Positive Train Control (PTC) is one of many new safety measures mandated by the U.S. Federal Government to help prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments and other human-caused accidents. If warnings to slow down or to stop a train go unnoticed by an engineer, the locomotive’s onboard computer will automatically apply the brakes after a certain amount of time, with the intention to prevent a collision and potentially save lives.

Earlier this year in April, Cisco and Lilee Systems announced plans for the industry’s first end-to-end communications network for PTC with a proof-of-concept network, located in the San Francisco Bay area, to verify communications architecture. Today, this vision has become a reality that is ready for the market with Cisco Positive Train Control (PTC) 1.0.

Cisco PTC 1.0 is the first system release to deliver a comprehensive Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for an end-to-end PTC solution. This system combines Lilee’s strength in software-defined PTC radios with Cisco’s expertise in network and transportation.

The Lilee Systems portfolio, OEM-ed through Cisco, delivers software-defined PTC radios located at base stations, along the track, and on the locomotive.  These are integrated with Cisco’s remote switching and Unified MPLS Mobile Transport for mobile backhaul to offer a complete, fully redundant and resilient PTC solution. The network can also scale to meet the needs of current rail deployments, while accommodating future capacity growth and new applications.

Of course the primary benefit and key driver behind PTC is improving safety to help save lives and prevent tragic rail accidents.  But, beyond rail safety, investment in PTC systems will also open up new business models for railways..  New services that include video, voice and wireless access enhance the passenger experience to make train travel more convenient and enjoyable.  And, the convergence of train system monitoring over the same network will help reduce costs and cabling requirements.

Wei Zou and Sean Merrow

Cisco and Lilee Systems will showcase the new end-to-end PTC 1.0 solution at RSSI 2013 in Indianapolis September 29 – October 1.  Other networking and mobility capabilities for rail, including Wi-Fi, will also be on display.  Stop by to say hello and we’ll show you how it all works and what it means to you. Cisco will be in Booth #3824 and Lilee Systems in Booth # 3507.

Cisco and Lilee Systems…working together to change the way railways do business!



Tony Shakib

No Longer with Cisco