A train passenger help point which for the first time will provide a direct emergency video data and audio link between passengers, train crew and control room staff has been launched by ERA Technology, a research and development firm in Leatherhead.
The High Integrity Data Communications for Light Rail Transport Systems (Hiflirts), transmits compressed digital audio and video data over a train’s existing data bus network. Audio and video links from the train to the control room are achieved using GSM cellular phone technology.
A trial system on an operational train is the next step, but ERA will not produce any systems. However, they could be produced by members of the Hiflirts team. These include GEC-Alsthom, GEC-Marconi S3I, Westinghouse Signal of the US and Cegelec Industrial Controls of France.