dessan Design in the digital railway

Source: RTM Oct/Nov 2018

Denise Watkins, business development manager at Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe (HICSE), discusses her organisation’s exciting new railway signalling design tool, dessan Design.

HICSE may appear to be a relatively young organisation, having been formed in 2015; however, this company has an impressive pedigree in the rail industry spanning almost 20 years. Originally known as The Railway Engineering Company (TREC), it provided signaller training simulation solutions to Network Rail and automatic route-setting software for integration with Siemens and Alstom signalling control systems.

Following acquisition by Hitachi in 2012 and the subsequent rebranding to HICSE, the company now also supports the Tranista Traffic Management System (TMS) deployment for the Thameslink Programme, acting as systems integration specialists on behalf of Hitachi Rail Europe which manages the client interface to Network Rail.

HICSE has a very talented team of software developers who bring many years of experience of systems integration and signalling technology, married with railway operations knowledge. This team has now developed a number of exciting tools designed to improve safety and efficiency in signalling project design and implementation. The dessan rail product suite features software to test the validity of SSI data designs and to undertake infrastructure modelling and simulation tools, including the recently launched dessan Design.

The company, working out of offices in the south west and central regions of the UK, has been closely involved with the signalling and operations domain since its formation, working with Network Rail and other clients to develop and deliver innovative new products, generally running on commercial grade PC workstations.

This association began with the TREsim training simulator which provides high-fidelity simulation of the operating railway for immersive scenario training. The TREsa automatic routing system followed, with initial installations in the West Coast Main Line control centres before further implementation around the UK. The simulation systems were also used as a test bed for prototype traffic management systems as part of Network Rail’s aspiration to roll out TMS in the UK.

Latterly, the simulators have been used to model potential benefits of widespread usage of digital signalling technology such as ETCS and TMS for the Digital Railway Programme. Network Rail’s Group Digital Railway is also seeking ways to reduce the cost of railway signalling projects and is also looking to bring innovation to the design and production process.       

HICSE’s latest innovation, dessan Design, fits neatly with the aim of a more efficient project design approach. It enables scheme plan drawings to be easily created and edited on screen using a ‘click and drop’ library of signalling components. The product has been developed for use in the early stages of a project when options for infrastructure and signalling layouts are being considered.

Uniquely, the software provides automated validation to check for basic errors, thus reducing the need for rework during the latter design stages. Users also have the ability to export drawings in multiple data formats for use in other tools to add any further detail required to create a complete scheme plan. It is expected the product will allow future development in automated design and test for signalling schemes.

Tim Gray, HICSE managing director, commented: “dessan Design is a great addition to the HICSE portfolio of software and data products designed for use in the railway industry.

“It draws on our excellent software expertise, but coupled with a real-world understanding of the signalling design process, so it also offers our clients opportunity to work more efficiently in delivery of projects. It is also a further step within Hitachi’s digital railway ambitions and our drive to become ‘an innovation partner for the IoT era.'"


Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

Rail Technology Magazine fuels the Northern Powerhouse with official partnership

21/11/2018Rail Technology Magazine fuels the Northern Powerhouse with official partnership

Cognitive Publishing, the home of leading rai... more >
Towards railway-specific, bearer-independent communication

17/09/2018Towards railway-specific, bearer-independent communication

Freelance transport journalist Lesley Brown&n... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >
Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >