Direct electropneumatic brake

Project information

  • Acronym: Direct EP brake
  • Direct electropneumatic brake
  • Project director: Christian Chavanel
  • Project manager: Stefano Guidi
  • Status: completed project
  • Project code: 2017/RSF/537

Project description

Direct electro-pneumatic braking systems are currently widely applied, not only on mainline vehicles but also on mass transit rolling stock. However, there is still no UIC, EN or ISO specification for this kind of brake. This project proposal aims to define functional requirements and interfaces for towing.

Modern railways use two types of compressed air braking systems. One is the indirect braking system; the other is the direct electro-pneumatic braking system.

The indirect system can be further divided into the pure pneumatic system and the EP system (see UIC 541-5) depending on the technology used to transmit brake commands (brake pipe and/or electric hard wire).

Various standards and leaflets, such as UIC, AAR and TB (Chinese national railway standard), exist for the indirect system. However, no specific international standard or leaflet yet exists for the direct EP brake system. We are unable to find any specific standard or leaflet telling suppliers how to design a direct EP brake system, solve the problem of compatibility with rolling stock, ensure the safety of rolling stock using the direct EP brake system, deal with the interface between this braking system and other systems, such as the traction system, ATP, TCMS etc., or how to implement the brake test indicating the status of a train’s braking system before it is placed in everyday service, etc.

Statistics show that, world-wide, direct EP braking systems are used on almost half of trains running at speeds over 200km/h, and on more than 80% of those urban transport services using air brakes.

We should address all the technical problems described above and, given the extent of its current use, request that we study the necessity of including the direct EP braking system within the UIC framework.

The main outcome of this project will be the creation of a direct EP brake leaflet, which can be considered as the key point of reference for this kind of braking technology application.

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Sunday 1 January 2017