Mike Greenan


United Kingdom

COMPASS Degraded Mode Working System


  • Altran and Network Rail are collaboratively developing COMPASS DMWS (Degraded Mode Working System)
  • Combining outputs from multiple sensors to reliably determine train location
  • Using existing channels for safe and secure communication of authorities to move


Altran and Network Rail are collaboratively developing COMPASS DMWS (Degraded Mode Working System), an innovative backup system that will enable significant journey time and capacity improvements during primary signalling system failures. DMWS potentially offers dramatic reductions in the cost and delay impact of manual backup processes such as temporary block working. The current DMWS design utilises bespoke software running on COTS hardware, low-cost sensors to ascertain the locations of trains, and existing communication channels to send authorities to move directly to train cabs. This presentation will focus on the COMPASS approach to combining the outputs from multiple sensors, and the protocols developed for safe and secure communication over channels with high latency and low bandwidth. It will consider how these technologies could be combined with alternative sensors and Altran’s expertise in the agile specification, development, and delivery of safety critical systems to evolve COMPASS into a cost-effective railway control system.


Mike Greenan is the Director in charge of Altran’s global Rail & Transport strategy. He has managed Altran’s provision of engineering services to clients in Rail & Transport for the past ten years. Previously he also managed UK client engagements in Rail, Aerospace, Nuclear and Medical sectors. Mike Greenan started his career as a software engineer, developing critical systems.

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