Tehnika’s Matt Burey explains the benefits of a single supervisory interface for light rail vehicle operations.
Brisbane-based software firm Tehnika will be showing off its t-visor RAIL platform at the Australasian Railway Association’s Light Rail 2020 conference in Canberra in March.
Already used extensively on the Canberra Light Rail and Gold Coast Light Rail systems, t-visor aims to provide a single platform for a range of different systems, including Automatic Vehicle Location, traffic light and priority management, signalling, timetable and performance monitoring and automatic vehicle location, and interface with external software applications, traction power SCADA, infrastructure SCADA, passenger information, public address, CCTV, and platform information displays. Feature rich, t-visor also has comprehensive performance monitoring to assist operators manage KPIs, network monitoring and stray current monitoring.
Modern and highly scalable, the t-visor RAIL software platform is described by Tehnika chief technology officer, Matt Burey, as “the most advanced supervisory platform designed for light rail currently available on the market”.
“Having a single user interface means operators don’t need to log into multiple different systems,” Burey said. “This saves time and ensures operators can be focused on the task at hand and not get distracted or interrupted by having to switch systems.”
Furthermore: “Front line operators only need to be trained on one system and not each individual sub-system – there’s no need to remember different passwords and the unique way each disparate sub-system functions.”
This single-platform approach also means the LRV operator is not bombarded with unnecessary information.
“Only relevant and system critical information needs to be displayed or made visible to operators which results in them being better focused on their operational role.”
Tehnika’s in-house team to build and develop its systems, and Burey believes this is a key differentiator and a major advantage working within the local rail sector.
“Having local resources means we have the flexibility and the agility to respond immediately to changes in client demands or project scope,” he said. “Our significant investment in research and development means Tehnika is able to develop, test, and deploy proven and fit-for-purpose solutions that are unique to the Australian market.”
Burey told Rail Express the supervisory platform was designed specifically to provide light rail operators with a single, seamlessly integrated solution for a full range of control and monitoring systems.
Interfacing with passenger information, t-visor allows for fully programmable messages with both automatically recurring and custom, one off messages, images, and videos, Burey explained.
“By integrating public address systems, operators are able to record and play specific messages on demand as well as record one off messages for special events,” he said.
Along with PA systems, t-visor can also incorporate situationally aware CCTV feeds which automatically start when the emergency help or information button is pressed or other alarms are raised.
The platform’s Automatic Vehicle Location function uses a combination of GPS, vehicle odometers, and trackside equipment to display the exact location of a light rail vehicle. The AVLS also presents a real time view of rail signalling, point positions and track occupancy.
“Each LRV trip is tracked against the planned timetable providing the operator with an interactive display that clearly shows service punctuality and/or headway,” he said. “t-visor’s traffic signalling priority system (TSPS) is fully integrated with SCATS and STREAMs. The TSPS function provides detailed intersection status and request priority when an LRV approaches an intersection. It also allows operators to request a manual White T from the OCC.”
Additionally, light rail vehicles and any other equipment such as radio handsets can be tracked using a geolocation map, Burey added.
The system’s traction power SCADA feature allows operators and users of the system to remotely monitor electrical traction supply and perform isolation/energisation. The system also provides power quality and stray current monitoring and energisation status including DC overhead lines and AC feeder lines.
Tehnika’s team is exhibiting at the ARA Light Rail 2020 event in Canberra on March 2-3.