Creating Synergistic Solutions Through Innovation.

Eternity Sales, Inc.    
Home Manufacturers Products Services About ESI Contact ESI Synergy Store

Engineered Synergistic Interoperability

Rail Solution: Reliable Network = Hardware + Software

Synergy   Cord Sets & Conduit   Ethernet Switch   OPC Server Software

One of the challenges in today's transportation industry is in creating a reliable and robust Ethernet network. The rail industry has established its own standards for devices that would either be installed directly on-board or track side. These standards are encompassed within the EN50155 directive. Westermo has focused its development of several products to meet the requirements of this directive. Through this corporate initiative, they have created products that will address rail requirements, whether on-board or track side.

Traditional Rail Track Side High Speed Rail

Reliability and robustness of your network should be a primary concern. Your network is the connection that brings your operation together. Through it, the very heart beat of your operation is transmitted. The requirements of an industrial network are more demanding than that of your typical IT network. And even more demanding for a network that is housed within transportation.

  • The environment can be harsh. (Standard requirements are more demanding)

  • Operating voltages are more demanding.

What does it take to make an industrial network reliable and robust?

Network Hardware

An application where many devices are being used, resulting in a comprehensive capabilities and as a result, raw data is being generated requires reliability. Many devices are connected for a reason. That reason is to satisfy the requirements of the application. Whether that connection is onboard or track side, the reliability of the network is of utmost importance. Whether it is to enhance the customer experience, operator efficiency or safety a network is only as good as the backbone that connects it together.

Connection of those devices via a physical connection is required. In order to bring multiple devices together, they would need to be connected to an Ethernet switch or router, depending on the functionality required. The switch / router is the pulse of the network. It is where the information of the device gets transmitted to its next destination, whether it is another switch / router or its final destination, whether on board or track side. Having a reliable and robust physical network connection is extremely important to the efficient and continuous operation of your application. An unreliable network connection could mean:

  • Disruptions in communications resulting in loss of data and functionality

What should you be looking for in the hardware that will be the pulse of your network? Whether you are looking for a layer 2 switch or layer 3 router, consider this to be the minimum:

  • Fast Recovery of Network Topology (FRNT)

Westermo's unique FRNT (Fast Recovery of Network Topology) technology is the fastest network recovery protocol on the market. FRNT is able to reconfigure a redundant ring network consisting of up to 200 switches within 20 ms of the initial failure, regardless of network load. FRNT is a protocol supported by other Westermo switches like the Lynx, Wolverine and Viper series meaning that different types of Westermo switch can be configured in the ring.

IGMP Snooping is a method that actually 'snoops' or inspects IGMP traffic. The protocol will only enable multicast streams to switch ports that have requested to 'join' the feed. In this way switches can control multicast data on networks. When using IGMP snooping in conjunction with redundancy protocols, problems can occur when a network reconfigures. The network topology change by definition means that the IGMP data paths changes. It is for this reason that Westermo has closely integrated their IGMP solution with FRNT to ensure that these delays do not occur.

Depending on your company's requirements, Westermo will likely have a solution to meet your needs, offering both Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality in products designed to meet EN50155 requirements:

Lynx+ RedFox RFR Managed Backbone Switch Viper Wolverine
Layer 2 & 3 Managed Industrial Ethernet Layer 2 & 3 Managed Industrial Ethernet Layer 3 Managed Industrial Ethernet Layer 2 & 3 IP65 Industrial Ethernet SHDSL Industrial Ethernet Extender

On-Board Solutions

Westermo developers have built in the intelligence to WeOS (Westermo Operating System) so that you do not need to worry about complex network technology. To extend the network or install a replacement product is done plug-and-play and as far as configuration is needed, this is done through a simple web-based interface or a preconfigured USB-plug. You get an intelligent and fully flexible network that is easy to maintain and control, is future-proof and scalable indefinitely.

Resilient Train Backbone Communication

The RedFox train switch is designed to aggregate a dual backbone, regardless of the state of the train. In case of power failure in one carriage an integral dual bypass relay closes to ensure that communication is maintained along the length of the train. All of the Westermo train products feature the 150 m extended Ethernet standard on the copper connections giving extra insurance that the Ethernet signal is strong enough to bridge the failed network segments.

Carriage Scalability and Flexibility

WeOS allows you to create an intelligent network where you can change the number or position of cars without affecting the network. The network topology is automatically updated enabling endless scalability and mobility in the train network.

Control of Network Bandwidth

WeOS is a multilayer operating system which allows maximum throughput while maintaining absolute stability. Data traffic can be load balanced to achieve optimal resource utilization and avoid network overload. The intelligent network will automatically handle increased traffic from, for example, newly installed cameras or video streams, without risking the stability of the network.

Simple to Install and Maintain

WeOS makes it easy to create, install and maintain a train network. Equipment which is connected to the network can be assigned identical IP addresses in each carriage, which simplifies the overall IP plan as well as maintenance and installation of new or replacement devices.

Unique Network Solutions Within Trains

In all other network environments it is highly unlikely a section of network will move, however with train carriages this can happen. Undesirable phenomena may occur if a railway carriage is rotated 180 degrees from its original position. WeOS detects and compensates for such changes in the network without any manual re-configuration.

Track Side Solutions

Problem: Use IP to replace legacy enterprise network Solution: Layer 3 Dynamic Routing
In railway signalling, two different migrations take place at the same time. Apart from the migration from legacy IIP systems, Ethernet systems now also have the capability to replace large parts of existing SDH systems ( Synchronous Digital Hierarchy). In case of an increased density of trackside equipment, no additional SDH nodes are needed since Industrial Ethernet equipment is able to offer the needed availability, using either layer 2 redundancy and/or layer 3 static or dynamic routing. Whichever need you have, from simple 25 year-old FSK serial technology up to complex routing across different media, Westermo has it all to support you in offering a complete solution for complex and demanding environments.

Also available in Red Fox, Viper and Wolverine products through WeOS operating system

Problem: Prediction of possible network failure Solution: SNMP for alarms/traps and monitoring
With the WeOS enabled Wolverine, Lynx and RedFox, Westermo offers perfect solutions for migrating existing systems to IP and being able to make a flexible choice between copper and fibre runs. The additional benefits that IP networks offer is being able to do monitoring on various parameters. Alarms or SNMP traps can be sent before there is a network failure mode. This increases the availability of legacy systems.

Microlok® II gateway - Resilient network solutions for rail networks

The Westermo Microlok® II gateway is available in our Lynx Ethernet device server switches and Wolverine Ethernet extenders. This functionality delivered by WeOS allows rail operators and system integrators to implement cost savings on interlocking and signalling projects as well as helping provide additional resilience to networks.

L105-S1 L106-S2 L106-F2G L108-F2G-S2 DDW142 DDW226
L205-S1 L206-S2 L206-F2G L208-F2G-S2  

Microlok® II is a protocol developed by Ansaldo STS specifically used within rail interlocking solutions. The Westermo gateway converts data from the native serial format to a UDP (user datagram protocol) packet that can then be transmitted alongside other data on a trackside Ethernet network. Westermo Lynx and Wolverine also provide the networking infrastructure capability allowing the use of gigabit fiber optic inter-connections and also the ability to use existing twisted pair or telecoms cables as the data path.

Functionality is provided to allow up to 64 Microlok® address translations to be made and monitored. Legacy key-on/key-off support is provided as well as a unique hot/standby configuration to provide a resilient channel for hot standby controllers.

For the kinds of installation where Microlok® is used product reliability is critical to ensure maintenance costs are minimised and trains are not delayed. To provide the best solutions Westermo design all these products to have MTBF figures in excess of 500,000 hours (MIL-HDBK-217F (Gb) 25°C).

Operation at the trackside can be tough on Ethernet switches, but the Lynx and Wolverine are designed for that environment. The products will cold start at –40°C and operate over a long life time at 70°C without the need for cooling holes or fans. EMC levels trackside can be harsh and hence these products are tested and certified to meet the EN50121-4 and IEC 62236-4 standards.

Resilient layer 2 and layer 3 protocols like RSTP, FRNT, LACP and OSPF allow highly reliable backbone networks to be created, bringing layer 3 routing protocols to the edge of the network. Built in firewall functionality also allows security to be implemented down to individual port level to ensure both accidental and deliberate security breaches are prevented.

Trackside Rail Solutions Brochure


The power behind the Westermo products is found in its engineered products and operating system, known as WeOS. You can learn more about product capabilities and this powerful operating system that is the backbone of these products through the following documentation.

ESI also offers cord sets and PMA conduit for your rail applications. When one considers their cord set requirements, you need only look at that automobile as a guide. The only piece of the vehicle that touches the ground are the tires, likewise, the only component connecting your network are the cord sets. Allow us to work with you on providing your cord sets for your network. Conduit protects your infrastructure of connectivity.

Whether they are M12 connectors or standard Ethernet cables, ESI can offer a solution.

Network Software

Hardware is one aspect of creating a reliable and robust network. The software that connects and manages your network should be given intense consideration as well. If the hardware is the pulse, the software is the heart that maintains the pulse. The following needs to be taken into account when making your selection:

  • Device connectivity - What protocols are required?
  • Device management - How do we manage our devices?
  • Device monitoring - Is there a way to monitor our devices separately from our client application?
  • Redundency - Is there a way to protect our network and set up?
  • Client connection(s)

One software package can address all of the above requirements: KEPServerEX

  1. Device Connectivity: KEPServerEX offers over 70 different Driver Suites that comprise over 250 device drivers. View the listing of available Driver Suites through this link.
  2. KEPServerEX isn't only about drivers, but also deals with other aspects, such as device management. KEPServerEX offers an SNMP suite whereby incorporating MIB tags from your Ethernet hardware (Westermo) enables you to monitor your devices through your Ethernet network. Functionality reserved for your IT department is now available to manufacturing and process:
    • Import MIB files from manageable devices and easily map network device MIB addresses to SNMP tag names.
    • Network Analyst gathers raw SNMP data from network devices and continually performs calculations to generate data that can be used, such as bandwidth utilization and network error rate statistics.
    • Save time by using the Auto-Discovery tool to search your Ethernet network for managed network devices.
    • The SNMP OPC Server provides convenient "Specialty tags" to help users know more than the current value of a single polled OID. The tags include: History tags, Events tags, Table Offsets, and ScanFloor tags.
    • Historical values are generated by the SNMP OPC Server (not the remote Agent/device) when an OID has valid historical modifiers appended to it.
    • The Ping Device Driver is provided for monitoring your network devices via the ICMP protocol (Ping). The Ping driver was designed specifically for use with 32 bit OPC Server products. The Ping driver provides the ability to monitor the Status of a network device, and the time that it takes for the ICMP message to reach its destination and return a response, the RoundTripTime.
    • MIB Support for managed switches and Ping for unmanaged switches.
  3. KEPServerEX offers an OPC suite called System Monitor. The System Monitor Device Driver uses the Microsoft Performance Data Helper application interface to provide access to performance information on Processes, Threads and other system components on the user's system. Install KEPServerEX and the System Monitor driver on each System/PC to begin monitoring the performance of your PC from your OPC Client applications, including HMI, SCADA, Historian, MES, ERP, and countless custom applications.
  4. RedundancyMaster increases the reliability and availability of OPC data by allowing multiple OPC Servers to be configured into redundant pairs. Each redundant pair seamlessly appears as a single OPC Server to any OPC Client application. RedundancyMaster can be added to an existing server/client application without any reconfiguration of the application, keeping your processes going with out any down time.
  5. In addition to client ready software packages, typically SCADA, Kepware also offers product suites enabling connectivity to other client type applications - Databases, Oracle MES, Oracle MOC, Microsoft SQL, etc...
  6. Tools available for creating additional drivers that are specific to the devices for your industry.

Additional functionality is offered in KepserverEX through their plug-in options that can further enhance your industrial network:

When you put the right pieces together, you will end up with that robust and reliable industrial network that you require for uninterupted and dependable connectivity for gathering, maintaining and protecting a corporations most valuable intangible asset - INFORMATION.

In talking with a Kepware customer, the comment he made about their product was so profound because it was so simple. What did he say?


No elaborate explanation, just the plain and simple truth, based on their experience.

Regardless of the devices that are connected to your network, the key components that will ultimately make or break your network are your Ethernet connection and your OPC server.

ESI has the components you will need in order to make your Ethernet network reliable and robust for the most demanding of Rail applications.



Eternity Sales Accepts:


Home Manufacturers Products Services About ESI Contact ESI Site Map


Copyright © 2016, Eternity Sales Inc.. All rights reserved.

ESI has received permission from the companies presented on this web site, to use information related to all product lines represented by ESI for the sole purpose of marketing their products.