Outside Copenhagen there are six local railway lines. Five of them used to be privately owned. In 2001 the local authority took over the railway lines, primarily to streamline operations and make them more efficient.
When Lokalbanen A/S took over operation, a modernisation programme was also undertaken, including a completely new traffic management system (TMS). Cactus was chosen to supply this system.
Now Lokalbanen has a common control centre for the six local lines which were previously controlled and monitored separately. With this overall investment, Lokalbanen has achieved safer operation, increased operating hours, greater punctuality and more passengers.
Mogens Meyer is operations manager at Lokalbanen’s new control centre in Hillerød.
Can you give us a picture of the six train lines?
“In all we have 190 km of track with just under 40 train sets. Almost 6 million passengers use our 81 stations in a year.”
What is the hardware for the traffic control system?
“The system is adapted for the specific requirements of rail traffic, but is based on standard hardware. Among other things, we have a dual computer system, a ‘hot standby’, six 40-inch overview screens and three workstations with three screens each.”
Can you describe the traffic management?
“Information is gathered from the individual interlockings via 48 new PLC-equipped sub-stations. This information is processed and presented to our operators on the station and area screens that reproduce the various line routes. Under normal operating conditions the traffic is managed automatically.”
What experience do you have of the traffic control system?
“Our new traffic control system has been running for 18 months and we are very pleased with it. It is easy to understand, simple to work with and has worked really well. We have made great gains too. The lines are now operated by two people in the day-time. In the night-time they are staffed by one person. In the past four or five employees were needed.”
Any other benefits?
“Our previous traffic management system required far more manual involvement. Nowadays almost everything is automated. We now monitor the traffic and only have to intervene in the event of faults with points or other problems, such as heavy snowfall. Entering new timetables is far simpler now. We create them in Excel and then import them into the system.”
Is the information stored?
“All the information collected is stored. It is used to inform the operators of events or faults in the system. With replay we can reproduce operational situations. Disruptions can then be easily and clearly analysed and evaluated.”
How do you handle support issues?
“That is one of the reasons why we are so pleased. If a problem arises, we contact Cactus in Gothenburg by telephone or e-mail. They sign on to the system, we can see the same picture and they can suggest actions to be taken. We can fix faults quicker by troubleshooting online or running diagnostics remotely. It works quite perfectly.”
Why did you choose Cactus?
“I was not involved in the procurement myself. Some of our staff were with a group of Danish engineers on a study visit to Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. That’s where we first saw a Cactus system. We liked what we saw and took a contract.”
Which criteria drove the choice of Cactus?
“We were impressed by what we saw in Stockholm. And Storstockholms Lokaltrafik had nothing but praise for Cactus. So we invited Cactus to bid alongside Siemens, Bombardier and Vossloh. A few things tipped the balance: previous satisfied customers of Cactus, price/performance, and the flexibility of the Cactus system. We have not regretted it.”
What do you mean by flexibility?
“We felt we could influence and shape the system to fit our situation, our wishes and our requirements. Thanks to the system itself, Cactus’s knowledge and our experience, we obtained a system that surpassed our expectations.”