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Rail and Road Communications

Hitachi Energy is helping to write the future of fast, safe and low-emission mobility.

From high-speed trains that improve intercity connections to light rail, metro systems, trams, and eBus networks that alleviate congestion, reduce emissions, and improve quality of life, the world is moving toward a new era of mobility.

These days most offices grind to a halt in the face of a failed internet connection, but this isn't comparable to the failure of the telecommunication system that underpins regular and resilient transportation operations.

The digitalization of the industry relies on a robust, reliable, and predictable communication network, which is sometimes called the third utility, water, and power is the first and second. It is also foundational to Industry 4.0. Only industrial suppliers with an intimate knowledge of the transportation industry can supply, and maintain, communications equipment capable of meeting that unique set of demands including the system life cycle requirements of a rail asset.

Hitachi Energy’s wired and wireless communications portfolio offers long-lasting support for transportation specific OT applications, while also delivering on the requirements of digital railways and urban transport networks of the future.

Deployed in the Arabian Desert and Siberia, our mission-critical communications equipment for transportation providers are also exposed to strong EMF (electromagnetic fields) coming from the electrical traction supply system. Furthermore, the environment may be dusty or located in tunnels with challenging access for preventive maintenance, therefore fans may not be desirable. In order to maintain the high levels of availability required, especially in emergency situations, mission-critical communications equipment must offer a robust and reliable design that has proven capabilities for providing accurate functionality under extreme conditions.


Urban rail transport safety, reliability, and efficiency critically rely on communication systems to face growing challenges, including dense traffic and complexity of networks, automation, and integration with other networks.

Most large and even small cities around the world are building or expanding their urban Rail (metros and suburban), as part of large-scale environment-friendly mass mobility transformation. Hitachi Energy Mission-critical communication systems is helping municipalities and cities around the globe in this environmentally responsible smart city transformation.

Hitachi Energy mission-critical communications solutions for rail and urban transportation connect your asset-based operations and ensure a high-resolution perspective of your networks and operations for revolutionary efficiencies

Railway signaling (ETCS and other)
The European Train Control System (ETCS) is the signaling and control component of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). It is a replacement for legacy train protection systems and designed to replace the many incompatible safety systems currently used by European railways. The standard is also adopted outside Europe and is an option for worldwide applications.

GSM-R, Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway is an international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications. A sub-system of ERTMS, it is used for communication between train and railway regulation control centers.

Railway operational telephony
In order to operate, Railways use fixed telephony with many different types of users. The station master will need one or more lines to manage the operation of the station. The power dispatcher (controlling the high voltage power on the line) needs to be able to talk with the substations. Most railways also have trackside telephones that are used by track workers or train drivers in case of emergency. There will also be telephone services offered to the general public, e.g. an emergency phone on a station platform or in a tunnel.

Customer service applications
With the pressing need for railways to be ever more customer-centric, ticketing systems, various visual and audio customer information systems, as well as Internet access for passengers in stations, are very important and visible services that the network needs to deliver.

SCADA data for traction power
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) monitor and control the Traction Power distribution, with a number of Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and/or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) trackside and operator terminals at the Control Center. SCADA Systems achieve protection and automation of power supply, acquisition, and storage of parameters of power supply, monitoring and controlling the entire power supply system, alarm and logging system, load management, load shedding, power quality monitoring, and management. There is also a separate SCADA system to control station automation.

CCTV, access and perimeter control
Across rail networks, security has become a more pressing issue. The trend is towards a digital infrastructure for physical security applications, allowing us to take one camera and view it in one or 100 positions without affecting the quality of the video stream. This allows railways to distribute the management of control operational centers and create buddy systems, back-up control rooms and extra viewing positions by using digital network infrastructure. This also paves the way for video analytics. In the past, there would have been numerous separate access control, video surveillance, and intercom systems, but now they tend to be managed as single security systems through the use of hypervisors.

Wireless connectivity for rail staff and asset monitoring
Wireless connectivity in stations and train yards makes business support systems always available and optimize staff workload. With the digitalization of more and more systems, reliable connectivity is a crucial enabler for an efficient asset management policy. Hitachi Energy Wireless solutions provide that extra connectivity layer. 

Hitachi Energy is enabling industrial-strength mission-critical communications network solutions, building reliable, secure, manageable, and scalable foundations that provide performance for Intelligent Transport Systems.

Intelligent Transport Systems are entirely reliant on good communications; to know where vehicles comprising the network are, but also to monitor the equipment keeping the network moving. If you add the digitalization of much more equipment it can generate huge quantities of data at a high velocity, which must be transported over a robust communications network. That network needs punctuality when the situation demands it, and redundancy to maintain connectivity in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is an umbrella term for a wide range of solutions that provide benefits to mass transit systems including buses. ITS applications for mass transit include transit signal priority, automated vehicle location, computer-aided dispatch, telemetry as well as passengers’ infotainment.

Mission-critical networks are foundational, enabling ITS applications by providing two-way communication between sensors, controllers and people in the field, and software and supervisory personnel in the operations center. Communication technologies also facilitate interaction among drivers, dispatchers, emergency responders, and other personnel involved in transit and transportation operations. Those networks cover the following characteristics:

  • High reliability and availability including OT-like lifecycle
  • Strong cybersecurity
  • High bandwidth with low latency
  • Ability to support multiple applications concurrently
  • Cost-effective to deploy and operate, with no dependence on high cost leased lines and cellular providers.

Hitachi Energy enabling mission-critical communications network solutions are industrial strength and can be used to build a highly reliable, secure, manageable, and scalable foundation that meets the performance and capacity required for ITS communications systems. Hitachi Energy offers a wide range of network technologies – from the optical backhaul to the broadband wireless communications, point-to-point/point-to-multipoint, narrowband mesh, and cellular, that can be mixed and matched to build broadband wireless networks optimized for each situation in urban areas.

Hitachi Energy communication networks products are aggregated by an enterprise-class network management platform, providing network-wide visibility and simplifying operations and troubleshooting.

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