Customer Stories / Digi Helps SEPTA Meet Federal PTC Requirements

Digi Helps SEPTA Meet Federal PTC Requirements

Well-designed mobile systems, like the Digi TransPort WR44 router, can expect to achieve more than 99% uptime without redundancy or other special provisions.

SEPTA is the nation’s sixth-largest public transportation system and the largest in Pennsylvania. Its service area encompasses more than 2,200 square miles and includes Philadelphia and neighboring counties. The SEPTA system serves over one-half million customers daily with bus, subway, high speed rail, trolley, regional rail and paratransit vehicles.

Business Challenge

SEPTA is the nation’s sixth-largest public transportation system and the largest in Pennsylvania. Its service area encompasses more than 2,200 square miles and includes Philadelphia and neighboring counties. The SEPTA system serves over one-half million customers daily with bus, subway, high speed rail, trolley, regional rail and paratransit vehicles.

Solution

On-board SEPTA’s vehicles, Positive Train Control (PTC) message routing and wireless communications are the responsibility of the Mobile Communications Package (MCP), an integrated assembly that houses the Digi TransPort® WR44 RR, 220 MHz TDMA radio, power supply and RF filters. It is an integral component of the SEPTA PTC Communications System, and serves as the communications hub in all locomotives and vehicles, relaying PTC data messages to and from waysides via 220 MHz radio and enabling system maintenance, configuration and network management over a cellular link.css-diagram-septa.jpgThe Digi TransPort WR44 RR router is purpose-built for the rail industry and designed to be mounted on-board locomotives or any other rail vehicles. It meets all the requirements for AREMA C & H, EN50155, and AAR S-5702. It is a cellular, enterprise-class router equipped with M12 connectors, integrated 4-port Ethernet switch, b/g/n Wi-Fi, USB, serial and 50-channel GPS receiver.

The Digi router is equipped with an advanced routing, security and firewall feature set including stateful firewall inspection and integrated VPN. Enterprise-class protocols incorporate BGP, OSPF, and VRRP+, a patented technology built upon the popular VRRP failover standard providing true auto sensing, auto failure and auto recovery of any line drop. Secure remote access to on-board systems are monitored using SNMPv3 and/or Digi Device Cloud.

Results

The increased network reliability and rail system visibility extends the performance beyond PTC, toward Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), which leads to more efficient scheduling, increased capacity, and fuel savings. So while rail safety is the principal objective, there are significant ancillary benefits. GPS-based position, direction and speed of rail vehicles delivered by radio and cellular.

In metropolitan areas, the reliability of cellular networks now rivals traditional wired networks. Well-designed mobile systems, like the Digi TransPort WR44 router, can expect to achieve more than 99% uptime without redundancy or other special provisions. Even greater performance is achievable through dual diversity antenna placement on the railcar or locomotive.

Achieving the objectives established by Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) for PTC delivers clear benefits to operators, passengers, freight carriers and the greater community served by rail transportation.

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