Performance Evaluation of Train Moving-Block Control
In moving block systems for railway transportation a central controller periodically communicates to the train how far it can safely advance. On-board automatic protection mechanisms stop the train if no message is received during a given time window.
In this paper we consider as reference a typical implementation of moving-block control for metro and quantify the rate of spurious Emergency Brakes (EBs), i.e. of train stops due to communication losses and not to an actual risk of collision. Such unexpected EBs can happen at any point on the track and are a major service disturbance.
Our general formula for the EB rate requires a probabilistic characterization of losses and delays. Calculations are surprisingly simple in the case of homogeneous and independent packet losses. Our approach is computationally efficient even when emergency brakes are very rare (as they should be) and can no longer be estimated via discrete-event simulations.
KeywordsEmergency brakes Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) European Train Control System (ETCS)
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