Developing system models to help railways embrace innovative technologies with confidence

Christopher Bouch, Clive Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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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 closelycoupled 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 framework against which the impact of innovation can be identified. The paper describes a repeatable and objective modelling methodology developed for Great Britain’s (GB) railways, 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 wheel bearings) into the existing hot axle box detection system. Finally, the paper takes an initial look at the structure of railway standards outside GB, to establish whether the methodology can be applied in other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the INCOSE International Symposium 2013, Philadelphia USA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Systems engineering, innovation, railways, CORE, Vitech


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