Durable refurbishment solution

Case study: durable refurbishment solution

Train fleets need to constantly evolve to adjust to changing capacity needs and respond to customer needs for more safety, comfort and services. Train system upgrades and refurbishments need to be carried out on regular basis to respond to new regulations and bring on the latest technology. New trains may also be purchased to answer demand. In all cases, it is a challenge to keep using older systems together with new systems. The learning curve and investment to acquire and master completely new systems is also an issue.

To meet these challenges, operators from all around the world have worked with EKE since the end of the 90s, developing their trains with the Trainnet® technology. The modularity and openness of Trainnet® mean that the train management systems developed at a given time can easily evolve. Trainnet® can easily integrate old, new and third party sub-systems. Also, additional sub-systems and functionalities can be built on the existing system with little changes and efforts: there is no need to start all over again every time new needs arise.

This flexibility has enabled operators to upgrade their train management system on regular basis to implement new functionalities while retaining the same core features in all coaches and locomotives. This means less work and less to learn for developers, drivers and crews. Besides, coach and locomotive compatibility is preserved so that cars with upgraded and legacy systems can work together.

An example of incremental development

In the example below, each coach was first equipped with a Trainnet® Train Control and Management system (TCMS) controlling all sub-systems such as doors, HVAC and diesel generators. Crew interactive displays were installed to allow the train crew to control and monitor the train.


PhaseI Double DeckTrainTrainnetSystem

Illustration: Phase I


Couple of years later, the operator wished to develop the train management system further by adding new functionalities, such as automated brake testing, energy management (necessary for proper functioning of longer train sets) and greenloop. A display was added in the Power Coach to perform brake tests and provide specific information exclusively to the driver (data not available from train crew displays). The upgrade from phase I to phase II is not necessary: cars with Phase II systems work with cars equipped with Phase I systems. The upgrade from Phase I to Phase II can be done with minimum work: part of the Hardware and Software from Phase I are retained, thus reducing material costs and the amount of work.


PhaseII Double DeckTrainTrainnetSystem

Illustration: Phase II


Today, EKE has started working on another development, Phase III, which would make the systems suitable for 16-car long trains. Part of the Hardware and Software will be changed or upgraded on trains with Phase I and phase II systems installed.

a durable and cost-efficient refurbishment solution

This example shows how Trainnet® can evolve along the years to meet changing requirements, retaining key functionalities and components. The consistency in system logic, interface and components bring costs down as it lowers the amount of material required, limits the developments and reduces the learning curve for personnel.

Trainnet® openess and modularity allow operators to incrementally upgrade their train systems with limited change and efforts. Also, as they own the intellectual property rights, they can modify the Software on their own or ask any third party to do it for them: they are not locked in with one manufacturer’s system. It must be noted that cars equipped with systems of different generations are working perfectly well together. Trainnet® ensures proper communication between cars making them all compatible.

With Trainnet®, the train management system evolves with the operator needs. Choosing Trainnet® for your refurbishment projects enables you keep cost down in the long term, providing you with a sound and durable refurbishment solution. Trainnet® can also be used in new trains as explained in another example here, allowing you to use a similar system across your entire fleet.

Read more about:

→ Train Control and Management System (TCMS)
→ Train Communication Network (TCN)



EKE-Electronics Ltd
Piispanmäentie 5
02240 Espoo
Tel +358 9 6130 30