During the last months RideOnTrack and Infrabel held several workshops to explore the capabilities of GNSS-technology in relation with operational communication applications.
Professional GNSS-technology is capable to give positioning information as accurate as 1cm, even at speeds of 150km/h. If this proves true, this very precise positioning information can be the input for many new applications that could improve safe rail operation while at the same time drastically reduce infrastructure cost. One of the applications currently under investigation is the track site telephone systems which could be replaced by an on-board (cab) radio solution.
As a next step in this new development program, RideOnTrack equipped one of the Infrabel test trains with equipment of two GNSS-technology suppliers. During the month of July, the test train will drive across Belgium. During this test drives, the GNSS systems will collect measurement data under all kind of conditions, like open track, urban and sub urban area, dense city, tunnels, underground stations, etc… During the month of Augustus, the measurement data will be analyzed in order to verify that the accurency needed can be optained under all circumstances. If the technology proves to be able to cope with the requirements, the next step in this development program could be to equip 10 regular trains with GNSS technology and the required telephony routing software and to further study how the track site telephony application can be replaced by an on-board communication solution.