Rail Systems

Connecting generations of rail devices to modern networks

Railway operations and control networks are complex and undergoing changes similar to other critical infrastructure industries such as the introduction of microprocessor-based relays and more data points and security to enhance safety and control of the railway. The communications networks that serve them are evolving just as rapidly and require equipment that can function in harsh environments and integrate with generations of rail devices including:

  • Remote terminal units (RTUs)
  • Vital controllers
  • Control points
  • Generators
  • Temperature sensors
  • Cameras
  • Emergency phones
  • Wheel counters
  • Wayside interface units
  • Positive train control

Industry Solutions

Wayside cabinets contain a myriad of equipment including remote terminal units (RTUs), relays and dry contacts that provide site status and controlling and signal information that are vital to operations and safety. Our products are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions and connect your wayside devices reliably anywhere.

In this diagram the customer upgraded from copper to fiber backhaul to better withstand harsh environmental conditions and allow for greater bandwidth. They selected JumboSwitch to integrate a myriad of interfaces including 600-ohm analog, serial, Ethernet and telephony. In addition they added a dry contact to monitor low fuel levels, generator on/off and temperature sensors for their backup propane and diesel generation saving maintenance trips to check fuel levels and status.

A centralized traffic control (CTC) interlocking location, often referred to as a control point prevents trains from colliding on the tracks. The system administering and controlling these functions must be reliable to provide safety regardless of weather conditions. Our JumboSwitch platform easily integrates with generations of equipment and various interface types throughout your railway.

In this example the customer had an existing copper network connecting serial vital controllers to an Ethernet switch. The customer desired a more reliable medium so replaced the copper infrastructure with fiber. They installed JumboSwitch to convert Ethernet to fiber and to meet requirements for their network equipment to function reliably in harsh environmental conditions.

As leased lines become increasingly expensive and more difficult to maintain, rail companies are examining other alternatives. Our products can seamlessly support connections to wired and wireless backhaul for carrier and private networks and offer small form factors where space constraints are a challenge.

In this diagram the customer transitioned from a leased T1 service to MPLS. Our products easily integrate to connect their CTC polling computer to a myriad of signaling stations for the railway.

Communications networks are critical to safety for railyards. Positive Train Control (PTC) prevents train-on-train collisions, regulates speed, and prevents on-board human error. Stations and trains rely on communications networks to provide immediate, clear, and reliable exchanges of data.

In this diagram the customer installed fiber optic cable to better handle harsh weather conditions and provide a more scalable bandwidth medium. Our products connected wayside interface units, GPS transmitters and vital controllers to all stations and cabinets over a single, easy to deploy platform.

Case Studies

Metrolink deploys cost effective, ruggedized, scalable network

As part of its services expansion project, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) needed to upgrade its communications and signaling network to meet the demands of increased ridership. In addition to Ethernet connectivity between control points, Metrolink needed backhaul for their 900Mhz radio and positive train control (PTC) networks. JumboSwitch connected all devices between 67 communications shelters using a scalable architecture to meet present and future.

The Metro upgrades multiple systems simultaneously

The Metro was challenged with replacing 15+ year old wayside vital controllers while simultaneously upgrading its signaling and communications network. Jumboswitch seamlessly integrated all vital controllers, cameras, IP phones and more. TC Communications' network management system, TCView®, was chosen to handle configuration, administration, monitoring, and troubleshooting of the network.


"TC Communications' support and service has been excellent. [In] our experience with them they have been very service oriented. We have specified TC Communications' equipment in some of our future communications project designs."
- Jerone Hurst, Metrolink Southern California Regional Rail Authority
"TC Communications played an important role in providing training and helping District 6 to configure the first Jumboswitch in order for it to work with the existing network, and they continue to provide support as necessary."
- Samuel Campos, Traffic Electrical TMC Support
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