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Linked Trackside: Delivering resilience and safety

I lately shared some key developments and challenges rail operators are navigating, in addition to Cisco’s strategy to strengthening and securing onboard community infrastructure on this weblog sequence. For this publish, let’s discover the constructing blocks of contemporary trackside networks.

As rail operators put money into Communications-Based mostly Practice Management (CBTC), they want trackside community infrastructure that helps ultra-reliable train-to-wayside wi-fi connectivity, resilience and excessive availability, and sturdy cybersecurity.

Cisco has designed an structure that helps CBTC, very important signaling, degree crossing, and different safety-critical functions. And since the identical trackside infrastructure helps asset monitoring, video surveillance, passenger Wi-Fi, and different non-vital methods, the Cisco resolution curbs the time and prices related to implementation, operations, and upkeep. This unified infrastructure gives benefits that rail operators’ getting old – and sometimes siloed – networks merely can’t ship.

Signaling resilience

Cisco’s resolution makes use of a tiered structure composed of an entry layer with ruggedized IP switching infrastructure, a extremely redundant and dependable service supplier or giant enterprise–grade spine networks, and a knowledge middle connectivity layer. Collectively, these components supply resilient communications paths – at scale – between trains, tracksides, stations, and operations management facilities.

Resolution highlights embrace Cisco ruggedized Catalyst Industrial Ethernet switches on the entry and distribution layer. The resilient ring topology connects trackside and station gear, similar to wayside radio, axle counter, interlocking, and different CBTC gear. On the aggregation and spine layer, the Cisco resolution helps obtain sub-50-millisecond quick reconvergence. It achieves that by migrating from legacy circuit-based transport infrastructure to Unified Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) backhaul with quick reroute safety, by simplifying current MPLS infrastructure with Phase Routing (SR), or by deploying a Cisco Linked Communities Infrastructure (CCI) multiservice structure.

Securing trackside

As with all industrial organizations, rail operators are involved about cyber safety. Many have skilled a safety incident; most have expressed concern in regards to the adequacy of their present safety practices.

Cisco’s industrial safety journey supplies a step-by-step path towards info expertise (IT)/operational expertise (OT) convergence. It begins with constructing a safety basis by defining the IT/OT safety boundary with Cisco safe firewall. From there, apply Cisco Cyber Imaginative and prescient to achieve asset visibility, communication patterns, gadget safety posture, and operational perception. Then use visibility to drive industrial community segmentation and combine with Cisco Identification Service Engine (ISE) for safety coverage automation. Lastly, examine threats and orchestrate response with SecureX.

Autonomous working methods may scale back rail site visitors fatalities by as much as 90%. Along with saving lives, such a discount would keep away from US$900 billion yearly in related public well being prices.[1] Resilient, safe trackside community infrastructure is a key to realizing these compelling outcomes – and it’s thrilling to be a part of that resolution.

To be taught extra in regards to the resolution, please take a look at Cisco Linked Rail Resolution Transient.


[1] McKinsey, “Alerts for Development—how OEMs will be profitable in a digitalized infrastructure”




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