ApplicationsFebruary 12, 2021
Data communications technology supports passenger train displays
Compact Ethernet switches from Westermo connect innovative LCD train windows displaying passenger information.
Mobility as a service (MaaS) is a concept that aims to provide alternatives to private-owned transport that are just as convenient, but more sustainable and cost-efficient for travellers. At the forefront of the MaaS movement is RATP Group, the French public transport operator, which is putting users at the core of transport services, offering them tailor-made mobility solutions based on their individual needs.
To enrich the journey experience for its customers, ORLYVAL Service SA, a subsidiary of RATP, has developed an innovative way for passengers to gain access to real-time information. Using smart LCD windows, an ORLYVAL shuttle that travels to and from the Paris-Orly airport, is now able to display information relating to departing flights, the weather forecast for destination cities and more. The information provided is adapted and specific to the direction of the shuttle. The innovation also enables announcements to be broadcasted to travellers, providing them with real-time news and information pertinent to their journey. The innovative displays will be deployed on a further seven trains by the end of the year.
Communication to the innovative systems requires an internet connection, but because this was a refurbishment project, space was extremely limited. Only an exceptionally compact Ethernet switch would be suitable, and the device would also need to cope with the challenging operational environments found on-board trains, including constant vibration, humidity and electrical interference.
Based on a successful existing relationship, Orlyval Service chose Westermo to provide the industrial data communication technology for the project. Westermo’s Viper-212-T5G-P8, a compact routing switch designed specifically to meet the demands of on-board train applications, was selected. Measuring only 178 cm x 110 cm x 100 cm, the Viper fit comfortably into the confined space on board the shuttle. Its Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports offered an effective power supply for the connected devices and the Gigabit ports supported the need for high bandwidth.
ORLYVAL service SA designed and configured the data network, simplified by Westermo’s “Made Easy” concept which ensures the operating system for the Ethernet switches is extremely simple and intuitive to use.
“For us, choosing Westermo was a guaranteed that we had a product that met the requirements of railway equipment. We are grateful for their professionalism, which contributed to the success of this project,” said Lionel Le Fessant, sales and quality director, ORLYVAL Service.
“Providing journey information to passengers as part of MaaS relies on robust and resilient data networks,” explained Fabian Vandendyck, sales manager for train networks at Westermo. “Westermo Viper switches are ideally suited for these onboard transport applications, able to fit into the confined spaces presented by refurbishment projects and providing reliable performance in the difficult environment.”