September 24, 2010 08:00 ET

Cisco Delivers Network-Based Approach to Rail Operators Across Europe to Improve Efficiency

Cisco Elevates Rail Technology Whilst Reducing Costs and Improving Service

LONDON--(Marketwire - September 24, 2010) -  This week at InnoTrans, the International trade fair for transport technology, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced the launch of Secure Station Service Platform (S3P), a device which can provide station operators with a more reliable and cost-effective way to safeguard levels of station security and deliver enhanced information to passengers.

When rail stations are confronted with power shortages or severed cables, it can result in the disruption of critical station services and inter-station communication, which can potentially impact service and passenger safety. S3P provides an intelligent, distributed network allowing consistent communication between stations, high availability of help points and passenger information services, and advanced video surveillance and analytics, regardless of whether or not a station is offline. 

This new solution utilises Cisco's Application eXtension Platform (AXP) technology, which provides the basis for leading manufacturer, ASL, to closely integrate its application intelligence into the station IP network. The AXP technology is combined in a Cisco Integrated Services Router, effectively reducing the number of separate devices in the station equipment room. Compared with traditional solutions, this integrated solution is immediately more cost-effective, more energy efficient and is significantly simpler and less costly to update and maintain. 

Key facts/highlights

  • Improved Passenger Information: The Cisco Unified IP Phone connected to the S3P in branch stations allows station masters to make public address announcements or choose to play pre-recorded announcements in their own or another station. ASL's fault reporting and diagnosis functionality in S3P ensures consistently high availability of help points, video surveillance and passenger information services, even when the communications network link to the head-end station is unavailable. Passengers are therefore provided with the latest information.
  • Greater In-Station Security: Using on-board video analytics from ASL, S3P can monitor and report trackside intrusion, can help control flow of passengers, tailgating/fare evasion at turnstiles, abandoned luggage, car/person in level crossing, smoke/fire detection, car park theft, loitering and graffiti amongst other things. This increases security within stations and provides increased commuter confidence. Once an issue is identified, S3P can then send an automated message to alert station employees. 
  • Easier to deploy and maintain: S3P can offer significant savings on deployment and maintenance costs. Compared with alternative solutions, this integrated approach has the potential to help reduce energy consumption and significantly reduce initial capital expenditure. By combining the majority of applicable technology necessary for train stations into one single box, S3P consumes far less rack space compared to traditional solutions. Routine maintenance can be performed without requiring a technician on site and station service upgrades can be deployed more quickly and at a lower cost.
  • Lower Risk of Interruptions in Critical Services: Stations often face the continuity of station operations being degraded when the link to the central station is down. For example, when there are power cuts or severed cables, communication between stations can be cut. S3P can operate autonomously and intelligently even when a link to the head-end station is down meaning that communication can be maintained as can other critical technology such as video surveillance and public address.
  • Reduced Penalties: S3P can lower the financial risk of incurring penalties from interruptions of critical services in stations, such as video surveillance, help points, and Customer Information Systems (CIS) including long line public address (LLPA).
  • Clearer Public Announcements: ASL's Dynamic Ambient Noise Sensing (DANS) uses advanced techniques to constantly and smoothly adjust public announcements so they can always be heard. When a train arrives, just as your platform is being called, you'll be increasingly assured to get the message. This is also great for local residents as DANS also combats noise pollution by keeping default volume down until it's really needed. 
  • Improved Fault Reporting: S3P provides station operators with fast insight into station faults such as door ajar alarms. The inbuilt 'Derived Status Handler' then decides which alarms have a lower priority and which need to be routed to whom, e.g. to a faculty management contractor rather than the central control centre.  
  • Reporting Compliance: S3P provides stations with a recording and time-stamping of all emergency and public address announcements to support reporting compliance creating a more efficient and compliant station.
  • Compatible with Station Management Systems: The solution includes iVENCS S3P, ASL's state-of-the-art station management system, with future support for other station management systems. This allows for faster deployment of services in stations, such as video surveillance and access control, while giving station operators the flexibility to choose their management system.

Supporting Quotes

Maurizio Taffone, technical product marketing lead, for Borderless Networks at Cisco:
"The ability to function and communicate as a station regardless of whether or not the link to the main central station is working is a huge advancement in this industry. This allows stations to provide an efficient and consistently reliable service to commuters using a technology that is more cost-effective, energy efficient and easier to maintain. Not only is S3P transforming the station operator experience but it is also driving a new wave of more informed and secure passengers."

Sousan Azimrayat, founding director of ASL:
"We are delighted to work alongside Cisco and this new solution will benefit our rail customers by rationalizing equipment, delivery and maintenance budgets while improving key performance indicators and managing operational risk. The defining principle for S3P is an elegant architecture which is centrally directed but locally controlled. In our opinion, S3P is an essential component in the distributed rail network."


Technorati Tags: Transportation, Cisco, ASL, InnoTrans

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

About ASL Safety & Security
As Europe's leading manufacturer of Public Address, Voice Alarm and 3D integrated control systems, ASL has decades of experience in supplying systems and delivery support to major projects spanning five continents. The iVENCS site management system is a distributed and open control room which uses a powerful set of 3D visualisation and event analysis tools.

ASL's pioneered the use of innovations such as digital signal processing, Adaptive Class D amplifiers and Dynamic Ambient Noise Sensing, built for environmentally demanding conditions such as rail and metro where high reliability is paramount. ASL was also the first to offer Voice over IP in Long Line PA systems using open architecture. For more information please go to

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems, Catalyst and Cisco TelePresence are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

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