Hannover – KEYMILE’s multi-service access node UMUX is one of the key elements in the axle counter application in the new Gotthard base tunnel and makes a vital contribution to line and train safety.

KEYMILE’s multi-service access node UMUX 1500, guarantees reliable transmission of signals in the tunnel and to the operation centres in the new Gotthard base tunnel, a Swiss railway tunnel currently under construction. After completion in 2017, the Gotthard base tunnel will be the longest in the world. UMUX is used here in the safety-critical “axle connection and evaluation” application.

Thales will fit around 200 axle-counting points throughout the tunnel. The points transfer the current counter reading for axle counter evaluation to the technical centre, which in turn tells the signal box whether a train is in that section or not. The rail contacts (Sk30) are connected with electronic equipment (E-Es30H) that is then connected via ISDN interface to the UMUX 1500 access node. UMUX 1500 combines these ISDN interfaces and transmits the data via fibre optic cable, using SDH technology (in this case with STM-1, 155MB/s), to the places where axle counter evaluation is carried out.

Thanks to the double ring routing and the fact that the redundant path is taken via an alternative route, availabilities of more than 99.9999% are achieved. As a result, any hardware malfunctions that might occur in a unit can be intercepted and railways traffic is not brought to a halt. Permanent monitoring ensures that all components work properly. At the access network level, KEYMILE is a major partner of ALCATEL-LUCENT and THALES (both are shareholders in the Transtec Gotthard working group), and the company makes an important contribution to safety in the Gotthard base tunnel.

Data communications in railway technology often go by the term “safety and automation”. Understandably the demands placed are very high, because malfunctions could risk lives and cause enormous damage. Consequently, these systems are checked and approved by the relevant national departments for transport (which in Switzerland is the BAV).