LonWorks Wayside Applications

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Over the last 5 years LonWorks has grown to become the de facto network standard for rail vehicles in North America. But unlike other train network protocols, LonWorks was designed to work in any industrial control application where robust and secure networking is essential.  

As a result, increasingly we are seeing LonWorks being used in transportation and wayside transit applications where it is replacing traditional proprietary PLC-type technology. For example, at Frankfort's new high speed train station LonWorks is used to control and monitor security access, HVAC, fire smoke dampers and other safety systems. At Paris Metro, LonWorks is used on RATP's new driverless Meteor Line to control and monitor platform doors. In Italy, LonWorks is integral to a new 120 km Intelligent Transportation System in Tuscany that monitors everything from carbon monoxide levels in tunnels to tollgate income. Italy is also home to a 27 million node network that allows the power company to remotely measure power consumption and even disconnect power should a customer does not pay his bill. 

The following sections describe some of these newer wayside applications


A recent US wayside example is Sound Transit's Central Link Light Rail System. Seattle's new 14-mile rail line makes extensive use of LonWorks throughout the surface and subway lines. To help ensure its LonWorks network architecture is fully open, Sound Transit is following NYC Transit, NJ Transit, LAC-MTA, and others by mandating conformance to open LonMark Guidelines.

Bids for Sound Transit's LR0101-03 C803 Communications Systems are due April 16, 2004. A brief description of the work includes:

Design, furnish, install, commissioning, and maintenance training for an integrated Communications System, including central control system, software, field control system, fiber optic communications backbone, LAN/WAN networks, public address systems, CCTV systems, emergency phone systems, PABX, network management system, access and intrusion detection systems and tunnel radio system for the 14 mile LRT initial segment. Work is system wide with 11 passenger stations, operations control center, and multiple third party interfaces.

ST LonWorks Specifications

Sound Transit's multi-million dollar Communications System procurement bid documents are extensive and highly detailed and includes thousands of pages of specifications and drawings. A few relevant specification sections that indicate where and how LonWorks is being used are listed below:

Volume 2 of 7 Bk 1 of 2 (Adobe .pdf 9.5 MBytes)

Division 17800 Control System Overview
Division 17802 Field Control System
Division 17811 LonWorks Network and Devices
Division 17831 Track Isolating Monitoring
Division 17833 Intrusion Detection
Division 17850 Data Sharing and Organizational Interfaces