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Advanced voice and data system puts locomotive fleet on the network

Pacific National’s new locomotive fleet required a new voice and data communications system before its fleet could operate on the train network.

Any delay in having the trains operating would mean having significant assets sitting idle and therefore a loss of revenue for Pacific National. A quick, reliable solution was required.

Comgroup Australia teamed with Mintec Systems and together installed a communication system including hardware and software into the fleet.

Comgroup, as the project leader, was responsible for the hardware and installation, and Mintec was responsible for the software implementation.

Using an Advantech Uno-2176 as the base computer and running Linux as an operating system, Mintec integrated a Telstra NextG phone for primary voice and data communications, with an Iridium Satellite phone for backup operations.

The NextG phone was used to provide a continuous VPN connection back to the Pacific National enterprise, allowing the locomotive to report location based data information at the same time sending over the air updates to the system from the enterprise.

Key features of the system included:

• emergency reporting to train controllers

• voice communication to train controllers

• GPS location reporting to the enterprise

• Simultaneous voice and data via Telstra NextG network.

Mintec utilised the high speed data capabilities of the NextG phone to provide a LAN within the locomotive. This allows Pacific National to operate business type applications from within the locomotive cab and connect directly to the enterprise via the VPN.

Mintec Systems and Comgroup Australia’s project now allows Pacific National locomotive drivers telephone access at the same time as providing high speed data access for on-board business applications.

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