Partnership focus: Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and DataValue.

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SBB block train at Wassen on the Gotthard Railwa. Picture courtesy of SBB.

Today SmartRail World focuses on the IT work that DataValue carries out with Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB)). The SBB carries over 350 million passengers and over 40 millions tons of freight a year along 3040km of track. DataValue offers tailor-made, high quality and solution-oriented software products in the information field and has supported SBB AG since 2001 with know-how and IT development in the field train control systems such as GSM-R and ETCS.

We asked Thomas Burmeister of DataValue how the relationship with SBB began: “In 2000 SBB were searching for an IT Company which was able to develop modern software systems based on the design that their telecom and infrastructure technicians required to cover the real needs of SBB users in the fields of GSM-R (deployed since 2000) and ETCS (deployed since 2008). In 2001 we started MRD (mobile rail data) with a base inventory system (MSC, BSC, BTS-sites, masts with antenna systems and radio cell parameters based on catalog data from the industry).”

Thomas added: “Since then we added roll-out, document and information management components to accompany the industrial roll-out, GIS (Geo information system) components to support the radio planning. Since the GSMR project turns more and more into operation the system was extended with interfaces to MSC, BSC and a component to supervise non-ironizing radiation according to Swiss law.”

Since 2009 DataValue is in addition developing the system DaZu for the train supervising department of SBB AG. DaZu allows the management of the Train Control inventory and serves as an exchange platform for all data between the SBB AG and their industry partners.The system consists of inventory and planning components to modernise train control systems. The system controls the lifecycle of all train control system components. A design tool was added in 2011 for planning train signalling systems on the base of P44 national parameters as well as ETCS LS1 and ETCS L2 parameters.

We also asked Thomas what some of the challenges and opportunities within rail IT were: “I think we are looking at developing management tools that assess whole life (Life Cycle Assessment or LCA) environmental and economic impact and allow easy comparison of maintenance and/or replacement costs. This helps with event management in case of an incident and a quick systems restart. Major developments now in place include new operational and track engineering techniques are now commonplace whilst intelligent infrastructure, rolling stock and other system components are autonomously monitored in real-time. Integration of smart devices in the maintenance sector.”

DV_WebLogoDataValue will be Exhibiting and Thomas Burmeister speaking along with over 100 industry leaders  at SmartRail Congress & Expo alongside 1000 attendees and 40 exhibitors in Amsterdam, 24-26th February 2014. SmartRail is the definitive European rail signalling, telecoms and technology Congress and Expo. For more on DataValue and how they can develop solutions for you click here.

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