SYSTRA's Rail Operations Analysts develop and optimize operating plans based on examination of such known factors as rail network infrastructure, rolling stock constraints, as-installed train control systems, and location-specific ridership demands. The result for our clients is a reliable, tested operating plan that ensures satisfaction of ridership demand, facilitates on-time performance and drives fleet size, storage requirements, maintenance requirements, and traction power needs.
Our RAILSIM® software permits calibrated testing 'off-line' to ensure that the selected plan(s) can be implemented safely and effectively. For travel time evaluations – with appropriate schedule margin – we use the RAILSIM Train Performance Calculator. For network sensitivity/reliability assessments, we use the RAILSIM Network Simulator.
MTA LIRR-East Side Access Project
SYSTRA provided operations analysis and simulation services to the ESA project since the EIS phase, beginning in 1999.
SYSTRA produced a Jamaica Capacity study in 2000 that used both manual and network simulation methods to arrive at a combination of investment and operating strategies that would accommodate the 50% increase in total volume result from the future introduction of ESA service. One result was the decision to break off the Atlantic Branch into an operationally isolated shuttle.
In 2001 SYSTRA developed, and verified through 24 hour systemwide network simulation using RAILSIM, the “OP 3.0” Full Build 2020 (now 2030) systemwide operating plan that has represented East Side Access full-build operations in numerous studies in the 10 years since it was written.
In the years between 2002 and 2007, SYSTRA has used network simulation to evaluate and validate the operability of various Harold Interlocking configurations, as the design progressed from Rev 1 to its current “Rev 14 4-M”. Similarly, SYSTRA has verified the operability of various changes in terminal and yard lead configurations, including the ability of the East River tunnels to support additional diverging yard moves.
More recently, SYSTRA has used both network simulation and headway analysis to document the capacity implications of enforcing the NFPA Rule 130 ventilation zone train occupancy limitations in the 63rd St Tunnel, using the signal system to prevent occupancy by more than one train. SYSTRA then proposed, and verified the efficacy of a mitigation to the capacity loss associated with NFPA 130, which involved the use of a new speed code rate.
SYSTRA has also used network simulation to verify the operability of various track outages associated with construction staging through Harold Interlocking, confirming that existing operations can be supported.