Network monitors Chinese train safety

China Academy of Rail Sciences and Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute have standardized on Echelon's LonWorks networking platform for safety monitoring on next generation passenger trains—effectively making it a de factostandard for high-speed rail travel in the world's largest, passenger rail-transport market, according to Echelon Corp.

05/01/2006


China Academy of Rail Sciences and Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute have standardized on Echelon's LonWorks networking platform for safety monitoring on next generation passenger trains—effectively making it a de facto standard for high-speed rail travel in the world's largest, passenger rail-transport market, according to Echelon Corp. Echelon's platform will monitor safety features on passenger trains including brakes, doors, and power supply. Since 2002, China's Ministry of Railways has recommended the platform as one of the approved control-network standards for passenger trains.

"It is a top priority to improve the safety and efficiency of public transportation systems in China," said Xiuwei Guo, senior engineer R&D for the Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute. "Echelon's proven LonWorks technology provides us with a reliable and flexible platform that is cost-effective and allows Chinese original equipment manufacturers to modify and expand on their core development. This will help drive the quick adoption of LonWorks technology."

As the Chinese economy continues to open, fast, efficient, and safe travel between the country's largest cities has been identified as a bottleneck for economic growth. China's Ministry of Rail has mandated a speed increase on all next-generation trains, from 120 km/hr to 160 km/hr and higher, to efficiency of the country's primary transportation method; however, with the increase in speed comes the need for improved safety monitoring.

Echelon's LonWorks platform, standards-based protocol, IEEE 1437L, provides a seamless communications infrastructure among vehicle networks, consolidating all monitoring functions, including braking, speed sensors, doors, HVAC, and speed limitations. This helps make train travel more reliable, safer, and easier to maintain and operate. Both the China Academy of Rail Sciences and Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute have installed a LonWorks-based safety monitoring in over 1,000 train cars; China is building, on average, 1,000 new cars annually.

IEEE 1473L is used in New York City subway-cars, Helsinki light rail, and other transit systems, and is required for the Chicago Transit Authority's next-generation subway-cars, among others. American Association of Railroads uses the protocol and a related, power-line signaling technology in its electro-pneumatic braking-system standard.

Founded in 1950, China's Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), a division of the Chinese Ministry of Railway, is engaged in a full range of rail and transportation related research and development, production, sales and marketing. Beijing, China-based CARS also acts as a think tank for transportation policy and helps set the technology standard for the Chinese railway industry.

Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute is a division of China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industrial Group, one of the two largest rail-car manufacturers in China. (See news graphic for more. p.41.)






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