EKE-Electronics will supply a depot WLAN network to CFR Romanian Railways. The WLAN network will be built to cover every major railway depot in Romania and it will enable communication between the depots and passenger coaches.

New and refurbished CFR passenger coaches are equipped with UIC-556 compliant TCN-gateways for data transmission. The coach-to-depot system is designed so that the train management system of passenger coaches collects fault logs, and when detecting the depot WLAN network the data package will be transferred from coach to depot computer over the WLAN network. The depot computer contains an intelligent fault-collecting and handling system tool developed by EKE-Electronics. With the new system CFR is able to detect active faults from coaches when they are passing by any depot in the Romanian railway network. With fault information at hand CFR maintenance is prepared to make the necessary repairs when a coach with an active fault enters a depot.

Communication between coach and depot computer is divided into two phases. When a train is passing by the depot, the active faults will be transferred to the depot site. When a train is slowing down, the complete fault history will also be transferred. Fault collecting in coaches and communication from coach to depot is fully automatic.

The depot WLAN system consists of three major subsystems:

  • Train management system with TCN train communication network
  • Depot WLAN network
  • Depot computer with portable system tester (PST) software tool

The depot WLAN network consists of receiver stations with WLAN antenna, a WLAN modem and a 24V power supply. The depot WLAN network is flexible and expandable due to the bridging capability of the WLAN equipment. This means that all areas such as maintenance halls and outdoor areas can be covered easily by adding WLAN receiver stations. The 100MW WLAN stations are powerful enough for coverage even under the catenaries.

The depot computer is a commercial PC and it runs EKE PST tool software. With this tool the depot maintenance organisation can collect and handle faults from coaches. Suitable spares can be organised beforehand and when a coach enters the depot the turnaround time is optimised.