In 2017 two Parasyn teams began the design and replacement of two of Aurizon’s SCADA systems.
The first of these is the Remote Monitoring System (RMS for short). The RMS is used for the management of Level Crossing and Environmental sites. Aurizon’s RMS has been operational since 1989. Originally designed as a level crossing monitor, the system was modified to include environmental monitoring of such things as rail temperature, rainfall and flood levels near rail bridges. The purpose of the system is to centrally collect alarms and maintenance information from remotely located equipment and to present the data to the appropriate operational and maintenance personnel.
The second, more critical system is the Traction Power Supervisory Control System (TPSCS). Aurizon operates and manages the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) which consists of approximately 2,670km of heavy haul rail infrastructure. The Goonyella Rail System in Central Queensland services coal mines in the northern Bowen Basin. The Blackwater Rail System connects mines west of Rockhampton to coal loading ports at Gladstone. The 24/7 Network Control Centre based at Rockhampton controls the TPSCS system for the Blackwater and Goonyella rail networks and the Network Control Disaster Recovery Centre is based in Mackay.
The SCADA component of the Aurizon TPSCS monitors and controls equipment at high voltage feeder stations, track sectioning cabins, track coupler units, autotransformer sites and motorised isolator sites. Equipment under control includes circuit breakers, protection relays, isolators, transformers and fault locators. Power load, quality and regeneration are monitored. The SCADA component consists a production system, disaster recovery system, development system and operator training system.
The SCADA enables Electrical Control Officers (ECOs) to monitor and control the distribution of power across the rail network. It interfaces with Powerlink for power system information sharing. Traction Power SCADA is not a train control system.
Parasyn’s scope for both systems includes design, Safety in Design (for TPSCS), concept testing, configuration, software development, transition planning, integration, testing, training, staging and support.
The TPSCS project led the way in terms of architectural design. This was an important engineering saving for Aurizon in terms of cost. The architectural design including IT servers and network interfacing was virtually replicated for the RMS system even though the finer details and configuration is completely different. There was consideration for having both systems hosted in the single enterprise SCADA environment, however the RMS system is not managed as a “critical” operational system even though its integrity is still essential to how Aurizon operates it assets safely. Thus, today the RMS and TPSCS remain physically and functionally independent. The ability to decouple the maintenance of RMS SCADA and trackside equipment from the Traction Power System is a further less obvious long term saving for Aurizon. This make’s a strong case for critical infrastructure asset managers to consider how systems are managed beyond the convenience of single enterprise software footprints. It is simple to lump SCADA systems into one environment and there are strong reasons for standards to be managed in one integrated development environment, however, the procurement of the IT infrastructure including software cannot be the only criteria that determines the final system architecture. A wider perspective including the role of both IT and OT support and operational integrity are both paramount to a successful long term workable solution.
The eDNA Enterprise Historian provides the bridge between both systems. Though operators may use independent systems for maintenance and alert management, the wider business can access information from a centralised perspective using the data historian.
Both projects are due for completion in the latter part of 2018. With field device integration to enterprise historian deployment, Parasyn joins Aurizon to deliver end to end.