Rail Infrastructure Alignment Acquisition System (RILA) Product Approval

Overview of Deliverables

Developed by Fugro based in the Netherlands, the Railway Infrastructure Alignment Acquisition System (RILA) offers a number of opportunities for Network Rail to enhance their track asset management, specifically in the areas of data acquisition, accuracy and overall whole life cost of operation.

RILA also offers additional opportunity for other initiatives within Network Rail, such as equipment location relative to the rail, as was being delivered by the Offering Rail Better Information Services (ORBIS) programme during CP5. A significant opportunity also presented itself in the form of improved safety of asset data collection processes; the RILA system has the potential to significantly reduce the need for line-side surveying activities.

RILA has been in operation on the Dutch railway network since 2009, and over 5500km of absolute track position has been delivered to the infrastructure manager, ProRail.

Picture courtesy of Matthew Parker

The system provides laser mapping of infrastructure, namely the rail, by means of affixing RILA on the rear of the train. RILA uses a sophisticated GPS measurement system, combined with inertial measurement technology to collect the position of the track, rail profile, and parameters such as track gauge and super elevation.

An important safety advantage over traditional track survey methods is that people no longer have to be on the track to collect the survey data. This significantly lowers the risks involved in gathering track data.

Network Rail originally approached Vertex to provide Safety Assurance support to gain approval to trial RILA on its infrastructure which was obtained in 2015. Subsequently to achieving this milestone.

Vertex has supplied ongoing support to enable additional uses and changes to operations these have included:

  • Attaching RILA to Road Rail Vehicle (RRV)
  • Addition of attaching to Tightlock coupler
  • Replacement of Designated Person (DP) with Controller of Site Safety (COSS)

Deliverables Included

  • Conduct a HAZID workshop in order to assess the risks of introducing RILA to a trial site on Network Rail infrastructure;
  • Provide safety assessment to support trials of RILA
  • Complete GE/RT8270 compatibility assessment
  • Safety plan for future SRP(System Review Panel) for national acceptance
  • Ensuring Compliance to Network Rail’s Engineering Management procedures.
  • Production of Application and Generic Safety Case
  • Periodic hazard reviews for change in use
  • Safety Case addendums

Technical competencies applied in the delivery of the contract

Vertex employed the following competencies during these works:

  • Systems Engineering- appreciating the impact of the proposed solution in terms of its whole-life implementation
  • Project Management, Stakeholder liaison and influence, in order to drive the project forward on the agreed timescales whilst maintaining stakeholder confidence
  • Safety Engineering- both at a systems and sub-system level, risk assessment and Hazard Identification and the provision of early CSM assurance