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Westermo Mobile Training & Technology Centre

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Engineers, asset and project managers are busy people. However, to enable them to implement any project, they have to keep up to date with new technology and systems. This is especially important with the very fast-moving and relatively-new area of Ethernet and IP data communications for signalling, telecoms and traction control.

It is often difficult to find time in a very busy diary to visit an exhibition, supplier or training event. Wouldn’t it be so much better if the show could come to your office?

Even then, if space can be found in the diary to enable the specialists to come to you, it can be difficult to find an appropriate meeting room, and it takes time to get equipment into a meeting room or site. Then, of course, the equipment all has to be set up and tested to make sure it is working correctly.

This is where Westermo can help with its Mobile Training & Technology Centre (MTTC). A self-contained display and demonstration vehicle, it delivers a wealth of technology, demonstrations and new information directly to organisations. The MTTC provides a comfortable and feature packed area in which engineers and managers can find out more about the latest communications technologies and solutions available to their project. This could be particularly useful for a re-signalling project with an on-site portacabin presence, or a busy train depot with space at a premium.

Or even Rail Engineer’s car park, where the Westermo team brought the MTTC recently to meet some customers and also show off the vehicle.

Training and demonstrations brought to your site

The custom-built vehicle is finished to a high standard and contains an array of demonstrations and displays that will help provide ideas on how IP, Ethernet and legacy communication technologies can be combined for railway applications. The available space offers a compact training environment where Westermo products can be investigated, as well as a workspace to facilitate design solutions. The interactive whiteboard and screen allows drawings to be created and saved as an ongoing process for translation to full network schematics.

The MTTC provides 27m2 of accommodation and has its own internal 5kV generator as well as an electric hook up. It is light, modern and air-conditioned and has the majority of Westermo products on display. It has facilities for live running demonstrations of systems and video presentations.

This is an easy way to meet the Westermo team, see the products and to find out how they can fill the vital data communications link for your project. This may include how legacy serial communications can be supported with modern Ethernet switching and routing technology, using resilient network structures, while providing cyber security and encryption.

Westermo was established in 1975. The head office is located in Eskilstuna, 150km south-west of Stockholm, Sweden. However, the company has engineers and support staff based in the UK to help its customers with technical support and consultancy. They are specialists in industrial data communications solutions using Ethernet, IP, copper, fibre and wireless, and in particular for the difficult ‘local loop’ area of lineside and on-train communications, so a solution for most problems can be found in the company’s range, and in the MTTC.

Paul Darlington CEng FIET FIRSE
Paul Darlington CEng FIET FIRSE

Signalling and telecommunications, cyber security, level crossings

Paul Darlington joined British Rail as a trainee telecoms technician in September 1975. He became an instructor in telecommunications and moved to the telecoms project office in Birmingham, where he was involved in designing customer information systems and radio schemes. By the time of privatisation, he was a project engineer with BR Telecommunications Ltd, responsible for the implementation of telecommunication schemes included Merseyrail IECC resignalling.

With the inception of Railtrack, Paul moved to Manchester as the telecoms engineer for the North West. He was, for a time, the engineering manager responsible for coordinating all the multi-functional engineering disciplines in the North West Zone.

His next role was head of telecommunications for Network Rail in London, where the foundations for Network Rail Telecoms and the IP network now known as FTNx were put in place. He then moved back to Manchester as the signalling route asset manager for LNW North and led the control period 5 signalling renewals planning. He also continued as chair of the safety review panel for the national GSM-R programme.

After a 37-year career in the rail industry, Paul retired in October 2012 and, as well as writing for Rail Engineer, is the managing editor of IRSE News.


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