Design, construction and operation of a REPOINT laboratory demonstrator
2015-05-07T08:58:43Z (GMT) by
The REPOINT project, led by Loughborough University, has been active since March 2011. It seeks to improve the reliability, safety and maintainability of track switching technology, with the aim of increasing network capacity and lowering operating costs. To do this, the project is exploring combining mature concepts from other industries such as fault tolerance, line-replaceable units and passively safe design, with novel mechanical arrangements, in order to bring about a step change in performance. One design, based around a stub-switch arrangement, has showed particular promise and is the currently the subject of three patent applications covering the novel mode of operation. A laboratory-scale demonstrator of all key subsystems is currently under construction, under funding from the FutureRailway.org team. This is integrated with test and monitoring equipment, alongside a rapid-prototyping control system. This first-generation design will be used to prove the concept of operation and to develop the associated control and monitoring technology. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of the REPOINT project to date, and the design and operation of the proposed novel REPOINT design. This paper firstly introduces the REPOINT project and highlights of the proposed novel design. It then discusses the simulation, modelling and design of the demonstrator rig, and the associated test and development equipment. The conclusions highlight the progress so far – on the REPOINT project and the Demonstrator rig - and comment upon potential next steps towards network deployment.