Developing system models to help Great Britain's railways embrace innovative technologies with confidence

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Railways are under pressure to become more efficient and cut their costs; innovation has a part to play in achieving these goals. The railway is, however, a complex and closely coupled system, making it difficult in the early stages of development, to be clear what the system-wide impact of innovation will be. The research covered in this paper stems from the idea that computer-based models of existing systems can help overcome this problem, by providing a baseline framework against which the impact of innovation can be identified. The paper describes development of a repeatable modelling methodology, which elicits objective system data from Railway Group Standards and integrates it using CORE®, a powerful system modelling tool, to create system models. The ability of such models to help identify impacts is verified, using as an example the introduction of RailBAM (a new technology that acoustically monitors the health of rolling stock axle bearings) into the existing hot axle bearing detection system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)677-684
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transport
Issue number6
Early online date4 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Model-based systems engineering, innovation, railway group standards, CORE®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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