The project ECUC – Eddy CUrrent brake Compatibility – aims to improve the understanding of the interaction between Eddy Current Brake (ECB) and the track and trackside equipment.
ECUC project’s primary objective is to prove that ECB is a highly effective and applicable solution for increasing the braking capacity of new high-speed trains. Secondly, it aims to solve the existing concerns by proposing concrete and realistic solutions to overcome any possible drawbacks that ECB have experienced on some lines. A new generation linear eddy-current brake will be designed and the study of incompatibilities will be performed in two domains: electromagnetic and thermo-mechanical.
ECUC establishes a work plan to demonstrate the technical feasibility of braking systems with eddy current brakes, independent of adhesion conditions, and to clarify the interaction of ECB with track and trackside equipment. In addition a new generation linear eddy-current brake will be designed and a study of electromagnetic incompatibilities and critical thermo-mechanical parameters will also be carried out. As a result, ECUC will propose new designs and engineering and operational guidelines for ECB and signalling equipment, and it will define Technical Recommendations, input for revisions of Technical Specifications for Interoperability.
The strategy for the dissemination of ECUC benefits from input from the ECUC Advisory Group and a wide dissemination strategy towards UNIFE. ECUC addresses the main stakeholders in the European railway sector using various communication and diffusion tools. The impact of ECUC embraces the terms safety, interoperability and economy, and is addressed to the main stakeholders in the European railway industry. The medium-sized ECUC consortium is formed by CEIT (S), KNORR-BREMSE (D), ALSTOM (F), SNCF (F), DEUTSCHE BAHN (D), NETWORK RAIL (UK), UNIFE (B) and FRAUSCHER (AUT). The proposal describes the consortium's strategy in order to guarantee highly efficient coordination. This alliance offers unique advantages in terms of technical competence, complementary representation of all the key players, quality assurance and research orientation.
On track for a better train braking system
EU-funded scientists are seeking to enhance understanding of the interaction between rolling stock constituents and the railroad track and trackside equipment.
Eddy-current brakes (ECBs) are an effective means of regulating train speed on high-speed rails. However, their use raises major concerns regarding compatibility with electronic equipment such as signalling systems, train detectors and communication systems.
To address this issue, the EU has funded the 'Eddy current brake compatibility' (http://www.ecuc-project.eu/ (ECUC)) project. The primary objective is to prove that the ECB is a highly effective and applicable solution for increasing braking capacity of new high-speed trains. Furthermore, it aims to address existing concerns by proposing concrete and realistic solutions to overcome any possible drawbacks that ECBs have experienced on some lines. A new-generation linear ECB is being designed and a study of incompatibilities is being performed in the electromagnetic and thermo-mechanical domains.
Moreover, the test setup and test site that enables the approval test for linear ECBs, focusing not only on functionality, but also on thermal, mechanical and electromagnetic requirements, is being designed. As a result, ECUC is defining guidelines for ECBs and signalling equipment, and recommendations for interoperable functioning. This should serve as an input for revisions to technical specifications for interoperability.
Project partners have already defined the performance requirements regarding ECBs, the interfaces between ECBs and track, and the signalling systems. A qualitative relationship between requirements and design parameters for a typical high-speed train considering different train configurations has also been defined.
ECUC has designed electromagnetic and thermo-mechanical models for describing the interaction between ECBs and the railroad infrastructure. In particular, focus is placed on the interaction between an ECB and the axle counter, studying ECB-emitted electromagnetic radiation, passive effects, and low- and high-frequency interference.
Thermo-mechanical models helped project partners study the track temperature increase induced by an ECB and its potential impact on the infrastructure, mainly concerning track lateral buckling. ECUC has also defined representative worst case conditions to prove the compatibility between ECBs, rolling stock, track and signalling systems.
Future work includes drafting recommendations and guidelines, as well as equipping trains with ECBs and performing tests on track. Dissemination activities include the project website, conferences, workshops, newsletters and scientific papers.