Eress and Erex
Eress is an organisation created to provide a simple, efficient, reliable, accurate and flexible standard energy settlement solution for both the current and future rail markets.
Erex is a suite of applications designed to automate and simplify the process of energy settlement in the railway industry. The system has been designed and developed by Bouvet on behalf of Eress since the concept of such an innovative settlement solution was first envisaged.
The Eress Forum
Interest in Eress and the quantity of data passing through the Erex system has grown steadily over the years. One of the explanations for this popularity is the sense of community instilled within the organisation. A good example of this is the Eress Forum, a conference held annually in which members come together and share news, experiences, and network.
Celebrating the 10 anniversary of Eress, the Eress forum was this year hosted at the UIC headquarters in Paris, France. This year the Bouvet team responsible for the development of Erex was also able to attend the Forum, to gain a deeper understanding of the domain in which we work.
One of the goals for Eress is to ensure that Erex adheres to the appropriate international standards, namely those ratified by the UIC. Therefore it was fitting for the 10th year’s forum to be held at the UIC headquarters.
The week started with a user workshop on the Tuesday. The newest member of the development team was invited to Paris a day early in order to attend, as this provided a great opportunity to meet the real world users of the system and see how Erex is used in practice. On Tuesday evening all Forum participants met at the UIC center for an hour-long walking tour of the area surrounding the Eiffel tower, followed by a group dinner.
Wednesday was the main day for the conference. The UIC doors opened at 8am, allowing some early birds to register and mingle before the opening proceedings at 9. The program included presentations from a range of speakers and topics, including several of the Eress partners.
An interesting feature of the forum is the final round of the Eress award competition, which this year saw Pengling Wang and her PhD thesis (Energy Efficiency Train Trajectory Optimization & influence on DAS) competing against Evamarie Wießner and her masters thesis (Optimizing trajectories of trains runs for effective energy consumption
using a traction- and speed-dependent engine efficiency level). Wang’s presentation focused on the potential for an improved Driver Advisory System, and her prototype implementation named ETO. Wießner’s research focused on a revised mathematical model for the calculation of estimated consumption, by factoring losses as a variable rather than a constant value. The winner was determined by audience voting and it was a close affair, however Evamarie Wießner claimed first prize.
The afternoon consisted of a series of case studies and workshops, before rounding off the day with a glass (or two) of wine in the UIC lobby while the SNCF band played jazz in the background.
The forum was an enlightening and inspiring experience for all of us on the development team. Eress has come a long way with Erex, but the train journey is far from over yet. As the regulatory, political, and technological environments in which we work continue to evolve, so too will Erex adapt to meet those challenges.
More information about Eress, Erex, and photos from this year’s forum can be found on the Eress homepage.