Scaling a Blockchain-based Railway Control System Prototype for Mainline Railways: a Progress Report

03/11/2021
by   Michael Kuperberg, et al.
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Railway operations require control systems to ensure safety and efficiency, and to coordinate infrastructure elements such as switches, signals and train protection. To compete with the traditional approaches to these systems, a blockchain-based approach has been proposed, with the intent to build a more resilient, integrated and cost-efficient system. Additionally, the developed blockchain-based architecture enables to run safety-relevant and security-focused business logic on off-the-shelf platforms such as cloud, rather than on specialized (and expensive) secure hardware. After implementing a prototype of the blockchain-based railway control system, scaling the approach to real-world mainline and branch operations required a thorough validation of the design choices. In this technical report, we show how performance calculations, long-term technology perspectives and law-mandated norms have impacted the architecture, the technology choices, and the make-buy-reuse decisions.

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