TÜV NORD classifies operational control technology for the TSB maglev train as safe

26 January 2021 | Industrial Services: Transport System Bögl (TSB) has now taken a further step towards market launch.

Hamburg: TÜV NORD has classified the operational control technology in the magnetic levitation train as safe. Which means that the Transport System Bögl (TSB) has now taken a further step towards market launch. And the German Federal Railway Authority (EBA) has now also recorded its judgement. As the authority states in its assurance to Max Bögl, the specifications for the operational control technology have paved the way to type-approval of the technology.

This clears the way for further work on the maglev railway system. Noise emission measurements and the evaluation of the evacuation and emergency rescue concept were also examined by TÜV NORD experts. The programme also includes assessments of other areas, such as fire protection, occupational safety and door controls.

The TSB is a magnetic levitation system conceived for driverless and fully automatic local public transport. It is designed to travel at a maximum speed of 150 km/h. The company behind the development is Max Bögl, one of the largest construction, technology and service companies in the German construction industry. “The TSB is a step towards the mobility of the future in urban areas. We’re delighted to be able to support Max Bögl in this extraordinary development,” says Dr Ralf Jung, Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV NORD Systems.

Operating control technology rated as safe by TÜV NORD

Max Bögl commissioned the railway engineers from TÜV NORD to evaluate the basic specifications of the TSB’s operational control technology and to conduct the hazard and risk analysis. “The special feature of this operational control technology is that, unlike a classic control centre, it’s both fully automated and fully integrated into the vehicle and the route,” explains railway expert Dr Hans Vallée of TÜV NORD. “This allows all the subsystems to interact without conflict, allowing it to form the basis of a driverless operation.” The TSB achieves the highest possible degree of automation (GOA4): With this degree of automation, there is no personnel on the train, and all operations are automated and technically secured, although a control centre can still take over operation of the train at any time.

Max Bögl wanted to submit an expert report on its concept assessment to the EBA, and TÜV NORD was able to support Max Bögl in its efforts, to gain what is currently the only expert recognition in Germany, from the EBA, for the interaction of subsystems in magnetic levitation railways. “For instance, we ran intensive plausibility and completeness checks on the documentation,” says Dr Hans Vallée. “We found no deficiencies that might jeopardize the operational safety of the system.”

Based on this report, the EBA has now warranted to Max Bögl that the specifications submitted for the operational control technology will, in principle, allow it to be type-approved. “This means that we will be able to build the TSB on the basis of the specifications laid down for the operational control technology,” explains Bernhard Immken, head of the Department of Operational Control Technology and Approval Management at Max Bögl. “For testing purposes, this has already been done in a test facility in Bavaria.” Since the TSB is a completely new development, the pledge given by the EBA is an important milestone for Max Bögl on its way to launching the TSB. Giving this pledge means that the assumption is that the technology works as described. For Max Bögl, there is another important aspect to this assurance: If the standards underlying the development were to be changed, it would still be possible to continue working with the rules in force at the time the assurance was given.

Noise emissions green across the board

The TÜV NORD experts were also commissioned to take noise emission measurements, which were taken on the test track, in line with the requirements of the Noise TSI. Although these are designed for traditional rail transport, they were applied here in close coordination with the EBA because the Magnetic Levitation Train Construction and Operating Regulations do not contain any analogous applicable regulations.

“The noise emission measurements at Max Bögl were a particular challenge,” reports Dirk Hausrad of TÜV NORD, "because the test track is located near a busy road. To prevent distortion of the results, the measurements had to be carried out in the late evening.” The train made very little noise as it passed by; this is important because the magnetic levitation railway is set to be used in public transport in urban areas. The noise pollution along a route would therefore be significantly lower than would be the case with a traditional railway.

Evacuation concept evaluated and fire safety tests supported

Volker Thiel, a TÜV NORD expert for emergency rescue systems in addition to other fields, also extensively scrutinised the evacuation and emergency rescue concept for the route and the vehicle itself. “Because the vehicle is travelling on a raised track, a sophisticated concept for alarm sequences and timing is required for rescue operations to be initiated at speed, at any point along the route.” Validation of the concept will be carried out, for example, using an evacuation experiment which is yet to be conducted.

In addition to many other investigations, fire safety tests are currently also being carried out for the vehicle. For this purpose, components must be extensively tested in the fire laboratory.

“Noise assessments, evaluations of evacuation concepts and fire safety tests are part of our standard repertoire,” says Volker Thiel, “but in connection with a magnetic levitation train, they’re a different proposition altogether.” Many of the requirements from the technical regulations are not directly applicable to magnetic levitation trains. It was for this reason that a lot of coordination with the EBA was necessary. Mr Thiel: “The cooperation with us as an expert organisation is close and based on trust; together we’re using our knowledge to generate trust in the use of this technology.”

TÜV NORD sets the course for the future of railways

Travel and transport by rail are among the forms of mobility that will help protect the environment in the future. TÜV NORD guarantees the safety and efficiency of all aspects of railway systems and technology, and its rail experts are helping in the provision of safe and environmentally aware mobility infrastructures. TÜV NORD, with its experts and testing centres, offers a wide range of services for the rail-based transport of both people and freight. The fields of work are based on the requirements of national safety authorities at home and abroad as well as on the European rail directives.


Editorial note: Further pictures can be found at: https://transportsystemboegl.com/en/media-center/ 


Since our foundation more than 150 years ago, we have been the global byword for security and trust. As a knowledge-based company, we have the digital future firmly in mind. With specialists ranging from engineers and IT security professionals to professionals for the mobility of tomorrow, we use our expertise in over 100 countries to ensure that our customers will be even more successful in the networked world.

Hello, do you have a question or a request? Then feel free to contact me!
Annika Burchard Corporate Communications

Share this page