The CEA List Institute and Systerel have reached a major milestone in the digitization of railway systems, by delivering a new version of the functional modelling module for new-generation of interlocking systems to SNCF Réseau. They are supporting the growing complexity of these systems with an efficient modelling and validation environment.

In 2018, SNCF Réseau issued a request for proposal for the development of the “Atelier Métier Signalisation” (AMS), dedicated to the specification and formal validation of Computer-Based Interlocking (CBI) systems. The CEA List institute and SYSTEREL company response to the request was reviewed and accepted by SNCF Réseau in June 2019 as the most relevant one regarding the technical proposal as well as the expertise of both companies: modelling and validation of complex systems (CEA List) and proof of safety properties on critical systems and railway domain (Systerel).

To simulate operating scenarios in complete safety

AMS development is divided into three main phases, which will ultimately materialize in the production of a tool enabling the specification (i.e., the formal description) and the validation (through simulation and formal methods) of CBI systems.

During the first phase, CEA List and SYSTEREL have designed and implemented the AMS modeling capabilities. These developments are grounded to Papyrus[1], a modeling tool developed by CEA List for 10 years. The proposed environment integrates all the functionalities required to model and instantiate CBI systems. In particular, it enables SNCF Réseau to:

  • Specify the CBI system behavior and parameters,
  • Import the parameters provided by SNCF partners involved in the development of CBI systems.
  • Automatically instantiate a CBI system according to a set of parameters and a behavioral specification.

During the next months, Systerel will add features enabling formal verification of CBI systems as well as the track plans’ edition. The combination of these features with the simulator developed by CEA will especially provide the capability for railway signaling engineers to understand the conditions in which safety properties do not hold and then proceed to the appropriate refinements in the system specification.

An open-source tool for optimal adaptability

The AMS source code will be released as open source at the end of each phase, i.e. by the beginning of 2021 for the AMS modeling capabilities. The entire source code will be accessible by 2023.

As part of the ARGOS[2] innovation partnership, the AMS will enable SNCF Réseau to reduce time and costs required to develop and maintain new generation CBI systems. The AMS will contribute to increase the interoperability of these large-scale systems, capable of controlling all signaling equipment with the agility needed to adapt to the track plan, whatever its complexity.

About CEA List

The CEA-List, located in the CEA-Paris-Saclay and CEA-Grenoble centers, is a CEA technological research institute that helps its industrial partners to enhance their competitiveness through innovation and technology transfer. Focused on smart digital systems, its R&D programs focus on artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, cyber-physical systems and digital health. The CEA-List is a member of the Carnot Institutes network.

More info: | @CEA_List | LinkedIn | YouTube.

About Systerel

Systerel is an independent company, created in 2002, whose core business is the development, validation or evaluation of critical real-time or safety systems. Its recognized technological expertise, mastery of SIL processes, knowledge of railway signaling and its ability to develop innovative tooling solutions have led to the existence of privileged relationships with major players in the railway market such as Alstom, Siemens, Hitachi-Ansaldo, RATP and SNCF. | LinkedIn


[2] The Argos innovation partnership launched by SNCF Réseau in 2018 aims to develop the 3rd generation of interlocking systems, in collaboration with manufacturers Alstom, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Siemens and Thales.