Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Train Control"
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A Proactive Approach to Train ControlThe main objective in optimizing train control is to eliminate the waste associated with classical design where train separation is determined through the use of "worst case" assumptions to calculate Safe Braking Distances that are invariant to the system. In fact, the worst case approach has been in place since the beginning of train control systems. Worst case takes the most conservative approach to the determination of train stopping distance, which is the basis for design and capacity of all train control systems. This leads to stopping distances that could be far more than actually required under the circumstances at the time the train is attempting to brake. A new train control system is proposed that utilizes information about the train and the conditions ahead to optimize and minimize the Safe Braking Distance. Two methods are proposed to reduce safe braking distance while maintaining an appropriate level of safety for the system. The first introduces a statistical method that quantifies a braking distance with various hazards levels and picks a level that meets the safety criteria of the system. The second method uses train mounted sensors to determine the adhesion level of the wheel and rail to determine the appropriate braking rate for the train under known circumstances. Combining these methods provides significant decreases in Safe Braking Distances for trains. A new train control system is utilized to take advantage of these features to increase overall system capacity.