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Railway Communication Standards

Historical of TCN Needs and Specification

As presented in Sect. 1.1.1, basic Train Communication Network (TCN) for TCMS were deployed in the late seventies to be able to satisfy the following specific requirements [1]:

  • • Suitable to be used in the railway environment (referring especially to climatic and physical conditions);
  • • Able to be quickly reconfigured when the train composition changes (vehicles coupling and uncoupling), which is a typical railway requirement;
  • • Oriented to different data scope and performance (there are in general different needs for control signal and diagnosis or monitoring systems);
  • • Able to support high level of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety
  • (RAMS, detailed in the Sect. 1.1.3 dedicated to safety aspects).

The interoperability for the first wired systems was guaranteed by the International Union of Railways (UIC). A standardized 13-poles cable was used to distribute basic commands (door closure, light on and off, Public Address System (PAS)).

Then, a process of standardization was performed by coordinated activities between standardization groups, industry and exploitation. The standardization of the TCN is performed by a working group of the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) within the Technical Committee TC9. Two specifications are initially set up for TCN standardization: IEC 61375-1 (dealing with TCN specification) and IEC 61375-2 (dealing with TCN conformance testing). In parallel, UIC prepared some interoperability leaflets, such as UIC 556 and UIC 558. Finally, some European Railway industries set up a Joint Development Project (JDP) to specify a new on board network, by collecting experience from industry, such as ABB, AEG, SIEMENS, FIREMA and developing communication modules to fulfill railway needs. Experiments on a real train were set up by a special consortium of railway operators, the Industrie Gruppe Zugbus (IGZ), leaded by the European Rail Research Institute (ERRI). The aim was to verify in a real environment the IEC 61375 standard and the UIC 556 leaflet. Thus, IEC 61375-1 and IEC 31675-2 specifications and UIC 556 and UIC 558 were first published in 1999 after JDP/IGZ works.

For further information, the interested reader can find a state of the art of on-board wired networks in the railway domain in [14].

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