RAC on track with Siemens

The Rail Access Corporation (RAC) has selected Siemens to build a new broadband network which will support closed circuit television (CCTV) technology for the New South Wales State Rail Authority.

In the $18 million project, RAC is upgrading its internal communications system, including a PBX system, microwave network and frame relay data network to an ATM-based system supplied by Siemens.

Murray Tate, project man-ager for RAC, told Computerworld the project extends across the rail corridor between Nowra on the coast south of Sydney and Scone in the north near Newcastle, and out to Lithgow in the Blue Mountains and Goulburn in the Southern Highlands.

Tate said some installation of core nodes and access equipment has already begun, with part of the network coming on line in September and October and full completion expected in mid-2000.

The new network is made up of MainStreetXpress ATM products from Siemens, controlled by a network management system.

According to Tate, RAC selected Siemens for the project in a tender process which involved five other vendors.

He said ATM equipment was selected for the network because of a number of technical requirements. "ATM is already used in similar applications elsewhere," Tate said. "It delivers the bandwidth and services we needed."

Under the deal, Siemens will supply, install and maintain the MainStreetXpress broadband network on a turnkey basis.

A principal requirement of the new network, according to Tate, is the ability to enable closed circuit television on all the railway stations. Officials said this should ensure greater safety for users.

It is planned each station will have its own local area network, and each train line will have a central site for monitoring all of its associated stations.

Tate said this will ensure remote monitoring of the networks is possible.

The new network will carry predominantly CCTV traffic from the stations to the central monitoring sites for RAC's customer, the State Rail Authority.

Tate said the new network will allow data operation speeds at rates up to 622 megabits per second, linking more than 300 points of presence around the Sydney metropolitan area.

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