Westermo Ethernet Switches Help Restore Signalling Power to Minimise Train Delays and Disruption

Westermo is supplying 60 Lynx 110-F2 managed ethernet switches to Schneider Electric for use as critical components in its automatic supply restoration (ASR) systems. The ASRs are being installed as part of a major project to upgrade to the signalling on the Great Western main line between Newbury and Reading in Berkshire, UK, a distance of approximately 17 miles.

Application advice and technical support was provided by Westermo to help with the selection and configuration of the switches for this challenging deployment. Following an evaluation of several switch products, Schneider Electric chose the Westermo Lynx switch because it is compact and has a low power consumption. These factors are critical for equipment installed in trackside cabinets where space is at a premium and devices have to be temporarily powered locally when the main supply is lost. In addition, the Lynx range has Network Rail acceptance and also meets the requirements of EN50121-4 for railway trackside use.

"Schneider Electric chose the Westermo Lynx switch because it is compact and has a low power consumption."

All equipment used in the automatic power recovery system and supporting communications network must be of the highest quality and be extremely robust and reliable. Westermo switches use the best quality components and are designed to achieve the highest mean time between failure (MTBF) figures in the industry. This is especially important for trackside locations, where maintenance is both difficult and costly. In addition, they are constructed to resist the toughest operating conditions including wide temperature variations and exposure to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

The automatic supply restoration system detects a loss of power, and informs operators and maintenance teams so that power will be restored to signalling equipment, reducing delays, outages and minimising impact on customers. Installed at the trackside, the system isolates a circuit fault and then restores power automatically by reconfiguring the supply from the principal supply points, reducing a power interruption to less than thirty seconds.

Westermo Lynx switches are a critical component in the Schneider Electric ASR, reliably sending local power supply status data from their trackside location to the Network Rail ‘Cloud’ via a combination of fibre-optic and copper cabling. Communications redundancy is provided by a fibre ring between the trackside cabinets. If there is a fault, alarms are generated and the ring automatically reconfigures to transmit the data to the Network Rail control room using Westermo’s unique FRNT technology. FRNT technology is the fastest protocol on the market for re-configuring large networks in the event of a link or hardware failure. During the power outages, power for the Westermo switch is supplied form a local functional supply point until mains power is restored.

Schneider has successfully used Westermo switches on a number of projects requiring trackside ASR systems, demonstrating their performance and reliability. As a result, Schneider has now made the Lynx 110-F2 the standard switch for its Automautomatic supply restoration system.

Westermo provides a full range of data communication solutions for mission critical infrastructure networks and is an approved supplier to Schneider Electric as part of its Collaborative Automation Partner Programme (CAPP). Authorised CAPP products include modems, routers, extenders and converters.

For more information, please contact Westermo.

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