IN order to converge these networks and cut train manufacturing and maintenance costs, the Connecta-2 and Safe4Rail-2 projects, part of the Shift2Rail joint undertaking, introduced the drive-by-data concept, an approach to digitally transfer all control parameters of the train control and monitoring system.

The consortiums have been working on defining and developing the Next Generation of Train Communication Networks (NG-TCN) based on IEC 61375 to achieve true interoperability between trains from different manufacturers. This new definition includes a renewed design for the train network topology, implements a new safe network inauguration process, increases the safety communications level to SIL4, and introduces time-sensitive networking (TSN) technology.

The NG-TCN reduces the number of devices and cabling required while increasing the overall safety and reliability of train networks. In addition, it enables the reliable transmission of safety-critical data through TSN and non-critical data through conventional Ethernet protocols.

The development of NG-TCN devices, including TSN, constitutes a breakthrough in the industry. Moxa, together with other partners of the Safe4Rail-2 consortium, have successfully developed NG-TCN devices as a major milestone for creating safer train networks. In particular, the integration of TSN technology embedded in Moxa’s devices and its subsequent validation for interoperability significantly contributed to achieving the key objectives of the Safe4Rail-2 project, to merge networks and cut overall train costs.