Docklands Light Railway, UK, Asset Monitoring

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Docklands Light Railway, UK, Asset Monitoring

Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is an automated, light metro system servicing part of London, England since 1987. In 2014, DLR embarked on a project to replace its aging on-train monitoring equipment for its B92 driverless vehicle fleet. 

SNC-Lavalin was part of a team that included Arrowvale, who develop on-train monitoring equipment, and the communication supplier, Nomad Digital. Together, we collaborated with the rolling stock engineering and maintenance teams of DLR and KeolisAmey Docklands to both replace the systems and provide new, near real-time monitoring of the trains' performance.

Solutions

The client wanted the capability to know the location and understand the performance of its 96 driverless trains all the time they’re in service and wherever they are on the DLR network. Our solutions led to information being sent back to monitoring screens in no more than three seconds. This allows operational teams and the control centre to identify issues that were not previously visible, reducing dwell times at stations, improving availability and enhancing passenger service. 

Pioneering new technology

The technical solution the client was looking for didn’t really exist at the time, so we had to build it. We developed a new web-based application called Diagnostyx to pull the information from the data recorder on the train. The information in these 270 channels of data can include such things as the train’s speed, door operation and location. 

Analyzing the data

To make the collected data useful, we built algorithms, rules and logic into the software and presented it to the teams ready for immediate action or retrospective analysis. For example, by merging data, such as a warning light in a carriage and a change in door pressure, the software can calculate that one of the doors has opened. Really important for driverless trains!

User interface

We needed to make sure that the large amounts of data and analysis could be quickly and easily understood by both the control centre and engineering teams. We developed a way of presenting that information graphically on their screens, so it could be digested at a glance using colour and maps to immediately see the location of the trains and their status.

Results

Our solutions have significantly improved the reliability and availability of DLR’s fleet.

As with most train service operators, a significant proportion of DLR’s total running costs is associated with maintenance. The solutions we’ve delivered here are intended to help reduce those costs, by supporting DLR in making faster decisions through the analysis of data. This can lead to proactive maintenance, which means a safer and less disrupted service for their passengers.

Key Facts

Client
  • Docklands Light Railway
Completion
  • 2015
Location
  • United Kingdom
Partnership
  • SNC-Lavalin
  • Arrowvale
  • Nomad
Markets
  • Light Rail
  • Urban Mass Transit
Expertise
  • Software Development
  • Application Hosting
  • Application Monitoring
  • Helpdesk Support
  • Asset Data Analysis & Mapping