Our company's name 'ENGIRAMS' originates from two items, the word 'engineering' and the abbreviation 'RAMS'.
In the rail sector it is key to not only develop rail systems meeting particular functional requirements set by customers or authorities, but also to demonstrate that the systems and installations meet the requirements set for RAMS aspects. RAMS is the abbreviation for Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety. Engirams is a company founded for providing services in the area of RAMS engineering. Among our customers are the most prominent organisations that manage the train and metro infrastructure in the Netherlands or that supply trains and train signalling systems. We support our clients in demonstrating that their systems meet the RAMS requirements.
The European standard requiring RAMS to be demonstrated for electronic railway systems is represented by the CENELEC standard EN50126. The standard is further elaborated in the related standards EN50129 (concerning safety), EN50128 (concerning software and hardware) and EN50159 (concerning transmission systems, both wired and wireless). A related standard for the security of railway applications is under development. Part of the services we provide is the development of safety cases for products ('generic products'), integrated systems and applied products ('generic applications'), and engineered installations that are installed on site for specific railways ('specific applications'). Our ENGIRAMS consultants have prepared such safety cases in the past for many projects among which are:
- the Amsterdam-Utrecht ERTMS Level 2 and automatic train protection (ATB-EG) signalling system (EBILOCK);
- the Spoorzone Delft signalling system (EBS);
- the Limburg Noord signalling system (iVPI);
- a PLC interlocking system for conventional raiway signalling; and
- the RET Hoekselijn signalling system for both metro and freight trains.
In this repect, our consultants have been working for signalling system introductions by Bombardier, Siemens, HIMA and Alstom. We are supporting either the system supplier or the customer (infrastructure manager or engineering company).
Common Safety Methods (CSM-REA)
The European Committee has decided that methods for risk analysis for European railways shall be gradually introduced to ensure that a high level of safety is maintained and, when and where necessary and reasonably practicable, improved (2004/49/EC). By using the same method in different countries, the safety targets are more reliably and understandably proven in these countries. The relevant current European regulation in this respect are the decisions 402/2013 and 2015/1136. The regulation sets out a scheme of defining:
- whether changes in the railway systems are important;
- whether the changes are safety relevant;
- what are the safety risks (hazards) associated with the intended changes
and it provides principles for risk assessment and risk acceptance, depending on:
- whether a code of practise exists to mitigate the hazard in comparable railway systems - in that case this code of practise can be applied similarly without further hazard analysis;
- whether the hazard is existing in a reference system - in that case the same mitigating measures as for the reference system can be applied without further hazard analysis;
- the estimated risk and necessary mitigating measures needed to bring the risk level in the tolerable area.
Our ENGIRAMS consultants have created risk analysis files for railway organisations introducing significant safety-relevant changes in their systems or rail infrastructure, such as the introduction of new interlockings, of radio block centers (RBCs), and for Automatic Train Operation (ATO) testing purposes.
Rail vehicle certification
To get permission for rail vehicles to operate on the European railways, these must be certified by the railway authorities. In order to receive such permission, the vehicle and its individual components (such as axles, brakes etc.) needs to be proven compliant with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and with national regulation. Our ENGIRAMS consultants have experience in preparing documentation to demonstratie TSI compliancy and CSM-REA based risk analysis for new and modified vehicles.
ETCS and ERTMS
The ETCS (European Train Control System) is a train control standard which sets requirements to automatic train protection (ATP) equipment installed within the train for supervising train movements and to stop it according to the permitted speed at each line section, along with calculation and supervision of the maximum train speed at all times. Information is received from the wayside ETCS equipment (either balises or a radio block center) depending on the operation level. The driver’s response is continuously monitored, and if necessary the emergency brakes would be taken under control. ERTMS is the European standard for such an ATP that achieves interoperability throughout Europe. Indeed, it allows a train equipped with an ERTMS onboard device made by any supplier to run on track sections equipped with ERTMS devices made by other suppliers. This also implies the ability for any onboard equipment installed on any train to behave in exactly the same way under the same circumstances. Our ENGIRAMS consultants have built experience in the area of ETCS and ERTMS for achieving new (and modified) systems positively assessed (by Assessment Bodies - AsBo's) and verified (by Notified Bodies - NoBo's) and accepted by the railway authority by:
- developing safety cases showing that a system meets the safety targets set, and
- developing technical files showing that a system complies with the Technical Specifications of Interoperability (TSI).