The rail industry is a highly competitive sector, in which innovative OEMs constantly improve standards in safety, automation and interoperability. CRITICAL Software’s vision is for safer, more flexible and faster railway networks that support the world’s evolving transport requirements.

We have supported railway manufacturers in the development, testing and certification of embedded systems according to CENELEC EN50126/8/9 standards up to the highest Safety Integrity Level, SIL 4.

Our invaluable experience derives from our strong sector knowledge in track-side equipment and rolling-stock control systems, from experience working with the CENELEC standards, and from expert knowledge of state-of-the-art ERTMS and CBTC technologies.

In the area of systems integration, we provide turn-key, condition-based maintenance solutions that complement embedded systems capabilities. This supports OEM customers in adding value to the end-user experience and enables more efficient use of train fleets.

Strategic proximity to key technological clusters throughout the world, and our flexibility in integrating with clients’ engineering teams on site, allows us to work with unparalleled success in some of the most challenging projects in this sector.

If you want to learn more about our work in the railway industry, check the dedicated downloads hub.

Embedded Software Development for Railway

Our embedded software development experience includes the production of requirements, architecture, design and coding, as well as Verification and Validation activities as a whole. We have supported railway manufacturers in the development, testing and certification of embedded systems according to CENELEC EN50126/8/9 standards, up to the highest Safety Integrity Level, SIL4.

We are able to work on all stages of the V-model, according to the independence principle. We are able to produce safety-critical applications (also using model-based methodologies), board support packages or real-time operating system (RTOS) components compliant with EN 50128, up to the highest criticality level.

In the particular field of the refurbishment and evolution of legacy systems, we also have experience in gap analysis, reverse engineering, re-engineering and re-design of obsolete systems.

IoT-Related Services for Railway

The railway industry is already redefining its use of IT and networking technologies to improve the management of rail networks. More widespread use of automation and sensor technologies, either on trains or tracks, offers the opportunity to provide real-time (RT) or near RT data on the condition of network resources, from tracks and signals to carriages and engines. This information can be used to predict when resources need repairing or replacing, so parts and engineering works are able to be planned for in advance. This reduces the amount of time that rail resources are ‘offline’, leading to higher asset values and better, safer, more efficient services for passengers.

CRITICAL Software has supported a number of rail manufacturers in the development, testing and certification of embedded systems according to CENELEC EN50126/8/9 standards, up to the highest Safety Integrity Level, SIL 4. We have also provided condition-based maintenance solutions that complement embedded systems capabilities, essential for safe IoT connectivity and enabling more efficient train fleets.

As rail network IT and network systems further integrate with smart technologies and the IoT revolution, CRITICAL Software is ideally placed to support the industry in safely implementing new technologies and service improvements.

RAMS and Certification Support for Railway

Railway is the oldest transportation system in the world and the first to bring to light the need for functional safety. The railway industry can be divided into two main branches: rolling stock (locomotive, light rail, suburban, intercity and high-speed), and signalling systems (including ERTMS and CBTC). CRITICAL Software’s functional-safety experts cover both of these branches.

Rail is one of the most efficient mass transportation systems in the world. A rail revival is spreading across several countries and geographical regions. New standards are being implemented (e.g. ERTMS) and legacy systems are being replaced. The market landscape offers opportunities but also strong competition among global railway suppliers. CRITICAL's role in this landscape is to contribute to the systematic growth of rail safety by helping its customers achieve safety requirements in a business-efficient way.

Our RAMS & Certification Support services for railway include:

  • Project gap analysis: identification of gaps with respect to the safety requirements, namely those in EN 50126, and determination of the best way to overcome them, given specific project and client needs.
  • Safety management & safety case preparation: management of functional safety across the lifecycle, for both rolling stock and signalling systems, including the elaboration and management of the safety case.
  • Independent Safety Assessment (ISA): compilation and review of all project safety artefacts as to assess compliance with applicable regulation (both international standards and national regulation).
  • Training on functional safety: addressing the provisions of EN 50126, EN 50128 and EN 50129, either focusing on global normative aspects, project-specific needs or both.

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Independent Safety Assessment of Railway Systems Flyer
Independent Safety Assessment of Railway Systems Flyer

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Railway RAMS Flyer
Railway RAMS Flyer

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Safety Management
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Safety-Critical V&V for Railway

Rail is one of the oldest transportation systems in the world, and the one that made the early expansion of the industrial revolution possible. To this day, it is still one of the most efficient ways of transporting goods and people. In an age marked by the rapid introduction of new technologies and the unrelenting growth of interconnectivity, many fail to see rail as a realm of innovation. However, the fact is that, because of its efficiency, rail transport has entered a new revival age that is no longer confined to the few countries around the world that have led the development of high-speed networks.

The rail landscape for the 21st century provides significant opportunities for those able to address its challenges. Accurately forecasting how future railway systems will look may seem like a hard task. Some things are almost certain, however: increases in passenger comfort and safety and a more competitive global market. Generic products and generic and specific applications will be more complex, and project execution times will be shorter. The key challenge is how to perform the V&V of ever more complex systems within narrower time frames, while delivering increased levels of safety assurance. This is the challenge CRITICAL Software is devoted to.

Our vast experience across a wide range of safety-critical domains enables us to deliver an effective and efficient V&V solution to increasingly complex and competitive projects. CRITICAL Software offers a comprehensive set of V&V services for the rail industry that include:

  • TCMS Software Testing: including component and integration testing in full conformance with the provisions of CENELEC EN 50128.
  • HMI Testing: testing of human-machine interfaces such as the software applications running on the consoles operated by the train driver.
  • System Testing: definition of test cases for different vehicle functions and execution of test procedures in either a test rack or train simulator. Case studies of functions tested by CRITICAL Software include main line voltage, auxiliary power, doors control, TCMS, etc.
  • In-Vehicle Testing: definition of test cases for tests on the vehicle and execution of the respective test procedures. This is done in close co-operation with the client's technical and management personnel.

We offer our clients a unique 4-stage approach to accommodate their specific V&V requirements:

  • V&V Setup & Go: designed to support clients in setting up an effective V&V environment and to bring them up to speed with the use of key tools and resources.
  • V&V Analyser: designed to help clients understand the gaps that exist in their projects according to the relevant industry standards in their area.
  • V&V Accelerator: designed to provide a quick response team to help clients overcome project peaks and other challenging or unplanned V&V scenarios.
  • V&V Plus: designed as a bespoke, comprehensive service to provide clients with the full-spectrum of V&V activities.

Safety Training for Railway

CRITICAL Software uses senior practising avionics engineers and DERs to provide training in the CENELEC standards EN 50126, EN 50128 and EN 50129 and ERTMS/ECTS for trackside and onboard systems, as well as courses covering the principles of systems engineering and risk assessment in the rail sector.

Railway CENELEC Standards: EN 50126/8/9

CRITICAL Software’s two-day workshop empowers attendees to make better informed decisions about issues relating to the CENELEC standards and their application in the rail industry. The CENELEC standards cover the specification and demonstrability of system Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) (EN 50126 / IEC 62278), communications, signaling and processing systems in rail control and protection systems (EN 50128 / IEC 62279), and communications, signaling and processing systems in safety-related electronic systems for signaling (EN 50129). Find out more and register for the course.

An Overview of ERTMS

CRITICAL Software’s one-day training course provides attendees with a general understanding of trackside and onboard systems in the context of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and the European Train Control System (ETCS).

An understanding of the basis of ERTMS and ETCS is developed, exploring why the systems were developed and what purpose they serve. Following this, a more detailed understanding of trackside architecture, ETCS language and train modes, and driver-machine interfaces is developed. Find out more and register for the course.

Systems Engineering in the Rail Industry

This two-day training course introduces the discipline of systems engineering, and how its application contributes to safety management in the rail sector. One of the greatest challenges that engineers in the rail sector face is how to deal with the complexity of railway projects, even when projects seem superficially manageable at first glance. This training course will review and discuss the common problems faced by engineers and the tools they can use to effectively deal with these challenges. Find out more and register for the course.

Developing Risk Assessment Skills for the Rail Sector

This three-day course provides a detailed understanding of the risk assessment tools and fundamental techniques used in the rail sector. The course provides clarity and addresses the challenges associated with a confusingly broad range of risk assessment tools and techniques, helping attendees to avoid the common selection mistakes that can waste time and money, and cause problems further down the line. Find out more and register for the course.

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