September 1, 2021

How TRACS takes on-board audio communication to the next level

Feature focus

Clear on-board communication starts with a high-quality audio system. With the new TRACS platform, Televic GSP takes audio communication to the next level. Designed for configurability, modularity and security, TRACS is a future-proof audio concept for newly built and refurbished railway vehicles.  

The quest for connectivity 

TRACS stands for ‘Train Audio Communication System’. It’s a complete audio solution which integrates with our LiveCom Suite software for on- and off-board communication. This perfect combination enables an elaborate set of audio functions for on-board and wayside communication. For example:  

  • extensive possibilities for on-board public announcements and playback of pre-recorded automatic messages 

  • remote-controlled audio broadcast by the wayside control centre  

  • CCTV audio recording 

  • configurable flows to answer passenger emergency and assistance calls from passenger intercom devices 

  • audio communication between passengers and wayside control centre 

  • audio communication via crew mobile devices 

  • ...

“Railway vehicles in need of refurbishment usually have stand-alone audio systems which lack any smart features. Connecting them with wayside communication systems or other on-board systems results in a lot of functional limitations. Some features aren’t supported at all”, explains Kristof Boerjan, embedded passenger systems product manager at Televic GSP. “Our TRACS platform supports future applications, decreases maintenance time and broadcasts every message loud and clear through high-quality audio.”  

Maximum connectivity, maximum security

Switching to a highly connected audio system might raise concerns about cyber security. “Maximum connectivity doesn’t mean you have to compromise on security. TRACS is completely upgradeable: with security patches and security protocol updates readily available, you can count on a future-proof system with long-term support.” 

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Maximum connectivity, maximum security  

Switching to a highly connected audio system might raise concerns about cyber security. “Maximum connectivity doesn’t mean you have to compromise on security. TRACS is completely upgradeable: with security patches and security protocol updates readily available, you can count on a future-proof system with long-term support.” 

 

Designed for reliability: now and in the future 

The audio system’s modular design further adds to its reliability. Kristof: “We’ve deliberately based the design concept on standard configurable hardware and software building blocks that have already proven their worth. By reusing our base models instead of making an adapted design for each project, we’re able to lower costs and increase throughput time.”  

These base modules typically include: 

  • an amplifier unit 

  • an audio control unit 

  • a passenger intercom device 

  • a crew operating device unit 

“These standard devices can be used in 80% of our projects, minimizing the need for customization. If necessary, we can easily add extra interfaces via extension modules. For example, if you’re adding a new railway vehicle to an existing fleet, we’ll provide an extra gateway which connects the old audio system to the new one.” 

 

Cost-efficient installation 

In newly-built railway vehicles, the TRACS system and its devices are typically connected to a new ethernet communication backbone. But in refurbishment projects, adding such a complete backbone system would be a challenging and costly endeavour.  

“Unlike many of our competitors, we’ve developed an efficient method to interconnect the TRACS devices with each other, while reducing the number of connections needed to the backbone. This means we’re able to significantly decrease the installation cost”, Kristof explains. “Next to that, the devices are optimized in size, which makes them easily integrable in any railway vehicle. We’ll always find a place to put them, for example, in the ceiling.” 

 

Features for next-level communication  

Depending on the scope of the refurbishment or operators’ functional requirements, Televic GSP’s experts will first analyse your current and desired situation. “We’ll advise you on the steps required to avoid downtime, how to overcome possible mechanical constraints and in deciding which elements of your current system to keep or replace.” 

With TRACS, new functionalities become available at your fingertips. “From features to comply with mandatory passenger information system regulations, to connect with other systems or to add hearing aid loops (HAL), allowing broadcast messages to be transferred via in-ear hearing aids. TRACS improves both the passenger experience and the operational flow on board.” 

 

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