Robust Moxa Communications Network Helps Ensure the Success of French Tramway
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7+3G-port Gigabit managed Ethernet switches with 4 IEEE 802.3af PoE ports
The official rollout of the new 14.5 km, 31-stop Besançon tramline in eastern France took place on August 30th and 31st. Although the tramline won’t be open to the public until the end of 2014 (approximately 6 months ahead of schedule) the fact that testing has begun in earnest has piqued the interest of the local media.
The project is living up to its original billing as a low-cost solution to a high-tech problem. The numbers speak for themselves—Besançon’s new tramline is costing the city roughly one-third of what other nearby municipalities paid to implement similar light rail lines.
Moxa’s role in the project was to provide an Ethernet-based communications and passenger information system that is both cost-effective and reliable. The estimated cost of the system comes to €17,000,000 per km, which compares favorably to the €20,000,000 to €30,000,000 per km cost incurred by other French cities.
Moxa’s emphasis on providing a complete solution of rugged industrial products certified for rail use has made it the ideal supplier for the passenger information system portion of the project. The wayside communications network provided by Moxa supports the tramlines’ passenger information and ticketing systems at all 31 stops. In addition, Moxa’s wireless products are being used for a wireless network that exchanges onboard video surveillance data and passenger information between the vehicles and the operations control center at the main depot.
The wayside infrastructure is based on a multi-service Ethernet network comprising 97 EDS-P510 Ethernet switches connected together with optical fiber cable to form a redundant Turbo Ring. The switches support power-over-Ethernet, making it easy to provide power to the cameras and other peripherals connected to the switches.
Other Moxa products used at the 31 stops include the V2402-LX embedded computer, which processes audio and video data, as well as the ioLogik R2110 remote I/O controllers, which are connected to audio amplifiers and lightning arrestors, and help monitor the state of back-up batteries.
Five TN-5308-4POE Ethernet switches are installed on each of the 19 trams in a linear Ethernet network. The switches use reliable M12 connectors to ensure they can withstand vibrations and shocks. Each switch has eight Ethernet ports, including four IEEE-compliant PoE ports that provide power to onboard cameras. The heart of the onboard communications system is a V2426 embedded computer, which ensures consistent recording and broadcasting of audio and video data. The computers have dual Ethernet ports for network redundancy, and connect to passenger information speakers. Moxa’s own patented anti-vibration technology is used to protect Toshiba 500 GB hard disks that provide the large amount of storage space needed to store video and audio data. The hard disks are large enough to store an entire day’s worth of data, which is uploaded to a central computer via a Moxa wireless network when the train returns to the station in the evening.