posted on 12th Oct 2022 15:20
The Praha-based technology company Passengera, which develops and delivers complex digital solutions for trains, buses, etc., was also an exhibitor at InnoTrans. In the past, it has supplied its systems, for example, for ČD Pendolinos, for sleeper cars with a variable gauge of 1,435/1,520 mm from Stadler for ADY or for RhB for panoramic cars, again from Stadler, for Bernina Express and Glacier Express trains (for the latter also for Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn). The attached photo shows the InfoTrainment system, as RhB calls it. The latest Passengera delivery to Switzerland is infotainment for GoldenPass Express trains.
Passengera is now handling two contracts for the railway, both awarded earlier this year. The first concerns Croatian Railways, specifically the 21 EMUs that HŽ Putnički prijevoz ordered from Končar - Električna vozila (KEV) in November 2020. Eleven of them are intended for suburban and ten for regional transport. The trains have a maximum speed of 160 km/h and will build on the existing Class 6112; as a result, HŽPP will have a total of 45 KEV-built EMUs in its fleet.
Passengera is supplying the Gateway G7 equipment for the new HŽPP series with connectivity, WiFi and monetization preparation (see below), including a system for monitoring of active components; on long-distance services the customer also plans to install infotainment in the future. Deliveries from Passengera began in the summer and are scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. This corresponds with the deadlines for the first new EMUs to start operating this December and the rest by December 2023. This opens up the possibility of further orders for Passengera, as HŽPP plans to purchase several dozen more units, roughly up to fifty, by 2024.
Passengera's next contract concerns 90 modernised cars for MÁV-START, with which Passengera has been cooperating since 2020. The upgrades carried out in MÁV-START Szolnok works are proceeding at different delivery dates, as they are affected by problems related to covid or waiting times for certain components, such as chips; so far Passengera has supplied equipment for around 100 cars.
The new MÁV-START contract for a further 90 cars includes an internet connectivity solution, specifically including the multiservice Gateway G7, which integrates three LTE-A modems with capacity for up to 12 SIM cards for the needs of MÁV-START, as well as a dual band WiFi Access Point and preparation for hosting infotainment and monetization tools. From a software point of view, it is essential to secure the transfer of data from other on-board systems, in this case mainly the passenger information system and diagnostics, to the MÁV-START data centre.
This central monitoring of the active elements on board the train is implemented by the MMS (Management and Monitoring Suite), which MÁV-START manages in-house. For the operator this solution is ideal, because in the context of carriage refurbishment it is sufficient to install only one active device on the carriage, which provides multiple services.
Monetization of the Internet connection does not only mean paid access to WiFi, but e. g. playing an advertisement to make WiFi available. For the passenger, WiFi is in effect free ("just" watching the ad) and it helps the operator to at least partially cover the costs of running WiFi. For both described Passengera contracts, the whole solution is designed in such a way that in the future it can be extended to include a complete infotainment portal.
A large-scale 2020 contract for the Riyadh metro is also currently underway at Passengera. Here, it involves the supply and operation of technology for 85 metro stations and 190 trainsets (from Alstom and Siemens). This includes on-board WiFi solutions, mobile internet to connect the train to ground systems, antenna systems and cabling, with elements of several ICT (Information and Communication Technology) infrastructure manufacturers to be integrated. The Passengera contract to operate the technology runs for 10 years from the start of metro operations, which is currently planned for the end of 2023.