The digital and autonomous railway of the future
In mid-2018, you officially started operating as a separate company from the structures of the parent company. What is the current position of the company on the Polish market?
At the beginning of July last year, we began to operate as a separate Polish company – Siemens Mobility. We managed to maintain the leadership position among others on the market of multi-system locomotives in Poland, on-board systems for rolling stock control and intelligent transport systems.
What new rail automation solutions will appear in the coming years and what are the key directions of digitization in rail transport?
By far the main trend that will continue to develop is autonomous transport. The use of tools that allow autonomy is not in doubt, even in the subway. Metro is a type of transport in which this autonomy was first introduced and is becoming a standard throughout the world. Now it’s time for fully automated trams, hence the work on a digital tram depot to service autonomous trams is in progress in Potsdam.
What are the opportunities and threats to the development of autonomous transport in Poland?
An undoubted chance for the development of autonomy is the desire to minimize collisions, which we read in newspapers with the participation of trams. When implementing solutions that allow independent driving of the vehicle, no collisions will take place, even if these systems would only support the driver, and not take full control of the vehicle. In this way, the reliability of rail transport would increase. However, there remains the human factor and the behavior of motor vehicles on the roads, which, unfortunately, cannot always be predicted.
Recently, more and more is said about low-carbon solutions, and thus about environmental protection. What solutions are used in your machines that allow you to save energy?
The way to drive plays a major role in reducing energy losses. And here we return a little to autonomy, because all driving using autonomous systems, so-called ecodriving, allows the lowest energy consumption. Other examples of our low-carbon solutions occur on the high-speed train – Velaro Novo, which is currently being tested so that the British can travel soon. The main task for this train will be to reduce energy consumption by 15% compared to the possibility of achieving a maximum of 360 km / h. This is possible thanks to the lighter train and the design of streamlined elements that will reduce air resistance. It is also worth adding that all our rail vehicles consist of components that are recycled at least in 95%.
How can new technologies contribute to the development of a secure and integrated infrastructure?
Maybe we will develop this topic a bit on the example of ITS systems, whose main task is to fluidize traffic in the city, and thus improve road safety. Intelligent Transport Systems allow you to see the city on a macro scale and show which places require traffic flow by maximizing the use of road capacity. Through ITS, I also encourage traffic participants to use prioritized public transport, which is often able to drive faster through cities, and even, as in Bialystok, “force” green light at the nearest intersection.
Continuously, on the occasion of the topic of the Central Communication Port, the discussion about high speed rail returns. Are KDP construction plans realistic?
Already on the central railway main line trains run between Krakow and Warsaw within 2 hours and 10 minutes, so the train travels over 200 km / h over a distance of over one hundred kilometers. So we already have an area where this railway meets our expectations. As for CPK, preparations for high-speed rail service are already underway – the recently modernized Łódź Fabryczna station is adapted to support high-speed trains. However, many steps need to be taken to talk about the connection of the planned CPK with KDP, for example the node in the Baranów region, which would include a connector with existing lines.
What are the future plans for Siemens Mobility?
We will focus on the branches we have already developed, i.e. multi-system locomotives and traffic control systems in the city and on the railway. We will also work on improving railway automation in the context of on-board equipment systems. There are also plans to service vehicles and several new tenders.
Krzysztof Celiński, CEO, Siemens Mobility
Last Updated on October 28, 2020 by Łukasz