VOICE-over-IP is being used in a British train operator’s passenger information system for the first time, with the installation of a Vossloh IT system controlling screens and announcements at stations served by Northern.

A central computer at the train operator’s Manchester data centre is operated from two workstations at the information control office in Leeds. This manages displays and announcements at 20 stations and voice only at a further 54, combining functions previously controlled separately.

Timetable and train describer data is used to generate control commands for the displays and announcements, which are transmitted to the stations over Northern’s IP networks. Staff can intervene to correct any problems when train services are disrupted, and can also make live announcements.

IP traffic management allows Northern to move away from analogue circuits, and offers the potential for a future four-fold increase in the number of stations covered.

Vossloh Information Technologies, UK