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  1. Westermo
1 November 2021

Westermo Ethernet switch meets future demands of on-board rail applications

Westermo has launched a powerful Ethernet switch, optimised to meet the increasing data communications demands of on-board rail applications. The Viper-8 series is designed to provide high-performance, reliable and secure networks that support important services such as public address systems, passenger information systems, on-board Wi-Fi, video surveillance and train control and management systems.

On-board data networks must be extremely reliable to maximise the availability of services, support high-bandwidth applications, combat increasing cybersecurity threats and match the long lifecycle of trains. The Viper-8 meets these requirements by offering enhanced full-speed routing through all of its eight 1Gb ports. This helps to maximise network performance, provides network designers with greater flexibility, and reduces the number of switches needed for typical consist ring or backbone switching applications. Cyber threats are met by a range of security features, such as routing capacity for network segmentation, secure boot, firewalls, VPN, intrusion detection and access control.

Viper-8 adopts the Westermo WeOS operating system, which offers an extensive suite of IP networking features for resilient and flexible networks, and ensures continued long-term product support. Westermo product lifecycle management complements the needs of the rail industry by providing backwards compatible designs and long-term availability of new designs in the same form factor. The combination of exceptional performance, flexible port configuration and broad range of features provided by the WeOS operating software, creates a versatile solution that is suitable for a broad range of applications.

Compliant with the EN 50155 rail standard, this very compact and rugged device has a GORE-TEX® membrane that prevents internal condensation, and an all-metal casing and IP67 rating, enabling mounting anywhere on the train. Extremely low hardware and software failure rates and low service requirements maximise network availability. To further simplify network design and installation, triple isolation between all interfaces protects against overvoltage and flashover, enabling connection to the train’s auxiliary power.

“On-board rail systems not only require more robust and reliable data networks, but these also need greater performance and functionality, and lower total cost of ownership,” explained Anders Hanberg, product manager at Westermo. “The Viper-8 has been specifically designed to meet current demands, but also offers functionality and long-term support that ensure the installed networks offer the extended lifecycles expected by train operators.”

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