A major subcontractor to London Underground responsible for upgrading, replacing and maintaining two-thirds of London Underground's infrastructure namely its trains, stations, signalling, track, tunnels and bridges. This being part of a 30-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract which came into operation in April 2003.
For the next 40 years, the subcontractor will form part of the partnership that is investing some £1 billion per year on new trains, new track, new signalling and refurbished and modernised stations.
The requirement and the solution
The requirements were to upgrade an existing system to deliver more reliable train information to stations and passengers. Previous successful installations had deployed the Moxa serial to ethernet device servers, so it made sense to stay with a product already proven to the client.
Each station has local information for train arrivals and departures. This information is fed back to a central management system via the Moxa serial to ethernet device servers, via a bank of DSL extenders and back to dual homing GarrettCom switches to provide total system redundancy for the data.
Switches, in a redundant configuration, are then connected to the Amplicon Impact range of industrial computers for total reliability. Information on specific trains is taken from a number of stations along it's journey and this information is fed back to the central system. All information is collated, recalculated, reformatted and then sent back to the individual stations, via the same method to be displayed on serial based displays.
The data capture and distribution hardware is the key to making this project possible. In the past localised equipment has remained isolated, and through using this combination of technologies, we are able to predict train arrivals from greater distances with more accuracy.
In practice the equipment has proved to be highly reliable and well suited to the application . One of the critical areas of success relied on Amplicon being able to make the most of legacy equipment to deliver today’s information. This is an ongoing challenge for the Railway, and finding the right interface between old and new has been the key for this project.
The customer chose Amplicon because of the successful existing supplier relationship and Amplicon had the right mix of IT and Communications Equipment for the application. We provided the customer with proven technical expertise and reliable technologies and products.