Westermo line extenders and switches help manage train movements from Cardiff Central

Westermo products meet the requirements of EN 50121-4 for railway trackside use and are constructed to resist the toughest operating conditions.

    Westermo is supplying over 170 of its Wolverine Ethernet line extenders and 30 Lynx Ethernet switches as part of the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal (CASR) project which covers more than 300 route km of track between Newport and Port Talbot, in Glamorgan, UK.

      Network Rail awarded the signalling and power distribution contracts for project to Atkins and they selected Westermo Wolverine DDW-225 line extenders to provide the basis of a robust and resilient IP- based communications network. Atkins was familiar with Westermo as a supplier of high performance communication products and had previously used its modems on a number of systems and projects. Westermo was not only able to supply robust products that had the necessary approvals, but also provided technical support and installation advice for this difficult application.

   Westermo line extenders already had Network Rail acceptance for telecommunications applications and it was a simple procedure for this to be extended to cover signalling applications. Used to overcome the 100 metre limitation for Ethernet cabling, they meet the requirements of EN50121-4 for railway trackside use and are constructed to resist the toughest operating conditions.

      The CASR project is a technically challenging project and one of the first major schemes to use the latest innovations such as plug couplers and new train detection technology to help save time and money. Working with Westermo, Atkins produced a basic architecture for a fully distributed system that tied in where possible with the existing fixed telecoms network (FTN) nodes for the scheme. Westermo evaluated the system architecture design and provided advice on commissioning and configuring the devices.

      The DDW-225 line extenders form the basis of the Ethernet network which links the signal location cabinets together at various distances depending on where the signals are located. SHDSL (Single-pair high-speed digital subscriber line) technology enables the DDW-225 to support long distance transmission over a mixture of new and legacy copper cabling. The DDW-225 uses the Westermo WeOS operating system that provides the unit with advanced switching and routing functionality.

      At each end of the network, and at various points along the 25 miles of track of the CASR Phase 1 area , the Ethernet network connects to the control room using the existing FTN to provide redundancy. Should there be a device failure, or a section of the Ethernet network become damaged or is removed through theft, the data from the sensor can be re-routed via the FTN network back round to the adjacent sensor via the ring formed by the remaining cable and FTN. This is made possible using Westermo’s unique FRNT (Fast Recovery of Network Topology) technology which enables a 20ms recovery time.

      Train movement and diagnostic data is being transmitted to the control room at Wales Regional Operations Centre (WROC) via the FTN. Within the control room, over 30 Westermo Lynx switches and DDW-225s are being used to optimise network performance and manage the network delivering data to the SCADA system.

      The Lynx 210-FG managed Ethernet switches are designed for use in demanding applications. Also powered by WeOS (Westermo operating system), they provide a stateful inspection firewall, static and dynamic IP routing and IPsec VPN support for more advanced networks. In addition the Lynx 210-FG meets railway trackside standards.

      Following a trial period, the systems and communications networks are operating successfully, providing accurate and reliable data on train movements from the trackside locations to the WROC in Cardiff. Phases 1, 2 and 3 are already complete and the project will be fully commissioned during late 2015.

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