BTSC vows to head off signal jams

Corporate July 27, 2018 01:00


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BANGKOK Skytrain operator Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Co (BTSC) has vowed to be more vigilant in seeking to prevent signal jams that could affect services on its existing and planned train routes.

BTSC chief executive officer Surapong Laoha-Unya said yesterday that the company will keep monitoring which organistions will use which new spectrum bands and will ask to test the system with them as part of the pre-emptive measures to prevent any possible signal jams in its train signalling system.

At the same time it will keep improving its own signalling and filtering systems to ensure a signal interference-free environment. Surapong added that the planned Pink Line and Yellow Line mass transit systems would use the 5.8GHz band for train operations.

The BSR Joint Venture, which comprises BTS Group Holdings, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction, and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, has won the bidding for the Pink Line and the Yellow Line monorail projects.

The existing BTS Skytrain service has recently switched to use the range of the 2460MHz-2495MHz frequency band for its signalling system, from the 2400MHz band it previously used, as a long-term solution to solve last month’s frequency jam in the signalling system on its existing Skytrain routes.

The jam, which took place from June 25 to 27, caused occasional disruptions to BTS train services at some major stations during the period.

The company has already finished installing a new radio communications system and new radio filters in the trains and at major stations and along the routes to prevent a recurrence of the signal jam.

Soon it will also replace these new filters with the customised filters, which will be provided by multinational aerospace and transport company Bombardier Inc. Bombardier is the provider of the signalling system on the company’s existing BTS Skytrain routes.

BTSC and Bombardier are jointly upgrading and doing test runs on the data transmission system software in order to enhance the communications between the train operations and the control operations. The first such session took place from 1am today and a second session is scheduled for the same time tomorrow. The testing lasts three and a half hours.

They will also monitor the situation during the normal operations, which will be based on the upgraded software.

If, during these normal operations, the train operations with the new software encounter disruptions, the company will switch back to the present software temporarily. This switch-back will take around 20 minutes. The company will keep fine tuning all related systems until December to ensure smooth operations.

A BTSC member of the advisory board, Dr Anat Arbhabhirama, said that all these changes are part of the preparations to launch in December the complete operation of the entire southern extension of the route from Samrong to Samut Prakarn.

BTSC will also release a mobile application on August 1 as a new communications channel with its passengers.