Land Transportation Features
Recent Advances
Harvey Glickenstein

Alstom and Huawei Announce the First Live Fourth-Generation Pilot for Communications-Based Train Control—On 6 August 2014, Alstom and Huawei announced a long-term evolution (LTE) fourth-generation (4G) pilot for the metro market to demonstrate the performance of a multiservice broadband radio network for communications-based train control (CBTC). Alstom has been working on LTE since the technology has been available from the telecom industry. This pilot will use Huawei's LTE technology following the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies in April 2014.

high-speed trainAlstom and Huawei will test the new equipment on railroad tracks at Alstom’s Valenciennes site in France. Huawei is providing the LTE network and Alstom is providing the train and LTE-compliant onboard equipment. With LTE, rail customers benefit from the wireless infrastructure that provides mission-critical voice communication, secure train signaling in accordance with the CBTC standards, and broadband data communication such as live video streaming of surveillance cameras and passenger information systems. This solution complements Alstom’s proprietary Urbalis2 CBTC solution. Huawei’s LTE solution has already been successfully deployed in a number of rail projects. The integration with Alstom’s Urbalis solution highlights the potential of LTE as a converged network for rail operations.

CityLYNX Gold Line Advances in Charlotte, North Carolina—Charlotte’s new CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar line started on-street testing on 10 April 2015 and was scheduled to open in June. The first phase of the CityLYNX Gold Line will be free to ride and runs 1.5 mi from the Charlotte Transportation Center to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. It has six stops and will use existing replica trolley vehicles. The first segment cost US$37 million to build, with US$25 million paid for by a federal grant. The second phase will extend the line to Johnson C. Smith University to the west and the Elizabeth neighborhood to the east, a total of 2.5 mi, creating a system that covers 4 mi in total. The agency anticipates advancing the project as a design, bid, and build project in early 2016. Construction for the second phase is projected to begin in late 2016 with service projected to start in late 2019.

Read the full article in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015.

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