, Annex no. 9 to the Guidelines for train traffic and shunting operations in railway transportation)

Unmanned technologies

MALS provides a wide range of opportunities for application and further development of unmanned technologies of railway rolling stock control during shunting operations in stations, while completely observing traffic safety requirements.

The driver can set the speed that will be automatically implemented by the locomotive using the MALS facilities. The driver's function in this case comes down to observing the progress of operations.

In the driverless mode all the parameters required for the performance of shunting operations are set at the station duty officer's workstation, and the locomotive automatically performs the required operation (approach to trainset, coupling with trainset, humping, detaching).

How MALS works

Technical failures analysis

GLONASS/GPS
Navigation systems that enable positioning locomotive in the station track layout using station-based differential system and onboard receivers.

automatic positioning of locomotives

ONBOARD EQUIPMENT and driver's workstation
Controls locomotive traction and brakes, displays current route, allowed speed, signal aspect, control mode and other operational parameters.

locomotive supervision, control

RADIO TOWER
Maintains a radio communication channel with locomotives for the purpose of delivering route jobs and acquiring process-specific data.

radio communication with locomotive

ONBOARD RADIO STATION
Maintains a radio communication channel with the station-based control computer for the purpose of acquiring route jobs and delivering process-specific data.

data exchange with station-based devices

CBI/IXL
The systems of marshaling and electrical interlocking provide MALS with current information on the occupancy/vacancy of isolated sections, switch positions, signal aspects, as well as set routes. Interlocking may be in the form of either computer-based systems like EC-EM, EBIlock 950, etc., or various relay-based systems.

acquisition of information from trackside sensors

STATION DUTY OFFICER'S WORKSTATION
Displays current operational situation and locomotives' location in the station. Enables forced train stop, setting speed limits per sections, forbid entrance to open line, etc.

monitoring, supervision and control of all locomotives in the station

MALS station-based control computer
Generates route jobs for locomotives, localizes locomotives in the station track layout and supervises their movement. It also continuously (24/7) archives the status of interlocking facilities and locomotives. This information can be later used for reviewing various situations.

central server of locomotive control

System functions

  • Delivery of commands to stop the locomotive before restrictive signals;
  • Supervision of shunting engines' speed as per the station's instructions, including during distribution of wagons from the hump;
  • Supervision of shunting engines' location and movement along the tracks and in the yards of the station using satellite navigation;
  • Target backing a trainset into dead-end siding;
  • Recording and logging of the operation of onboard, station-based devices and radio communication facilities;
  • Fully automated generation of statistical records of locomotive operating performance (with no manual input).

Contacts

E-mail
info@mals.su