Railway Interest Group

Below is the Calendar showing Chapter events for the Railway Interest Group.

INCOSE UK Calendar
May 2016
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Eating the Elephant: Reference Design for ETCS

Railway Interest Group

To be confirmed

17:00 - 19:00

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Current Events

Time Location Details
12/05/2016 -

17:00 - 19:00
Railway Interest Group

To be confirmed
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Eating the Elephant: Reference Design for ETCS

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Introducing the European Train Control System (ETCS) to the GB rail network is a challenging task with so many stakeholders to satisfy and European legislation to follow. Most people assume that since the system is defined at the European level then it should be a case of buying it, plugging it in and off you go. The reality is that it is designed to operate in many different situations and is continually being developed to meet the needs of the European industry.

The variety of solutions available and already implemented leads to misunderstanding and misconceptions of how the system will operate. The lack of clarity means that it is hard for the various users to establish what they want, what they need and what they can afford. It also leads to high expectations with politicians and government believing the “hype” and then being disappointed when it cannot be fulfilled.

Network Rail, on behalf of the industry, have been analysing how to apply ETCS to establish the requirements using a process known as the Reference Design. The process has been around dividing the problem into manageable chunks, undertaking analysis, collaborating and eating that elephant a bit at a time – bring your knife and fork!

Please click here to register via Eventbrite:

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view

Future Events

Time Location Details
07/06/2016 -

17:00 - 19:00
Railway Interest Group

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Managing Complexity: Signalling interoperability for Engineer’s Vehicles

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London Underground has increased its fleet mileage by almost 40% since the year 2000 but productivity of track renewal has not improved at the same rate. The Engineering Fleet of 270 vehicles is being modernised with new vehicles and innovative new mechanised maintenance solutions requiring an interoperable signalling solution to maximise the versatility of these specialised assets.

To deliver more productive track interventions with fewer closures, engineer’s vehicles need to get to site earlier and reliably to maximise productivity by inter-running with the passenger service.

There are currently 4 different signalling systems but 2 more are planned so the engineering vehicles need to be interoperable between legacy fixed block and multiple CBTC signalling systems.

This presentation will introduce the project and describe how LU is managing the complexities through a phased architecture description database using the TRAK framework, with contextualised requirements and responding to assurance requirements.

Alan Wilson, Project Manager for the EV Signalling Concept Design stage, and Jorrel Dawoodi, a Systems Engineer supporting the Track Plant portfolio will present their practical methodologies used to manage the complexity of signalling interoperability.

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29/06/2016 -

1700 - 1830
Railway Interest Group

To be confirmed
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Delivering the RTS: Applying systems thinking for technology development

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In 2012 the Rail Technical Strategy (RTS) for the UK rail industry was published.  This landmark document set out a 30 year vision for the railway that is radically different to today.  What has been happening in the intervening years and how can the RTS vision of a high capacity, low cost, sustainable railway become a reality? 

RSSB and Network Rail are working together on behalf of the railway industry to apply whole systems thinking to the delivery of the RTS - by combining R&D and technology demonstration programmes together, from a variety of domains, to develop new capabilities for the railway.  

Many challenges lie ahead including: aligning the industry in the development of system-wide capabilities; engaging the supply chain in developing the required technologies; and identifying opportunities to deploy new technology into the railway.


Trevor Bradbury is the Rail Technical Strategy Delivery Manager for RSSB.  Trevor’s role is to work with the industry to translate the Rail Technical Strategy into deliverable programmes. Trevor will look back on existing accomplishments, set out the latest thinking and the prospects for the RTS going forward.


Please click here to register via Eventbrite:

13/07/2016 -

1700 - 1830
Railway Interest Group

Atkins - Euston Tower 286 Euston Road, London, NW1 3AD
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Digital Railway Enterprise Architecture Delivery Programme and Needs

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As with any SE journey few of us would choose to start where we do, the beginning is preferable but rarely realistic, Digital Railway (DR) is no different, it brings with it a history as long as the rail industry itself. This presentation will focus on how the programme is moving forward from where we are today using a System of Systems approach. 

The Digital Railway challenge is to compress a 50-year capability development into 15-years. To do this we are trying to innovate the approach to capability readiness and delivery across the industry, we say trying as to do this the Digital Railway programme is working in partnership with the whole industry to maximise the potential of digital technology.

This paper will focus on the both the small changes we are making within the team to deliver high levels of performance through to the whole industry challenges which affect both the traditional SE community and the SoS movement and the way we work together across technical and business systems.

This session will be presented by three speakers from Digital Railway:

  • Colin Brown (Network Rail) Principal Architect Phase 3, 
  • Mike Brownsword (Atkins) Phase 3 Target State Lead, 
  • Jon Linsdell (BAE Systems) Systems Engineer, Ops & Mtce.

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02/02/2017 -

Railway Interest Group

Arup, Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BQ
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Embedding Systems Engineering in NR Infrastructure Projects


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Network Rail (NR) Infrastructure Projects Engineering function (IP‐ENG) was established in January 2016 to improve and provide consistency in engineering leadership and assurance, responding to the lack of a whole systems approach to engineering across NR IP.

Kevin Gedge, Systems Engineering Discipline Manager, will introduce the development of the IP-ENG function of 1,500 engineers, embedding Systems Thinking and Engineering practice through policy, standards, and SE competencies.

Kevin will also introduce Network Rail’s integrated engineering lifecycle (iELC) with its approach to engineering assurance to address key project delivery risks including:

  • Inadequate requirements management and governance
  • Lack of scalable end to end engineering processes
  • Lack of integrated engineering approach and SE interfacing with the supply chain

iELC introduces a configurable phased lifecycle approach, which aligns with the policy for management of Network Rail projects (GRIP), ISO/IEC15288:2015 as well as improving integration between engineering and non-engineering activities and alignment with the collaborative working approach introduced within Building Information Management (BIM).

Arrive from 17:00 for a 17:30 start.


Click here to register on Eventbrite


28/02/2017 -

1700 for 1730 to 1830
Railway Interest Group

London Underground, 55 Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H 0XH
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Reintegrating the Elephant: Using Microsoft Office to automate management of requirements

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In the presentation “Eating the Elephant: ETCS Requirements for GB railway”, John Alexander of Network Rail described the Reference Design process that was implemented to elicit the GB specific requirements for the configuration of the ETCS product. This involved the production of some 31 documents to describe various aspects of operation on the GB railway and the ETCS capabilities to be applied to those. From these 31 documents 5 requirement sets were consolidated.

This presentation, by Alison Danahay, a Principal Systems Engineering and Integration Consultant at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, follows on from John’s and describes several toolsets developed by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff to support and automate the processes for consolidation and documentation of the Reference Design itself and subsequent requirement specifications.

Alison Danahay is a professional Systems Engineer with 26+ years experience in engineering. She has been working with the Network Rail Safety Technical Engineering team on the definition of requirements to migrate current UK signalling and operations to ETCS Level 2.

Click here to register via Eventbrite 

21/03/2017 -

1700 for 1730 to 1830
Railway Interest Group

Atkins, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3AT
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Innovation in Infrastructure: the railway as a socio-technical system

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The railway system is continually developing and changing. In long-established infrastructure systems, like the railway system of Great Britain, development is often complex. Innovation in these systems is both important and difficult to understand; it comes in many forms and through many different routes. This presentation is on research into how mature infrastructure systems develop and change; using social science theories on socio-technical systems the case of Great Britain’s railway system is examined. Privatisation of this system, initiated outside the railway system, has led to a series of different organisational arrangements directing system operation and development over a relatively short period. Examining these developments using socio-technical systems theories highlights ways in which innovation can be, deliberately and unintentionally, shaped and it shows connections between the social and the technical forces in play. Reflecting on privatisation and its aftermath can provide lessons for directing future development in the railway system. Improved understanding of processes around system development can be valuable to both practitioners and policymakers concerned with generating, or responding to, innovation.

Dr Kat Lovell is a Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Having trained in Engineering, Kat began her work on railways as part of a project on railway systems within the Rail Research UK consortium. This work inspired her PhD in Innovation Studies at Imperial College Business School researching the case of privatisation of Great Britain’s railway network. Kat’s research at SPRU is part of two interdisciplinary and interuniversity projects on UK infrastructure: International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) where Kat’s work looks at business models for infrastructure development and ITRC-MISTRAL (Multi-scale Infrastructure Systems Analytics) researching infrastructure governance and development at different scales. Kat’s research focuses on infrastructure systems and how they change and for the future she is working with SPRU colleagues to develop ideas around inclusive infrastructure.

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05/04/2017 -

1700 for 1730 to 1830
Railway Interest Group

Network Rail, One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN
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How not to do Requirements Management with Civil Engineers

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The application of requirements management to civil engineering-led, rail related, multi-disciplinary design and build projects has had varied success in recent years.  Key UK Rail clients have their own requirements management processes and the challenge for designers has been to find the right processes to facilitate demonstrating compliance of design, for more than 10 different disciplines, with swift approvals, fixed construction deadlines and without introducing significant addition cost.



In this presentation, Anne Bearne of Arup shares her experiences in delivering requirements management which meets the needs of client, and project managers and which design teams can efficiently embed within their design processes and outputs. This entails a tailoring of requirements management processes to respond to the way in which railway projects, and in particular largely civils based railway projects, are delivered.  

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17/05/2017 -

1700 for 1730 to 1830
Railway Interest Group

Room C308, Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB
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The Special Theory of Holes: A Systems Thinking methodology applied to the exercise of power

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Kindly hosted by

Systems and Control Research Centre
School of Mathematics Computer Science and Engineering

City, University of London



After starting his career as a train driver, Scott Meadows moved into operations and performance at Network Rail where he worked with cross-industry groups to improve the industry’s safety and reliability performance. He is currently a principal consultant at Altran, working on the Programme and Systems Integration team for the Thameslink programme. Drawing on the doctoral research he started at Leeds University at the Institute of Transport Studies, he has written a systems model of power based on his experiences in the UK Railway Industry.


Power is like gravity and electricity. We know it exists through its effects; we often however, explore its consequences rather than the medium itself. We all work in or for organisations where the perception of power is distributed among many actors and, when we get that distribution wrong, the effects are adverse.

How do we explore power, its nature and basis, then? Can we use systems thinking to understand the power environment and to predict and prevent problems that may arise from the perception of power distributions?

The answer is yes: through system dynamic modelling. Here we can start to model our power environment, explored through three recognised faces of power, how power is developed and exercised. But we can also add a fourth face of power, in terms of system feedback, an element that is often overlooked.

This is the Special Theory of Holes. It is a systems dynamic model of the exercise of power, taking the inputs to ‘A’ who exercises (Overt, Covert and Latent power), over ‘B’, who has power exercised over them, to achieve something, classed as an output. However nothing exists in isolation. ‘B’ sometimes responds in ways we don’t account for or fully understand: this is their feedback to the system of power exercised by A. If we want to improve working conditions and the efficiency and efficacy of our organisations, dismissing system feedback can be costly. It is here where modelling the power environment can help us understand the exercise of power in play, and identify if it is reducing our overall capability.


Scott hopes that the presentation will offer systems thinkers a vision of how they may be able to use their skills to deal with problems at work that they previously thought that systems thinking could not reach.

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15/06/2017 -

17:00 for 17:30 to 18:30
Railway Interest Group

RSSB (Royal Scott room, 4th Floor) The Helicon 1 South Place London EC2M 2RB
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Getting the most out of innovation with a systems approach and an open mind

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There is currently a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation around innovation related to intelligent infrastructure, internet of things and smart cities. Much of this is technology-led and predicated on ‘more data equals more benefit’.

Whilst an element of this future is reliant on more open and shared data, other fundamental keys to unlock benefits quickly reside in vision, outcomes and business models. 

In this presentation, Rakesh Gaur of Transport for London explores how the skills to resolving these parameters are positively aligned to those who can apply a whole systems engineering approach; focusing on key requirements, understanding trade-offs, managing risk and knowing how to deal with the unintended. 

He will describe how the Transport for London approach blends both challenge and vision-led innovation and explores the potential consequences when a systems approach is not followed.

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18/09/2017 -

Railway Interest Group

London Underground 55 Broadway London SW1H 0BD
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Operational Concept to Working Railway: Developing an effective collaboration between operators and engineers on a major railway upgrade project

Effectively engaging operations personnel in the very earliest stage of railway projects is essential if we are to avoid extensive rework or having to live with operational workarounds for sub-optimal decisions at the beginning.

Michael Coultharde-Steer, Lead Operational Development Manager at LU, will describe how and where significant benefits accrue from involving Operational input in the context of major upgrade programmes and how User Requirements Specifications are derived by a small team that includes operational end-user representatives and LU’s system engineers.

For further details pleasee see attached flyer.

The presentation is being arranged by the South East Branch of the Institution of Railway Operators (IRO) in collaboration with the INCOSE UK Railway Interest Group.

There is no charge for attendance and the event is open to those who are not INCOSE or IRO members but places must be booked in advance.


Please book by emailing To ask any other questions, please contact the RIG Chair, Bruce Elliott at or on +44 (0)7970 694043.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view

Past Events

Time Location Details
27/04/2016 -

1700 - 1830
Railway Interest Group

Network Rail One Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN
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Systems Engineering Framework for Railway Control & Safety Systems

Now fully booked

Gone are the days of classical signalling systems where the control centre, interlocking and signalling schemes could be developed and delivered in isolation from each other.

Modern Train Control Systems are increasingly complex, using networked communications and distributed computer systems to achieve their performance and capacity requirements. But this complexity imports great risk to the cost and schedule of projects and to the safety and reliability of systems.

Karl King from Mott MacDonald has been conducting doctoral research at the University of Birmingham to develop a Systems Engineering Framework that can be applied across the fragmented development of Train Control Systems.

Karl will be presenting the latest findings in his research and his progress towards developing an approach that is cognisant of traditional signalling and train control system project governance to improve the uptake of SE for developing future systems.


14/04/2016 -

08:30 - 16:50
Railway Interest Group

The University of Birmingham
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IRSE Seminar & Workshop (with INCOSE UK RIG): Systems Engineering for Train Control and Communications: People, Process and Product

The increasing complexity of train control and communications systems, and the growing extent to which they are integrated with other railway sub-systems, makes a structured systems-based approach to engineering essential. A basic grounding in the discipline of systems engineering is now a vital component of the education of train control and communications engineers.

In this seminar, organised with the help of of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), expert speakers will explain why systems engineering is so important, what the fundamentals of systems engineering are and how these fundamentals may be applied to train control systems projects, illustrated with case studies from ETCS in Europe, Docklands Light Railway and elsewhere. The seminar will consider the people, process and product aspects of systems engineering, and in facilitated break-out sessions we will discuss the challenges and benefits of applying systems engineering to railway projects. In addition to hearing from the experts, there will be an opportunity, in facilitated breakout sessions, for delegates to discuss the challenges and benefits of applying systems engineering to railway projects and to contribute to the debate on how best to apply SE to train control and communications projects.

The seminar is suitable for railway  train control and communications engineers and other railway professionals with an interest in train control  and communications at all stages of their careers.

Register to attend

For more information and to register please visit the IRSE website event page:


8:30 Arrival / Coffee

9.00 Welcome and Introductions – Francis How, IRSE

9.10 Keynote Presentation: Network Rail’s view on System’s Engineering – Jon Shaw, NR

Jon will outline the systems engineering approach now being adopted by Network Rail for its £24Bn Railway Upgrade Plan for stations and infrastructure enhancements

9.40 What is Systems Engineering? – Bruce Elliott, Altran

Bruce will briefly review the history of SE before summarising the view of SE taken by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). He will acknowledge the existence of superficially different views about what SE is but he show that there is very broad underlying agreement on some core ideas

10.10 Break

10.40 Docklands Light Railway – Geoff Mitchell, DLR and Karl King, Mott MacDonald

Geoff and Karl will explain the importance and value of systems engineering in the delivery, delivery and continual asset management of a modern CBTC system using the Docklands Light Railway as an example.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of a clearly defined Concept of Operation and its central role in the system lifecycle.

11.20 Beyond Systems Engineering in European ETCS Rollout – Oskar Stalder, OS Consulting and Markus Bolli, Suprexa

Oskar and Markus will discuss the practical challenges of the V-model considering roles and rules in the EU context to make ETCS a success. They will look at the challenges of managing the complex organisation approaches and management of the multiple engineering processes as well as experiences of different networks and their specific approaches throughout Europe, including how Systems Engineering can help to overcome these challenges.

12.00 Breakout Session: What are the potential benefits of Systems Engineering for signalling projects and what are the obstacles to applying Systems Engineering to signalling projects?

Split into syndicates of more than 10 people, each with an organizer acting as a syndicate facilitator. The facilitator should guide the group towards accumulating on a flip-chart or post-its, three lists:

  • potential benefits of SE for signalling projects
  • obstacles to applying Systems Engineering to signalling projects
  • other remarks

The facilitator consolidates the results from the syndicates onto a couple of slides

12.40 Lunch

13:30 Review of breakout session

We reconvene as one group. The nominated facilitator presents the consolidated output and facilitates a short general discussion to see if consensus can be reached on the principal benefits and obstacles.

14:00 Systems Thinking for Optimising Signalling Design – Clive Roberts NS Felix Schmid, University of Birmingham

The design of railway control systems involves many trade-offs and rule-based approaches tend to lead to suboptimal solutions since they do not make best use of all components of the system of systems. A number of national and international projects have developed system oriented modelling and simulation tools that allow optimisation at different levels of granularity. Clive and Felix will discuss the capability of some of the tools and will include case studies of small and large operations optimisation projects.

14.40 Good Practice in Systems Engineering – Peter Parker, Siemens Rail

Peter will present on examples of good practice of utilising systems engineering for delivering modern signalling systems from the perspective of an equipment manufacturer and supplier.

15:20 Break

15:50 Human Factors of Railway Systems – Elaine Thompson, Mott MacDonald

Elaine will cover the importance of integrating human factors into the design of railway sub-systems, and the risks of not considering the human element. Some case studies of previous work on both the in-cab and train control elements of the system will be presented.

16.30 Conclusions 

16.50 End / Networking

Register to attend

For more information and to register please visit the IRSE website event page:

09/03/2016 -

Railway Interest Group

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0TA
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Maintaining Crossrail - a systems approach

Trains will start to run through the new Crossrail tunnels in 2018. The Central section of Crossrail will become one of the most heavily traversed sections of railways in the country.

Customers demand dependable rail services and want to be able to use the railway without downtime for maintenance or failures. Achieving the required availability with the limited access available requires a systems approach and using the latest  reliability centred maintenance techniques.

Dr Martyn Chymera, Maintenance Performance and Reliability Manager for the Crossrail Operations Team, will describe the provisions being made for the remote condition monitoring of Crossrail, including infrastructure monitoring facilities and inspection trains.

The presentation will demonstrate how preventative and pro-active maintenance will be used to keep the railway running without downtime and with almost no failures.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
23/02/2016 -

17:00 - 19:00
Railway Interest Group

Transport Systems Catapult, 170 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 1BP
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Mobility as a service: Requirements and validation


A new paradigm is emerging in transport for intelligent mobility, integrating transport data and customer data to create seamless end-to-end journeys, with transport systems responding dynamically to meet changing demands.

This visit to the Transport Systems Catapult facilities in Milton Keynes will include two sessions exploring how Systems Engineering can respond to the paradigm shift towards mobility-as-a-service.

  • Requirements for mobility-as-a-service – most systems engineering practice in rail draws the system boundary around the railway. This session will explain the fundamentals of the intelligent mobility and its implications for rail as a connected transport mode within a system of systems. 
  • Visualisation for design-based validation – virtual reality, augmented reality and real-time simulation are now becoming accessible to most consumers. This session will include hands-on demonstration of these technologies and explore how we might tailor SE to make best use of visualisation throughout the project lifecycle.
28/01/2016 -

17:30 - 19:00
Railway Interest Group

District Room London Underground 7th Floor 55 Broadway London SW1H 0BD
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Modelling the future railway: ERTMS and related technologies

Please note the date of this event has now changed from original advertisement due to the proposed Tube driver strike.

Railways around the world have begun to embrace the digital age in order to address the capacity challenge, with 25% predicted passenger increase over the next 10 years on the mainline railways. At the same time there is also a drive to lower the capital and operational cost of the railways, improving asset performance, and assuring its continuing environmental competitiveness.

A range of studies have been delivered on behalf of the Department for Transport, Network Rail and RSSB, which have underpinned the Rail Technical Strategy and Digital Railway future plans by demonstrating the business case for a shift towards digital technologies. Steve Denniss, Technical Director Rail, of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will introduce the main principles of integrated railway performance modelling which has supported these studies on projects including:

  • ERTMS Level 3 Risks and Benefits
  • Low cost signalling
  • ETCS Benefits to train operators

There is no charge for attendance and this event is open to non-members but places must be booked in advance.

Please arrive from 1730 for an 1800 start. Basic refreshments will be provided.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
08/12/2015 -

Railway Interest Group

James Forbes House, 27 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0NS
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Visit to Thameslink Systems Integration Laboratory

Here is something new: a site visit, in this case the systems integration laboratory where the Thameslink project is integrating and testing new ETCS and ATO technology in a simulated rail environment in Southwark. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the other phases of testing in the Hertford Loop and in the Thameslink core. We are grateful to Network Rail for the opportunity to explore the right hand side of the 'V' lifecycle and to demonstrate that it is possible to get one's hands dirty with more than whiteboard marker ink while doing systems engineering.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
06/10/2015 -

Railway Interest Group

Arup, 13 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BQ,
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Management of Interfaces in the Rail industry

Paul has held senior positions in INCOSE, academia and the defence and rail sectors, which gives him an unusually broad viewpoint on good and not-so-good practice in managing interfaces. Paul will point out some some quite basic gaps in the way in which we manage interfaces and outline some specific problems about managing interfaces in rail before suggesting some best-practice heuristics and principles that may guide improved practice.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
17/09/2015 -

1730H for 1745H
Railway Interest Group

Atkins, Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3AT
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How could systems thinking help rail adopt new technology and improve faster? Oliver Bratton, MTR Corporation Ltd

Please note the slightly non-standard start time.

Oliver Bratton is Operations Director, European Business, for MTR Corporation Ltd and will provide his personal point of view about how systems thinking may be used to leverage rail technology to get the best outcome for passengers.

If you are thinking of coming along, do try and get there at 1730H for for AGM. Our AGMs are quick and low-peril - no-one gets dragooned onto the committee - but they are your opportunity to hold us to account. If you might want to join the committee, however, we should be pleased to hear from you in advance - give me a call.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
07/07/2015 -

1700H for 1730H
Railway Interest Group

at the offices of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence in the Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0TA
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Systems Engineering Considerations for the Application of Augmented Reality in an Operational Railway Environment

Augmented Reality mixes virtual and actual reality by supplementing a view of the real world with added computer generated sensory inputs in the form of graphics, video, sound and location data. Neil Hall of TfL and Chris Lowe of Liv Systems Ltd will describe how SE can facilitate the successful introduction of this exciting new technology into the operational railway environment, drawing upon research that they have recently carried out.  More details are in the attached flyer.

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view
12/05/2015 -

1700H Doors open, 1730H-1830H Presentation
Railway Interest Group

CH2M Hill’s offices in Elms House, 43 Brook Green, London W6 7EF
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Moving Modelling into the Mainstream

It is a particular pleasure to welcome Nigel back. We have had a few presentations on the modelling work going on at Network Rail and each presentation adds real progress and new ideas to the one before. Not only has each been fascinating in its own right, the progression has made me feel more optimistic about the world. I commend Nigel's presentation to you. If you want to attend, there is no charge but please book your place by emailing me at at

There is 1 Document for this event, click here to view