With a Team of Over a Hundred, CASCO Assists Successful “Renovation” of Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway, the First Heavy-Haul Railway in China

10 Oct 2019

At 10:00 a.m. on October 9, 2019, CASCO’s FZK-CTC3.0 centralized traffic control system with complete intellectual property rights was officially put into operation for Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway, the first heavy-haul railway in China. CASCO upgraded and transformed its original CTC system and assisted the successful reconstruction of signaling system, making it the first heavy-haul railway to be overhauled and renovated in China. It has not only greatly improved the freight capacity of the railway, but also set a new benchmark in the dispatching command of busy heavy-haul freight trunk railways with a capacity of ten thousand tons.

Figure 1 Dispatching Station of Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway

Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway starts from Datong in Shanxi Province in the west and ends at Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province in the east. With a total length of 653km, it is China’s strategic corridor for “transporting coal from the west to the east”, whose coal freight accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total coal transported by railways in China. It shoulders the great mission and responsibility of serving the national strategy, economy and people’s livelihood.

Since its opening in 1988, Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway has been in operation for more than 30 years. In recent years, as the equipment is approaching the end of its service life, the aging of existing equipment is getting worse. Meanwhile, the railway carries many large-volume transportation services, raising an increasing need for operational reliability and stability. Therefore, the renewal of signaling system is imperative.

Compared with the construction of new lines, the renovation of existing lines is much more difficult, as it can’t affect the normal operation of the line, and the renovation duration each time is 2 hours at most which is very short, thus putting forward higher requirements for the stability and reliability of system technology, as well as the expertise, project management experience and ability of the execution team.

In January 2019, with strong technical strength and rich experience in renovation, CASCO won the bid for the CTC overhaul and reconstruction project of Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway, upgrading the existing CTC system of 44 stations on the line into the industry-leading FZK-CTC3.0 system. Compared with traditional CTC systems, CTC3.0 is better in system performance, security, adaptability and stability.

Faced with many difficulties such as special organization, complex line conditions, lack of important historical data and tight schedule, CASCO established a project team led by products and marketing with R&D and operation as the core. The team, on the one hand, raced against time to overcome technical problems and timely meet the new needs of customers, and on the other hand, carefully organized and coordinated to make full use of the two hours of each operation to properly arrange the update and debugging of software and hardware.

After nearly nine months of hard work, the project team ushered in the most critical step of the project - switching between the old and new CTC systems.

On the night of October 1, the project team of more than a hundred stayed up all night, and gathered in the center of China Railway Taiyuan Group and various stations to make final preparations for the CTC system switch. In the early morning of October 2, escorted by the CASCO team, the CTC systems on the whole line were successfully switched at one time and the distributed autonomy mode was successfully activated, marking the entry into the real train test stage. On October 9, the CTC 3.0 system was officially put into operation for the whole line.

Figure 2 System Switch Site

In this process, the CASCO team has been highly recognized and appreciated by China Railway Taiyuan Group with its professional technology and dedication. CASCO will take this as the driving force, remain true to the original aspiration and keep in mind the mission, so as to contribute to national railway construction with the quality products and services, continue to lead the industry in the innovation and development of dispatching command systems, and spare no effort to create a new chapter for railway signaling.

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