If you ever wondered why a new train protection system should be independent from any other train protection system being in place, the recent outage of the Vodafone GSM-Network in Bavaria gives a brilliant example: On Sunday Nov 5th major malfunction in Vodafone’s network in southern Germany did not only prevent thousands of private customers from calling their relatives over the weekend or withhold them from achieving new records in online games. Also the train network was heavily affected by the technical problems, as the railway specific version of the network, so called GSM-R, was experiencing the same problems. As a result several trains had to divert from their original planned routes, causing severe delays and trouble for thousands of passengers.
Imagine in these situations a backup protection system being in place, such as TrainCAS, completely independent from any infrastructure like a network of base stations as required for GSM-R. Using a data message based direct train-to-train communication very similar to walkie-talkies you might have played with when you were a kid, this would have allowed to continue train services even if the primary protection system is temporary limited in its functionality or fails for whatever reason. Of course it is such an innovative approach that it takes some time to be convinced that this can work reliable and performs well as it actually is challenging. So make yourself acquainted with the technology and learn about the variety of options it enables!