Barix AG announces that Montreux-Oberland-Bernois Railways in Switzerland will become the first customer of the new Barix Annuncicom 155, a networked Audio over IP device specially designed for harsh everyday operation on railways, buses and ships. Barix partner Railtec Systems GmbH will exhibit a new panorama carriage with the device on the open-air grounds at the Innotrans show in Berlin, Germany (Stand FGSUED/FC/10), taking place September 21-24 at the Messe Berlin Exhibition Centre.
Railtec Systems, based in Switzerland, is currently outfitting 14 locomotives and railcars and about 60 passenger carriages operated by MOB Railways with networked Annuncicom 155 devices. The devices are integral to the configuration of MOB Railways’ pioneering passenger information and announcement system. The Annuncicom 155 is responsible for the bidirectional exchange of live announcements as well as priority, monitoring and control information over a TCP/IP network.
“The Annuncicom 155 is a very robust, flexible Audio over IP device and fits perfectly into our information systems,” said Lorenz Trachsel, Managing Director of Railtec Systems.
In Railtec's system concept, the Annuncicom 155 components will typically be used for informational and emergency two-way communication between a passenger and a train conductor or guard. In the case of an emergency call, the Annuncicom 155 can open a two-way channel with an external destination only accessible via radio transmission.
The system can also assume the functions of a public address system in addition to the intercom function. It enables live and pre-recorded announcements, in manual or automatic mode. Possibilities include selective announcements in individual zones or to groups of devices; or all-call announcements broadcast to all connected systems.
According to Trachsel, the zone-splitting function is of particular significance to MOB Railways. “The ‘Golden Pass Services’ route is very scenic and attractive, and MOB Railways offers a very diverse range of services for tourists,” he said. “With selective announcements, systems configured by Railtec enable the relay of commentary to travel groups as they pass by the mountain panorama. This is an ideal feature as the 4,000-meter peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains are on this route.” Pre-stored texts can also be retrieved using GPS, enabling specific and automatic commentary to be provided on particularly scenic places of interest.
The Annuncicom 155 also demonstrates flexibility in preserving the corporate identity of customers, as the operator buttons and intercom panels can be designed in accordance with customer requirements. In terms of control, the system offers a broad level of adaptability to the tasks at hand.
“We can program Barix devices ourselves, enabling perfect tailoring to customer requirements,” said Carmelo Dimotta, Project Leader at Railtec Systems. “Crucial in our decision in choosing Barix was the fact that we can monitor all inputs and outputs in the system. Every Annuncicom 155 also checks continually for short circuits and line breaks. These readings are displayed in the locomotive or control car, providing the train conductor with a continuous overview of system status. In addition, prioritizing of announcements is programmable, giving automatic priority to safety announcements. The systems are certified for emergency calls through this level of safety.”
The first installations were delivered to MOB Railways in August 2010. Most of the carriages have been in service for years and have been or will be upgraded to support Audio over IP. Some new carriages are being ordered and outfitted as comfortable panorama carriages.
You can visit Barix at Stand 216 in Hall 4.1 and Railtec Systems at Stand 210, Hall 2.2.