The INESS General Assembly took place at UIC Paris on 25 November 2010. The Assembly was attended by approximately 50 participants including representatives from the EU and the supply industry, railway stakeholders and the INESS umbrella railways.
The meeting was opened by Andy Doherty, INESS Steering Board Chairman, who welcomed the participants and key speakers. UIC GDS Jean-Pierre Loubinoux delivered a welcome speech to the participants, explaining the importance of the INESS Project. He underlined in his speech that INESS responds to the stringent needs of railway signalling in the interlocking domain: more than 30% of all signalling installations should be replaced in the next 15 years with more than 50% reaching the end of their technical and economic life in the next 30 years. Reducing acquisition costs by 20% seems a realistic aim and reducing installation costs by 23% may be achieved. The supply industry needs to access a harmonised market: enhanced standardisation in the fields of requirements, base system architecture and interfaces. He recalled that after ETCS, INESS is the second largest railway project in the signalling domain with 30 partners from the railways, supply industry, research, academia, 1062 person months, 102 deliverables and 16,6 million Euros with 10 million Euros of co-funding from the EC. A welcome speech was delivered on behalf of the supply industry, represented by David Gillan, General Manager of UNIFE/UNISIG, who explained the importance of the railways and the supply industry working together and of making the project a success.
George Barbu, INESS EU Coordinator, spoke on behalf of the INESS team, underpinning the need to achieve concrete results and to base INESS on the win-win IXL process of the railways and the supply industry. Progress has been made on concepts to reduce the overall life cycle cost for the new IXL generation compliant with ETCS (railways’ point of view) and to reduce the overall production cost. INESS’ overall concept may be centred on the reference architecture compliant with ETCS, the definition and standardisation of impacting interfaces and production of tools to further reduce the engineering, testing and validation work. A project summary was presented by Project Manager Emmanuel Buseyne (UIC) who reported that the project had achieved most of the activities planned during its second year. The Y1 EC review recommendations have been applied to increase the quality of management processes, technical consistency and coherence; the main objectives and deliverables scheduled for Y2 have been fulfilled; the project has achieved concrete results such as the LCC model, common core of requirements, reference system architecture for interlockings and system and software specifications and implementation of tools to improve the Safety Case Process. Some “gaps” with regard to WS interactions and technical content have been identified and have been overcome through the specific use of Technical Amendment Requests (TAR) and/or taskforce processes.
The meeting was continued with presentations from the railways. Dr. Bernd Elsweiler from DB Netz revealed the main challenges and strategic objectives from DB’s point of view: performance, reduction of obsolescence effects and migration to ETCS; these are strategic objectives and the railways expect INESS to provide an answer! He concluded by saying that only a positive business perspective would be a driving force for change!
A further speech was delivered by ADIF representative Dr. Eng. Ignacio Jorge Iglesias who explained the project objectives and ADIF’s priorities. He presented a critical analysis to support the stringent need to steer the project towards concrete results and standardisation of major interfaces. The speech from the supply industry was delivered by Frans Heijnen (UNIFE/Invensys) who presented the supply industry’s point of view saying that a great deal of progress had been achieved over the last year, that the supply industry was positive on the progress being made and that it was very much committed to achieving its goals. He confirmed that the supply industry would keep driving forward and remain actively involved.
The General Assembly was followed by two sessions composed of four interactive workshops: INESS Business Model; IXL Requirements, Migration and Fallback Strategies; Methods and Tools for Harmonisation of the Safety Case Process and the presentation of WS D4, currently intending to validate the IXL safety-related requirements by means of mathematic tools (UML).