It is clear that there is a trend in the railway industry towards using modern tools and concepts for developing signaling solutions.
Most interlocking system projects today are developed with the following characteristics:
- Errors are found late
- Late changes are costly
- Schedules to deliver interlocking software are long and unpredictable
There is a need to start preparing the organization and build new competencies.
Formal methods is gaining more and more momentum as a way of designing and verifying interlocking systems. The language HLL has become a de-facto standard for formal verification. The configuration data language LCF has entered as a way to store configuration data in a formal way that is reviewable as well as machine-readable.
A different approach
The process for developing new modern solutions using design automation is different from the traditional approach. The following steps is what Prover and others recommend:
- Generate the generic specification
- Build the specific application
- Do the sign off verification
Prover has therefore set up a specific training program that is a good starting point for signaling engineers that wants to take a first step in building new modern skills. You can find more information about the training program here.
Engineers that has taken this training program can then in a next step more easily participate in new projects or help the organisation in implementing a more modern and effective process for the development and maintenance of signaling solutions.
This process normally starts with deciding to start to use formal methods as a basic foundation and then agree on a new process and decide on automation tools to support the application development.
Prover has developed other types of training programs that will be relevant during the next steps in moving the organization in to a more modern approach. You can find more information regarding other trainings that we offer here.