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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y003136/1
Title: Connected and Coordinated Train Operation and Traction Power Supply Systems (COOPS)
Principal Investigator: Tian, Dr Z
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Delft University of Technology EneRail ETAP Automation Ltd
Tracsis plc WSP Group plc UK
Department: Electronic, Electrical and Computer Eng
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 March 2024 Ends: 28 February 2026 Value (£): 165,733
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 May 2023 ECR International Collaboration Grants Panel 1 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The British railway transport demand is forecast to increase by around 40% by 2040, as a result of population growth, socio-economic globalisation and sustainable mobility decarbonisation. The enhancement of capacity and efficiency is the major challenge to the railway network, which is already near saturation conditions. Automatic Train Operation (ATO) with advanced signalling systems, such as Moving Block and Virtual Coupling, have been investigated to reduce train separation distances and increase the infrastructure capacity. However, more trains with advanced operation systems affect the performance of traction power supply systems, For example, the synchronisation of train acceleration and braking operation increases the peak power and reduces the energy efficiency due to regenerative braking energy loss. The current technological capabilities do not permit accurate and real-time interaction assessment between the train operation and power networks. Therefore, it is important to develop a holistic approach to improving railway capacity and efficiency.

This collaborative project will exchange the international partners' knowledge in train operation and traction power systems and investigate the flow mechanism between these two distinct systems. A digital twin with adaptive timescales and real-time data feeding will be developed to describe the interactions of the connected and coordinated systems. The outputs from the digital twin replicate the characteristics of real-world railway networks precisely. The multi-scenario simulation studies analyse the impact of various system design and control variables on performance, such as infrastructure capacity, efficiency and cost. The system performance will be evaluated and compared with the existing system. This project will build international partnerships through bilateral visits, and engagement workshops with global academic and industry partners. The project will also provide a roadmap for future collaboration on optimising the railway capacity and efficiency for decarbonisation.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk