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Train simulation model Xandra It is a difficult and complex process to run a train from A to B. Many aspects, influencing each other, play a role in this process. Therefore, it is hard to determine the influence of even a minor change on the entire process. By means of simulations we can examine how these aspects affect one another. ARCADIS employs the simulation model Xandra to evaluate existing and new solutions to diverse railway issues. The model describes the movements of train stock and processes connected to it, for instance power consumption, stopping times and passing over of trains. It contains civil infrastructure (e.g. point switches and arcs), stock (mechanical and electrical characteristics), timetables (numbers of trains including combining and splitting them, frequencies, times, et cetera), power supply, safety and traffic management (prioritizing of trains). On the basis of these data the most efficient timetable, the optimal positions of signals and the power supplies, amongst other things, can be determined.
What makes Xandra special? The following things characterize Xandra compared to other models on the market: - The simulation model Xandra is very versatile. The tool is not restricted to heavy rail (including high-speed trains) but has also been used already for light rail calculations. Moreover, traffic situations combining heavy and light rail can be calculated with Xandra. Furthermore, Xandra can be used outside the Dutch market as well. Being able to model any conceivable safety regime or tractive power supply, Xandra can model all international rail situations. - Xandra combines and unites different rail aspects, i.e. railway operations and capacity, safety and risk analyses, and tractive power supply, in one model. Adjustments of one aspect immediately affect the other values. Through an iterative process of alternately adapting values and/or entering extra data the optimal situation will be determined. This approach enables ARCADIS to not only answer loose questions but also to deal with integral problems in a simple and orderly manner. This approach also prevents complicated and time-consuming translations and interpretations between the different engineering disciplines.
- Xandra can be used in different phases of the design course, which are characterized by different levels of detail. In the initial stages of a study one can choose default settings in order to not lose time on entering less relevant data. For instance, in the design of the tracks the catenary voltage can remain on the default setting. However, later in the design course when a more detailed picture is needed, the model can be supplemented with more specific values for catenary voltage systems and sub-stations. Xandra thus already proves its value during the preliminary design while in subsequent design phases answering the more specific and detailed questions will save money. - Finally, the familiarity and simplicity of the composition of the model is characteristic. In order to compose a model only the different components of the track are needed. No complicated formulas are required. Hence, a speed restriction sign as encountered in reality will be entered as a speed restriction sign in the simulation. By sticking so close to reality, the simulations are clear and understandable, and the input is easy to verify. The same familiarity and simplicity is also demonstrated by the output – simple and comprehensible animations, orderly pictures, graphs, and tables make the results of the simulation clear at a single glance.
Practical applications of Xandra: Railway operations and capacity Central to the design of infrastructure and safety are the issues of track utilization. Xandra supports this design process by calculating characteristics of railway operations. For instance, improving the positioning of signals can optimize the succession times of the timetable. Track based as well as train based safety concepts are supported by Xandra. Tractive power supply Any voltage level, hence both DC and AC, can be used for tractive power supply. Thus, not only calculations for heavy rail but also for trams and light rail lie within the range of possibilities. For example, Xandra uses these to calculate whether existing tractive power supply supports a new timetable. Safety and risk analysis Xandra can simulate various safety issues around the track as well. When changing or rerouting existing tracks Xandra can, for instance, determine which adjustments are the most desirable from a safety point of view. In addition, it is possible to compare timetables to each other on the basis of a risk analysis.
References Capacity increase Vitoria – Minas cargo line, Brazil The challenge: A heavy haul iron ore logistic corridor. Connecting the mining area in the inlands of Minas Gerais to the seaport. CVRD as one of the world’s largest producers, increasing capacity to meet export demand. The approach: Analyzing the 600 km line, the yard and the off-loading area with Xandra simulation software. From an overall view determining the critical issues in the logistical chain. Zooming in to evaluate specific situations and identify improvements. The result: An overview of the logistical system. Insight in key elements to be improved for most effective increase of capacity. Cost effective basic design for the best leverage of investments. 25kV traction design, LGV Branche Ouest, Dijon, France The challenge: A design for 45 km of high-speed line. Bridging height differences of up to 300 meters. Speeds of 350km/h. Connecting to existing lines with different power supply systems. Ready for linking to other future TGV branches. The approach: Drawing a 25kV traction design for the new line. Analysing possibilities for use for both passenger and goods transport as well as for different speeds. Assessed using Xandra. The result: A connection between the line Paris-Marseille and the high-speed network in Germany. A solid traction design allowing a high availability. A design tailored to the future. Succession times Zaanlijn, The Netherlands The challenge: No margin in the timetable. Any disruptions cannot be cushioned. The approach: Surveying the current situation. Researching bottlenecks and formulating improvements for the worst ones. Analysing succession times by moving signals and shortening block lengths. The result: Creating margin by shorter succession times between trains. Capacity improvement of the timetable.
RijnGouweRoute, Gouda to Leiden and the coast, The Netherlands The challenge: Planned light rail connection between Gouda, Leiden and the coast near Katwijk and Noordwijk. Functions as a tram in the city and to the coast. Shares tracks with trains from Leiden to Gouda. The approach: Drawing a tram timetable which fits the train timetable. Testing the stability of the timetable in relation to the infrastructure, signalling and power supply. Determining infrastructure adaptations and re-routing measures required in case of disruptions. The result: Insight into reliability and punctuality for combined heavy and light rail use of the railway line. Procedure statements for traffic control. A solid and robust connection between Leiden and Gouda.
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