Connex Rail is investing £8·5m in automated passenger information equipment from Racal Telecom. It will cover 81 Connex South Eastern stations in the area bounded by London, Dulwich, Higham and Sevenoaks. Due to be commissioned by August, the system will be an adaptation of the Torus equipment installed last summer at 72 stations on the Thames Trains network.

Real-time information on train running collected from train describers and other sources will be transmitted over Racal’s telecoms network and displayed at stations on LED displays, TV monitors and gas plasma screens. Data will also be sent to public address systems and station help points.

The contract includes maintenance for 12 years, building on the Thames Trains contract which was also for a managed service. Thames Trains expects better information to raise revenue by 1·6%.

Torus uses a central controller which accepts inputs from track circuits and the Trust train reporting system. This data is compared with the timetable database to assess punctuality, and information on delays and cancelled trains is then automatically distributed to each station. A remote PC-based system interprets the data and generates appropriate displays and announcements.

On the CSE network there will be a bank of 150 pre-recorded messages that can be activated automatically; a manual over-ride can be used to set up new messages. Back-up control systems will be duplicated at Lewisham and Bromley South.

  • Racal Telecom is also to supply Torus-based PIS for 66 stations in East Anglia, operated from a control centre in Ipswich. A ’mobile cellular solution’ has been adopted for the remote Berney Arms station, where the landlord of the adjacent public house will have a pre-programmed handset connecting passengers with the Ipswich call centre.

    Racal Telecom, Great Britain

    Reader Enquiry Number 139