Train Safety Enhanced with GNSS Receivers from Septentrio - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Train Safety Enhanced with GNSS Receivers from Septentrio

Septentrio now provides GPS/GNSS receivers to rail equipment manufacturer Wabtec, also a provider of digital solutions and services to the train industry. Wabtec is implementing the receivers in its GoLINC Edge platform to provide positioning, connectivity, data storage and Positive Train Control (PTC) enhanced with the adoption of higher-precision positioning technology.

The enhanced navigational reference capability comes from two GNSS receivers installed aboard each freight locomotive contracted by Wabtec. Septentrio receivers are also being installed as position reference modules along 30,000 miles of track to provide GNSS corrections to the rover receivers aboard the locomotives for reliable and accurate positioning, even in difficult environments such as alongside mountains, around cliffs or under foliage. Beyond PTC, the high-precision GPS infrastructure along the track will enable other applications such as drone flights for rail inspection.

PTC, a train protection system, consists of functional requirements for monitoring and controlling train movements. The train is only allowed to move in case of “positive” movement permission, based on information the train receives about its own location and where it is allowed to safely travel. Onboard equipment enforces this, preventing unsafe movement.

Wabtec’s GoLINC system comprises networking, communications and applications management platforms, collecting numerous parameters about the train and its route to make the train “smarter.” GoLINC is integrated with Wabtec’s PTC solution, which functions as a safety overlay and is designed to enforce existing railroad signal indications and other operating rules. PTC also provides critical information about proximity of work zones, movement authorization, switch positions and other operational data.

The Wabtec solution combines digital equipment, software, and services: integration of the WabtecOne cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform with the GoLinc mobile data center platform and EdgeLinc edge-to-cloud device connectivity, which Wabtec says will enable seamless data transfer for real-time analytics on condition-based monitoring.

The suite also incorporates the PTC communications and data hosting back-office, which improves communications capability for enhancing availability and coverage with a reduced number of devices.