Systems integration has gained a higher level of importance as complex railway projects operate under tighter schedules than ever before and with limited access to tracks to run tests. This paper demonstrates how a fully automated off-site testing facility is extremely valuable to increase efficiency, cost-effectiveness and resilience of systems throughout a railway project life-cycle. The Crossrail Integration Facility (CIF) is a great example of this practice.
Systems integration facilities, such as Crossrail’s, provide a means to perform thorough off-site interface, integration, timetable and transition testing, as well as simulation of faults to understand the system’s behaviour under degraded and emergency situations. It is a cost and time-effective approach to de-risk the later stages of the project, which brings real benefits to the delivery of railway signalling systems.