Nadia Mazzino
Vice President Innovation Projects, Ansaldo STS
Speaking on 22 November during the Wayside Train Monitoring Systems sessions


Nadia Mazzino
Vice President Innovation Projects, Ansaldo STS

The Train Conformity Check System – A measuring and monitoring solution for train’s maintenance and safety

  • Nadia Mazzinoa, V. P. Innovation Project Ansaldo STS
  • Giuseppe Gotellia, Senior Innovation Engineer Ansaldo STS
  • Roald Lengu, Innovation Project Development Engineer Ansaldo STS
  • Federico Papaa, Innovation Project Development Engineer Ansaldo STS


The paper deals with an overall technical description of a wayside train monitoring system (Train Conformity Check System-TCCS) developed by Ansaldo STS whose scope is to increase the maintenance and safety of trains throw a monitoring solution to be distributed along railway networks. The first TCCSTM version was successfully tested in July 2009 and, since then, it has undergone various evolutions in order to become a system able to cope with all new functional, technological and environment-related requirements from Infrastructure Managers.

More in details the TCCS is a non-contact modular wayside monitoring system for maintenance and safety purposes to detect and alert dispatchers about dangers or damaging defects on rolling stocks that may cause an accident or other undesired effects on the infrastructure. TCCS can be used on railway lines up to 330 km/h, day and night and in any weather condition. In the last few years there has been a raise in prominence of a more precise and context related capability of checking the rolling stock components, especially for freight trains. To answer these requirements the TCCS systems enlarged its basic functionalities to automatically manage information and procedures for improved maintenance purposes.

More recently, the last TCCS version has been integrated with the signalling systems and this led to satisfy higher availability and reliability requirements, while keeping false alarms at a very low rate. To cope with this requirements a new architecture has been designed, based on safety-oriented resilient computing platforms. The Infrastructure Managers requirement for TCCS integration with existing interlocking to automatically stop the train requested a clearer definition of the system mission in terms of alarm criteria and alarms classification. These new requirements led to redesign hardware and software architecture in order to achieve a system SIL level compatible with this mission. Redundancies, checks, auto-diagnostics, etc. have been added and a software life cycle CENELEC (EN 50128) compliant has been applied. The TCCS, thanks to the further hardware and software developments carried out from 2009 to 2015, is now responding to the Infrastructure Managers requirements to be interfaced with the interlocking system and automatically prevent a train to enter a long tunnels when fire or a severe profile defect is detected.

Here below is reported a brief description of the main modules of the TCCS:

  • the tracking subsystem: the scope of this subsystem is the detection and classification of trains approaching the system, the precise synchronization and timing of measurements and the tracking of rolling stock kinematics;
  • the thermographic full scan of rolling stock: the aim of this subsystem is the detection of overheated parts and fire on board;
  • the full 3D scan subsystem: the aim of this subsystem is the detection of profile defects on rolling stock (shifted loads on open wagons, open doors and hatches, abnormal tilt from suspension failures) by employing laser scanner technology to acquire an accurate and dense 3D profile of rail vehicles. 3D images are also used to check other items defects on side walls, roof hatches, handholds, end platforms, etc..;
  • the high resolution imaging system of rolling stock: it provides high resolution images for remote alarm verification and vehicle identification. Also in this case 2D images are used to check other items defects on brake shoe, friction wedges, end of bolster areas, suspension springs, bearing end caps, etc..;
  • the Human Machine Interface (HMI): the scope of this interface is to remotely manage alarms, train data and diagnostics information. The images of each analysed wagon’s component are stored in the database and can be displayed just after the train has passed or, in necessary, later on demand.

In conclusion the last version of the TCCS is a modular and flexible monitoring solution, compliant both with the main maintenance and safety requirements identified by the Infrastructure Managers, that could be easily adapted to the specific needs of each client also in harsh environments.


A. Lancia, S. Caldini, N. Mazzino, H. Höfler and F. Favo, “Integrated multifunction system for the wayside detection of defects and hazardous conditions in rolling stock approaching critical tunnels”, in “Proceedings of the World Conference on Rail Research (WCRR) 2008”, Seoul, South Korea, May 18-22, 2008
G. Di Leo, R. Lengu, N. Mazzino, A. Paolillo, “Pattern Recognition for Defect Detection in Uncontrolled Environment Railway Applications,” ICIAP 2013 conference, Naples, September 2010
N. Mazzino and A.Lancia, “Train Conformity Check System: Improved safety and easier maintenance”, proceedings of the Euromaintenance 2010 conference, Verona, Italy
F. Favo, G. Bocchetti, N. Mazzino, A. Lancia, “Train Conformity Check System; Technology and current operation experience”, ESARS’10 conference, Bologna, October 2010, published by IEEE Xplore
Nadia Mazzino, Giuseppe Gotelli, Antonio Lancia, Roald Lengu. “Evolution of the Ansaldo STS TCCSTM – Train Conformity Check System – for an effective combination of safety and maintenance support functions”. WCRR 2016, Milano, May 2016.

View the topics of discussion and the speakers for each individual theme: