Highly-reliable Ethernet switches to be the backbone of the vehicle monitoring system.Quester Tangent has awarded Westermo Data Communications a contract to supply the company with industrial networking technology for its PATCO Speedline project.

"Supplying switches for this important project is a significant step forward for Westermo and is a sign of our progression within the rail industry," said Mark Hendel, Westermo Managing Director.

PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation) is a rapid transit rail system that operates in the Philadelphia area with a daily ridership of approximately 40,000 people. PATCO will begin to receive new high-tech cars with advanced vehicle monitoring systems at the end of 2012.

The new cars will feature a multitude of equipment for monitoring, control and safety. The vehicle monitoring system will have displays, speakers and crash-resistant hardened memory modules. Because of the mission-critical nature of the system, Quester Tangent needed robust Ethernet switches that could operate reliably in the harsh train environment.

"Our contract with PATCO had specific needs that the switches had to meet," said KD Singh, Quester Tangent operations manager, manufacturing. "We have extensively tested our vehicle management system’s functionality with Westermo’s Viper switches and they passed the preliminary tests during the design development phase. Additional routine and type tests during pilot car qualification and first article testing procedures are on-going."