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Advanced engineering for Rail intelligent systems.


Global trends are driving significant growth in rail infrastructure worldwide, including city population growth and an increasing awareness of transport’s environmental impact. Major investment programmes are planned or ongoing to meet this demand; in the meantime many existing rail systems are operating at capacity.

The Intelligent Systems / Altran focus in the rail sector is:

  • Command, control and signalling systems
  • Rail Traffic Control Centre systems
  • Technology to improve passenger experience such as passenger infotainment and connected services

Intelligent Systems / Altran’s rail clients face challenges which include:

  • Increasing existing capacity safely through the introduction of new technology such as CBTC, ERTMS and ATO
  • Building new infrastructures, from high speed inter-city routes to new metro lines, particularly in Asia
  • Improving passenger experience and meeting new connectivity demands such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for instance through the introduction of on-board infotainment systems

Meeting these challenges will include:

  • Cost-effective safety engineering and assessment of both new developments and modified systems, including meeting regulatory requirements and standards such as CENELEC 5012x. A further challenge is the introduction of European-inspired standards into Non-European markets
  • Reducing development and long-term maintenance costs through the development of re-usable components and COTS equipments
  • Improving the cost efficiency of developing complex systems through the use of advanced techniques such as model based: systems engineering, software and safety


Intelligent Systems / Altran has extensive experience of providing rail systems engineering services to all parts of the rail industry including train & network operators, rolling stock & CoCoSig suppliers, and railway regulators. 
Intelligent Systems / Altran regularly works to the CENELEC 5012x family of standards, up to and including SIL 4, and has worked on major projects worldwide. 
Intelligent Systems / Altran offers in the Rail market include:

  • Systems Engineering : Advanced systems and requirements engineering to de-risk delivery of technically complex projects.
    Projects include the specification and modelling of a CBTC system using SCADE, the implementation of technology transfer of traction and auxiliary control software to China, and the definition and implementation of a new requirements management process for a rolling stock R&D department. 
  • Software Engineering : packaged offers for consulting and software delivery, including aSSureD Safety Systems Development  for achieving  high safety integrity levels, and for meeting CENELEC requirements.
    Projects include development of the software architecture for a European SIL 4 transport system, software development for an ERTMS TCMS platform management system and the independent verification of SIL 4 software for a new signalling system.
  • Electronics services include safety-critical FPGA design and V&V to CENELEC SIL 4, and legacy maintenance of electronics boards. 
    Projects include the turnkey hardware development of a UPS for the rail market, and the verification & validation of rail VHDL IP to SIL 4.
  • End-to-end Safety Engineering including safety case development and RAM to CENELEC standards – including the full safety engineering lifecycle (using techniques such as HAZOP, FMEA and FTA). 
    Projects include developing safety cases and performing safety engineering and RAM analysis for applications include high speed lines, rolling stock (mainline & metro), ERTMS and conventional signalling.
  • Independent Safety Assessment, including the use of a branded approach called activeISA 
    Intelligent Systems / Altran has provided ISA for an extensive range of rail systems including ERTMS, Interlocking, train borne systems, ATP systems (e.g. CBTC) and Railway Control Centre systems. 
  • Notified Body Conformity Assessment. Intelligent Systems / Altran is a NoBo (Notified Body) for conformity assessment for complex and novel systems against the European Railway System Directive for Interoperability 2001/16/EC.
    Intelligent Systems / Altran has provided Conformity assessment for all principal signalling technologies (both trackside and train borne) including CBTC and ERTMS. Conformity assessment has been performed for the majority of CoCoSig suppliers.
  • Safety Training. Intelligent Systems / Altran has trained over 7,000 engineers and managers in the rail industry.  Training courses include:
    • Railway Engineering Safety Management
    • Railway Safety and RAM
    • Safety Aspects for the Development of Critical Software and Hardware for the Rail Systems 
  • Passenger IVI (In Vehicle Infotainment) and Connectivity. Providing IVI development, telecoms and connectivity expertise for rolling stock and rail operators. Cross fertilisation from automotive and aviation IVIs into railway systems, and supported by Telecoms expertise. 
    Intelligent Systems / Altran has provided its expertise to quality of service optimisation, service architecture (SLA and OLA) and system, network and telecom infrastructures (router PC404, VPN, firewall, Mobile IP). 

Case reference

Independent Safety Assessment & Notified Body for European Train Control System (ETCS) level 2


A rail manufacturer conducted a trial of its ETCS system, based on its successful ATP system (as used in Japan). The system aims to enhance capability and reliability on the UK network.

Intelligent Systems / Altran was appointed as the Notified Body (NoBo) and Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) to gain certification of the ETCS for the EU market.


Intelligent Systems / Altran has successfully completed concept, planning and requirements capture stages and is now working on a detailed design assessment. The approach has evolved to work efficiently and effectively with the rail manufacturer and the design team based in Japan.