Westermo provides solutions for reliable and versatile train networks

The use of IP technology has become the standard, over the last few years, for creating the data communication backbone used by the Train Control Management Systems (TCMS),  Passenger Information Systems (PIS) and Infotainment on trains. Robust Ethernet switches featuring a range of IP networking protocols are being used to build these networks which now are absolutely critical to the operation of the train.

As more and more different types of equipment are connected to these networks the need for more ports and capacity is created. More equipment also means that more cables need to be installed both power and data. PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology is the ideal solution to this issue where end devices can be powered through the network cable resulting in significant cost and space savings.

Westermo can provide an extensive range of network devices that can be used to create reliable solutions for many different applications such as WLAN access points, observation and surveillance cameras, multimedia displays, network video recorders, online timetable information, diagnostic data and much more. The very compact Viper series of Ethernet train switches provides up to 20 ports with or without PoE and up to 5 gigabit ports. The versatility of the Viper series and the ability to process high amounts of data traffic solves the growing need for network capacity.

Westermo has also developed solutions to challenges that are specific to the train market. Train inauguration is a process where the network can automatically reconfigure as carriages are joined or rearranged. The TTDP (Train Topology Discovery Protocol) in the RedFox Rail backbone router allows this reconfiguration meaning that networking skills do not have to be taught the operations staff of the train operating company.

In some applications it is not possible to use network cables, for example to get information off the moving train to the ground, connecting carriages where a specialized  train coupler is not available for network cables or to provide internet access for personnel and passengers. Westermo can provide a range of wireless products that can meet these needs.

Westermo switches and routers are powered by WeOS (Westermo Operating System) which provides an extensive suite of IP networking standards allowing reliable and secure networks to be created. With Ethernet connections being used for many train subsystems from the actual TCMS to PIS and Infotainment systems, there are risks that data congestion could occur if mistakes are made in connection or configuration. WeOS provides fast reconfiguration in the event of network failure and firewall functionality that can be used to block all but the required data from certain sections of the network. VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) can also be used to segregate networks, and prioritisation of data can guarantee delivery of critical packets on time.

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