Presentation by Hester Willems “The localisation of freight wagons on marshalling yards”, June 25th, 9.15, Room B, Architecture, TU Delft

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Freight is moved by trucks on the road more and more, which is a worrying thing, especially for the environment. A very good alternative to transportation by trucks is transportation by trains. The Dutch government aims to increase the transportation of goods by train from 13% of all transportation to 20% of all transportation, but in reality, freight transportation by rail is used less and less. One of the main reasons is inefficiency in the process, which is caused partly by the fact that freight wagons or entire freight trains can get lost, easily for as long as a week. Not only does this cause inefficiency in the transportation of goods, it also poses dangerous situations if the location of wagons is not exactly known.

In this thesis, performed at the company CGI, a system was researched and developed to make real time localisation of trains on marshalling yards possible, using low cost GNSS devices. Three characteristics of marshalling yards have played a large role in the development of this system. First, the fact that freight trains are usually stationary on marshalling yards, this posed an interesting research angle for this project. During the project, the influence of combining multiple GPS measurements to improve the accuracy of the result was investigated, both average and median calculations were used to take these previous measurements into account.

A second important characteristic of a marshalling yard is the fact that trains will always be located on a specific track on the marshalling yard. In the time that it remained stationary, it cannot have moved from one track to the other. The tracks on the marshalling yards will be taken as an extra reference system in this project and play an important role in making the resulting location understandable for the end users of the system.

The last characteristic is that the order of the wagons cannot change while the wagons are stationary. This order of the wagons is also important to make the result understandable. The order of the wagons on one track is calculated using the distance and the bearing between the different devices.

Using these characteristics in the processing phase of the GPS measurements, a real time system to localise the freight wagons on marshalling yards has been developed.

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