Digitalisation has long since entered the world of trains, locomotives and trams, with the twin aim of maximising passenger convenience and comfort and reducing overall costs for operators. The efficient interconnectedness of trains and rail infrastructure in today’s fast-moving world calls for integrated mobility concepts that incorporate intelligent communications with monitoring and information systems right from the very beginning. Railway systems suppliers are tasked with developing these interconnected systems and ensuring their reliable functionality throughout their entire life cycles. With its fully integrated driver’s desks, the Schaltbau subsidiary SPII, based in Italy, is among the most inventive, ingenious manufacturers in this field.
The comprehensive, integrated use of “big data” information has the potential to fundamentally change the way we go about designing mobility in metropolitan areas: driverless vehicles that communicate with one another make for higher train frequency and help keep delays to a minimum. Permanent real-time diagnosis and requirements-based maintenance derived from the available data can greatly reduce the number of technical breakdowns. The real-time monitoring of trains means that both passengers and train personnel are continually and accurately informed of travelling times, available capacities and connections. The interconnectedness of all modes of transport, the use of mobile communications and the integration of automatic ticketing systems all help create a pleasant, stress-free travel experience. Moreover, the seamless synchronisation of rolling stock with stationary infrastructure makes rail travel safer than ever before.
Complete mobility concept
In technical terms, these benefits are already available today and have, in some cases, become a daily reality. However, the mammoth task of integrating the various monitoring and information systems and intelligently interconnecting them needs to be tackled by rail systems manufacturers and suppliers alike in a united effort. Major projects such as the new metro and bus system currently being developed for the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh already show that a task of this nature can be accomplished: rolling stock manufacturers no longer simply develop trains, but complete mobility concepts in which all of their subsystems seamlessly cooperate and simultaneously communicate with the world around them. This is where major suppliers such as Schaltbau take on a key role, as they actively promote and develop interconnectedness at component and subsystem levels. Schaltbau‘s aim is to supply increasingly intelligent products that can be ever more simply and efficiently embedded in larger structures.