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Rail Product News


Meteorcomm LLC Perspective: An interoperable train control network

By Keith Kosanovich, senior product manager

Headquartered near Seattle since its founding in 1975, Meteorcomm LLC has been a pioneer in providing wireless communications technology for multiple industries around the world. In the early 2000s, Meteorcomm began developing wireless communications applications for the rail industry, which evolved into Meteorcomm’s Interoperable Train Control Network (ITCnet™) solution for PTC communications. Meteorcomm continues to develop and support ITCnet to help railroads implement PTC communications nationwide.
In 2008, the U.S. government passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) for PTC, which requires PTC to be implemented across 70,000-plus miles of track that is traveled by nearly 50 railroads. Meteorcomm’s ITCnet was developed to support this broad national coverage with interoperable and reliable PTC communications.
Meteorcomm supports railroads implementing PTC communications by using the ITCnet platform, which includes a core messaging system that consists of a 220-MHz radio network (ITCR), a messaging system for the Back Office and remote devices (ITCM) and a system management framework (ITCSM).
ITCnet is a highly reliable and interoperable wireless communications platform that has been adopted by all Class Is, as well as commuter and short-line railroads, in support of nationwide wireless PTC communications. Meteorcomm’s ITCnet software runs on Meteorcomm radios that are installed in locomotives, waysides and base stations. Meteorcomm has supported the railroad industry by shipping over 30,000 PTC radios to support implementation of PTC communications for the railroad industry.
In 2010, the four largest U.S. railroads agreed to adopt Meteorcomm’s ITCnet communications technology as the foundation for a nationwide interoperable PTC solution. Interoperability is critical to successful PTC operations because trains frequently travel on tracks owned by foreign railroads. Meteorcomm’s ITCnet has proven the ability to relay data across the entire U.S. rail infrastructure to support the railroad’s demand for successful interoperability.
Today, Meteorcomm continues to support the deployment and managing of PTC communications for Class Is, regionals and commuter railroads, as well as system integrators and hosting providers.