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ASL's public address solution aids safety on Docklands Light Railway

Published on 6 July 2009

ASL Safety & Security has delivered its IP-based Long-Line PA system (iPAM) to 40 Docklands Light Railway stations throughout London
ASL Safety & Security's IP-based Long-Line PA system (iPAM) has been delivered to 40 DLR stations
UK-based ASL Safety & Security has successfully delivered their IP-based Long-Line PA system (iPAM) for use on 40 Docklands Light Railway stations.

iPAM is a monitored public address solution which has been created specifically for the demanding conditions encountered on international rail infrastructure projects. The equipment integrates routing, amplification and CIS software functions into a single fanless 2U unit and is engineered to be exceptionally robust, performing equally well over private or public fibre and FTN legacy copper networks. Serco Docklands, who operate and maintain the railway, are the first company in the UK to introduce the system which is being rolled out across 55 kilometres of track. For this application the graphical user interface is being provided by ASL's mini-iVENCS software running on Linux PC workstations at dual-redundant control centres in Poplar and Beckton.

As well as providing core PA and CIS functionality such as Digital Voice Announcements (DVA), and Text to Speech, iPAM supplies network-wide fault reports to the control centre workstations. This provides the operators and maintainers with integrated fault and status reporting on both the PA system and also potentially on other non-ASL equipment such as CCTV and access control. In addition to the requirement for PA, BS5839:8-compliant voice alarm is provided at Bank and Canary Wharf stations using ASL's VAR router and V400 amplifier products, with CIS interfacing using VIPETs giving up to 12 channels of audio. 

Sousan Azimrayat, Founder Director of ASL, said: "iPAM integrates effectively with a broad range of operational and maintenance systems, allowing comprehensive monitoring of the PA system and related station equipment. Faults are flagged immediately on screen, giving engineers and operators meaningful graphical information, so allowing them to take prompt corrective action."

iPAM immediately flags network faults on screen, allowing operators to take prompt corrective action

Use of iPAM is part of a network upgrade project by telent, who are installing a LAN infrastructure as the railway continues to introduce new services and IP-based applications. The project underlines an industry trend of moving from multiple conventional communications networks to robust multi-purpose IP networks.

The Docklands Light Railway is poised for expansion in order that it can transport millions of passengers to competition venues at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Extensions and enhancements are under way including routes to the recently-opened Woolwich Arsenal and Stratford International stations as well as longer platforms at all stations to cater for new three-car-trains. Currently over 67 million passengers are carried annually.

ASL Safety & Security are the market leader in PA/VA systems for infrastructure projects. The company's analogue and IP products cover conventional and networked Voice Alarm systems, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Long-Line PA and PC/DVA applications. ASL has also developed iVENCS, a management system for transport hubs which offers a scalable solution that allows all of a site or network's subsystems to be controlled through a single 3D user interface. iVENCS has been implemented as part of an £800m refurbishment of St Pancras International Station, the London terminal for Eurostar. The Docklands Light Railway system uses the same core VIPA software technology, a fact that underlines the flexibility and scalability of this architecture in environments requiring multiple control.

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