Wireless inter-carriage link for train coupling

In refurbishment projects there are typically no possibility to install additional cables for high speed inter-carriage connectivity. Westermo WLAN products offer an optimized solution for high speed wireless inter-carriage coupling avoiding the need of additional cable installation.

Westermo has a long history in designing and delivering IEEE 802.11 technology based products for railway industry and its applications. Westermo wireless carriage coupling solution offers easy installation, high speed communications, reliability and optional redundancy features for all kinds of trains.

Wireless train to train connection illustration.

Wireless carriage coupling solution

Increasingly intelligent transportation solutions are requiring IP-based train backbones with high data throughput. However, especially in refurbishment projects it is often very difficult or even impossible to add additional cables between the train carriages or compositions. As an alternative for additional cables, Westermo offers a wireless carriage coupling solution.

Wireless carriage coupling requires an intelligent automatic bridged connection establishment between the carriages. It is important that the connection is only established between the carriages that are facing each others. Especially important it is to avoid erroneous connections to carriages that are located at the nearby tracks.

Solution highlights

  • Automatic coupling and decoupling process with easy configuration
  • Reliable locationing for link establishment during coupling
  • Automatic failure recovery
  • Completely transparent cable replacement feature
  • Support of advanced encryptions (WPA2-PSK, 802.1X)
  • Configurable operation in 2,4 or 5 GHz channels
  • Data rate up to 450 Mbit/s with 380 Mbit/s user payload
  • Redundant and aggregated systems possible
  • Supports operation on 5GHz outdoor DFS frequencies
  • Resistant against movement and vibrations also during driving

Recommended products

Westermo Inter-Carriage Link

Westermo's wireless inter carriage link (ICL) offers high throughput wireless connection between the carriages. The maximum speed is achieved by using 40MHz channel bandwith and making use of multiple streams of MIMO technology. Efficiently using multiple streams in a short distnace applica-tion is not easy, but Westermo has implemented a solution for this. That means that the customers can benefit from high speed and reliable links that offer average user data throughput of 360-380Mbit/s for each link.

The Westermo solution also implements a true cable replacement feature. This feature enabled users to make use of the onboard switches to built redundant and transparent topologies.

Prepared for redundancy and aggregation

It is possible to install one wireless bridge with two Westermo products. However, if redundancy is required there is an option to multiply the hardware and have two parallel wireless bridges between the carriages. The benefit of using a second Neratec wireless bridge as a backup is that the higher connection data rates and throughput provided by Westermo wireless link can be maintained even in case of a hardware defect.

The Westermo solution is WLAN based and offers several advantages over 3G and satellite communication. For example, in a tunnel where both 3G and satellite fail, WLAN can be deployed as the train to ground communication. WLAN based systems also makes it possible to deploy a privately managed network, which removes mobile operator dependencies, such as bandwidth allocations and mobile data costs.

Being WLAN based and complying with regulations, Westermo's train to ground solution does not required any costly licences for the operation.

Illustration of wireless inter carriage link.

Installations and antennas

From carriage to carriage the signal is transmitted using the standard IEEE 802.11n data rates. Westermo RT products allows using 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band. In order to prevent interferences between the other communication neworks employed within a train environment, the inter-carriage antenna system is usually configured to use the 5 GHz band. The use of MIMO antennas allows a higher data rates to be transmitted. With 3×3 MIMO antennas and 40 MHz channel bandwidth data rates up to 450 Mbit/s (380Mbit/s user data throughput) can be achieved. The directional antennas can be installed inside the carriage in a variety of ways. In order to achieve the best results the antennas must point to-wards each others and the distance between the antennas should be minimized. This increases the signal levels in comparison to interfering signals and with proper antennas allows the use of higher data rates thanks to multiple MIMO streams.

Wireless train applications

Westermo offers a complete range of industrial wireless data communication solutions for trains and railway.  

Mark Gibbs

Sales, Trains and Trackside

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