When KiwiRail’s Technology and Innovation Lead, Soren Low, saw the results of their first Driving Advice System (DAS) trial, he thought the fuel efficiency numbers must be too good to be true.
Fast forward a few years from this initial application and the technology had been rolled out across the business, with the Trapeze team installing onboard systems in 180 locomotives and training 350 drivers to use the system.
By implementing DAS, KiwiRail reduced fuel costs by more than 13 per cent[i] while meeting ambitious emissions reduction targets and improving its service to customers, enabling more goods to be moved by rail instead of by road.
Soren and the KiwiRail team created this competitive advantage for themselves by identifying that Trapeze’s DAS solution is a single software platform that positively impacts multiple areas of a rail operating business.
KiwiRail is just one example of many rail companies worldwide – like yours – that are considering the opportunities for greater efficiencies presented by technology. Your roadmap to selecting and implementing a new solution will include addressing the concerns and priorities of colleagues across your organisation, from drivers to the C-suite.
Developing your understanding of the proven Trapeze DAS technology helps you support these stakeholders by addressing areas of your business that will benefit – from planning and scheduling to operations, procurement, and management.
Operational efficiency levels can vary by as much as 50 per cent between your highest and lowest-performing drivers using identical train configurations on the same route.
This alarming range creates uncertainty within your business and can’t be explained away by newer drivers taking time to learn their route or equipment. Even the most experienced drivers can exhibit bad habits, with some having originally been trained to always travel at the maximum permitted track speed.
Our DAS solution negates these inefficiencies by providing real-time advice for drivers of any type of train, including diesel, electric, high-speed, freight, and heavy haul.
As well as keeping your trains running on time, DAS reduces the energy used to complete each journey by optimising braking and acceleration. This is proven to cut rail operators’ fuel costs, reduce emissions, enhance service reliability, and improve outcomes for scheduling and maintenance functions.
The Trapeze Connected Driving Advice System (C-DAS) introduces an enhanced level of connectivity to the DAS solution, creating even greater opportunities for on-time running.
With C-DAS, individual trains are linked through your Traffic Management System and can communicate intelligently with one another in an environment governed by the DAS algorithms. For example, when you have multiple trains approaching a junction, C-DAS will update the in-cab advice in real-time to ensure that each driver speeds up or slows down to optimise movements through this complex point of the route.
Our C-DAS technology integrates with your real-time network information to consider all aspects of your schedule and respond proactively to congestion or temporary speed restrictions. Your drivers are assisted with making up time safely and efficiently when an incident causes unexpected delays.
If your team needs to implement on-the-day schedule revisions, this information is updated dynamically. The advice is then recalculated to conform with the new schedule, reducing delays and disruptions across your network.
DAS and C-DAS do not save energy by simply slowing your trains down. Rather, the system generates and continually adjusts an optimal journey profile throughout each trip and provides operating advice, based on a range of factors, to achieve this.
An onboard computer informs the driver when to apply one of four driving modes according to track geometry, speed profile, timetable, train characteristics, and train position.
Sharing optimised advice equips your drivers with the situational awareness to challenge their preconceived instincts. For example, telling a driver to coast before reaching the top of an incline prevents unnecessary braking on the downhill section.
The beauty of using our DAS and C-DAS technology is that a single solution supports a range of key operational and sustainability outcomes that are valued across your organisation.
Trapeze DAS and C-DAS technology already supports some of the world’s leading railway operators, including SNCF in France, KiwiRail in New Zealand, and Arriva, Abellio, and First Group in the United Kingdom.
In a sector where decarbonisation and energy conservation are crucial goals, the data-led partnership between rail and technology is essential for decreasing your carbon footprint without large-scale capital investment.
Trapeze’s DAS and C-DAS are practical solutions used worldwide to significantly reduce rail operators’ carbon emissions, cut operating costs, and improve on-time running.
The numbers speak for themselves. Our clients have benefitted from energy savings of more than ten per cent for passenger and coal trains in the United Kingdom, 8.9 per cent for iron ore trains in Africa, and 10 per cent for freight trains in Australia, the United Kingdom, and India.[ii]
Want to know more about the sustainability, cost-saving, and operational wins currently being achieved by other rail operators with our DAS and C-DAS? Our experienced team is ready to talk you through the details and answer any questions about how this solution can be applied to your business, so get in touch today.
[i] Rail Express (2020). Smooth operator.
[ii] Railway Technology (2013). KiwiRail to improve freight performance with TTG Energymiser.
France's Minister for Transport praised DAS solutions for delivering optimal sustainability and operational outcomes.
Driving Advice System (DAS)