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Application of Systems Engineering to Railway Projects

Volume 3, Number 1,January 2007 - Paper  3 - pp. 25 - 34

R. N. Dumolo

Mott MacDonald, Croydon, United Kingdom

(Received from the Guest Editor on July 31, 2006)


Complexity of new and modified railway systems increases with the application of modern systems technology. Such complexity must be assessed with respect to performance, safety and risk to assure achievement of stakeholder goals and the safety of the traveling public. The formal and rigorous application of 'systems engineering' techniques to modern rail projects provides a framework to eliminate some of the problems that have emerged in some of the more recent rail projects worldwide. These problems have led to delays in bringing projects into commercial revenue service.
Systems engineering provides a framework within which a total rail system can be developed to progressively assure an acceptably safe and, as far as is practicable, a low risk rail system that additionally achieves the specified performance criteria. This paper discusses some of the  elements that should be applied within an overall systems engineering framework to add confidence in delivering a project not only to achieve the goals of the stakeholders and the customers, but also to assure high safety and minimal risk. It explores some of the areas in past projects that could have potentially benefited from the earlier application these formal techniques.


References: Nil

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