Cisco Goes To Work on Commuter Rail


From California to the Northeast corridor, in Europe and the American Midwest, more and more people are turning to the train system for their travel needs. Cisco is now turning its eye on commuter rail upgrade solutions. Cisco Connected Transportation Solutions launched yesterday as a commuter rail technology offering that relies on the Internet of Things.

The product will offer, among other things, WiFi service on rail. Riders will also be able to track scheduled train arrival and departure times, access alerts on delays, and share real-time travel updates with others over mobile devices. Commuters can also access train information through interactive signs on the station platforms that are fed real-time information coming directly from the movement of passengers and the status of the infrastructure around them.

The high-speed Cisco Connected Train network is built on hardened, small-form-factor switches and routers that support consumer and business mobility features.

Cisco’s positive train control (PTC) system can determine the train’s location and speed, and augment the safety measures set by the train operator or engineer. If warnings are ignored or cannot be performed, PTC will automatically apply the brakes to slow down or stop the train.

The train control network will be powered by sensors throughout the track allowing engineers to monitor the train and look for potential incidents ahead of time.

“The rail industry stands to gain $27 billion of economic value over the next 15 years from disruptive solutions now made possible by the Internet of Everything,” says Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer and executive vice president, Industry Solutions, Cisco. “This digital overlay allows operators to receive and analyze real-time data flows to reengineer processes as well as respond immediately to irregular incidents along the tracks or in the train.”

Cisco is working with Lilee Systems, Telent Rail, and GAI-Tronics for the tech on this offering.