Following successful trials in northern Bavaria, DB Regio is to roll out the RegioCom system for all its conductors across Germany by May 2001. Developed by the DB consultancy arm TLC, RegioCom is a GSM-based communications system which enables on-train staff to notify a control centre of delays. It also allows the control centre to determine the position of the train.

The system is based on the Nokia 9110 Communicator mobile phone, which is programmed with the DB timetable. When a service leaves its starting station, the conductor enters the train number, which is sent with the number of the phone to the control centre. At each subsequent stop the conductor confirms departure by pressing a single button. Departure time is compared with the timetable and advice of any delay is transmitted automatically to the control centre.

The conductor can also ask the control centre for information on how connecting services are running. This information is sent out automatically, but can be overridden where a connecting service is being held for a late train on the instructions of the control centre. Similarly, the conductor can use the Communicator to inform control of the number of passengers wanting to make onward connections.

TCL GmbH, Germany

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