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System Safety

System Safety

The railway sector is undergoing changes in the whole of Europe (EU, EER, Eastern Europe). The EU Commission is both a driving force and monitor, and its target is to increase the proportion of railway transport.

In order to achieve this, work is going on to remove all technical and procedural barriers, so that there will be a borderless and effective railway network throughout Europe. This requires new technical/technological solutions and simplified procedures at all levels. This is not just a matter of upgrading existing equipment, there are also new requirements that will require new technologies. This results in a very dynamic market. In addition, there are efforts within the EU/EER to harmonise and standardise the requirements for such systems and the approval processes.

Modern safety systems contain amongst other things signals, transponders (balises) and point machines, and are based increasingly on electronic components and computer based solutions. A large and ever growing part of the functionality, and thereby also of the safety, is realised by software. This means that the criteria and methods for assessing the safety of such systems are under constant change, whilst numerous different and sometimes new technologies must also be taken into consideration.

Train speeds have increased dramatically. The error margins have become tighter whilst the consequences of an error have become greater. This poses new demands on a safety system. In addition, there are different rules and regulations in different countries, which again affects the criteria and methods for a safety assessment.

Norwegian version/norsk versjon....

SINTEF offers the following services within the field system safety:

Independent Safety Assessment (ISA)

SINTEF has experience from the early 70-ties with safety assessments of signalling and interlocking systems for railbound transport in Scandinavia. As examples, we can mention development of 1st generation PLC based signalling system NSB-94, the Gardermoen line to Oslo Airport, the Roslagen line in Stockholm and the Öresund Link between Copenhagen and Malmö. Our principal customers are the Scandinavian railway authorities and the suppliers of safety systems and their components including software. Basis for safety assessment and verification activities has been EN 50126, EN 50128, and EN 50129.
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Notified Body (NoBo)

SINTEF has established a Centre for Railway Certification ("Senter for Jernbanesertifisering" - SJS). February 6, 2007 SINTEF was appointed as Notified Body (NoBo) for all rail sub-systems under council directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and on conventional rail systems. Earlier SINTEF has been notified for control-command and signalling systems for high speed rail systems (December 16, 2003) and conventional rail systems (September 27, 2005).

The appointments were done by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. The European Union has been notified of this appointment to be implemented as an extension of SINTEF´s notification as Notified Body #1278.
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Assessment Body (AsBo)

SINTEF is accredited as assessment body (AsBo) according to the Common Safety Method (CSM) Regulation ((EU) 402/2013, amended by (EU) 2015/1136) and the ISO 17020 quality standard (Accreditation Certificate INSP059, issued by Norsk Akkreditering).
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Designated Body (DeBo)

SINTEF has been appointed as designated body concerning fulfilment of national requirements. Appointments has been made for Norway and Finland.
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Safety Courses

SINTEF has long experience as an independent third party in the roles as ISA, NoBo, AsBo and DeBo. We would like to share this experience with others and offer courses in:

  • Cenelec (EN 50126, EN 50128, EN 50129)
  • Writing of Safety Case
  • Certification
  • Common Safety Method (CSM and Directives 402/2013 and 2015/1136)

We can also put together other courses as desired.
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System Safety Research

SINTEF wishes to be at the forefront of knowledge in the fields we work with. Therefore, we focus on research and are always interested in talking to new and old partners to explore new ideas.
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Senior Adviser