ELECTRIC TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM
                     ……when the collaboration is faster then the bureaucracy ……

                                         TECNAU Transport Division s.r.l

        Since 14th December 2002, a new                             technology, which reached their height with
remote control system for electric traction                         the activation of the Bolzano IEMS (1989).
(SCTE) has been in use in the Firenze -                             These systems employ a HW and SW
Campo di Marte control station. Thanks to                           structure that is to a large extent proprietary
close collaboration between RFI personnel                           (100% in some cases), which makes it
and TECNAU technicians, it took only one                            difficult for them to be extended, maintained
year to set up the system (actual time from                         or integrated (obsolete HW not available on
specifications to activation).                                      the market).
Below we describe the scenario in which the                         The method of operation, by means of a
new ET remote control station has been                              special keyboard, was revolutionary in the
developed, together with its technical                              ‘80s but is too laborious nowadays; simple
characteristics.                                                    activities, such as masking an alarm,
Current                                                                                              become
situation with                                                                                       demanding
regard to                                                                                            operations that
IEMS                                                                                                 can be carried
systems.                                                                                             out only from
 As already                                                                                          maintenance
described in                                                                                         position. In
the article by                                                                                       view of this, a
Alvaro Fumi                                                                                          couple of years
published in                                                                                         ago the FS
the magazine                                                                                         embarked on a
“La Tecnica                                                                                          policy of
Professionale”                                                                                       replacing the
in June 2002,                                                                                        systems, with
the ET remote                                                                                        the ultimate
control stations                                                                                     aim of having
currently               Fig. 1 – Control position of the SCTE system at RFI Firenze Campo di Marte   only one ET
operating on                                                                                         remote control
the FS network fall into two groups:                                system, using cutting-edge technology, for
Traditional (13) and Computer-operated (15).                        each division.
We need not describe systems of the
traditional type here, but we wish to specify                       Introduction to the SCTE system.
that almost all the computer-operated systems                       The SCTE system was developed in order to
currently in use are the outcome of the earliest                    allow peripheral locations on the Chiusi(e) –
experiments in the field of information                             Attigliano(e) section of the Florence-Rome
line LL(normal speed) and the Montallese(e)                                 Concentrator and Alpha and between
– Bassano(e) section of the Florence-Rome line                              Concentrator and peripherals. In designing the
DD (high speed) to be included in the remote                                SCTE system, the standards recently specified
control system, under the jurisdiction of the                               by RFI were taken into account.
Compartimento di Firenze. The SCTE system
is a personalized version of the basic SCADA                                HW architecture. The SCTE system consists
product developed by TECNAU s.r.l. In the                                   of a Control Station installed at Campo di
case of the RFI Compartimento di Firenze,                                   Marte, which handles all information to and
the version supplied was the “SCTE Stand-                                   from the Peripheral Cabins (TIC1000, of the
alone”, which has no redundant apparatus                                    Telettra type) by means of a Concentrator
except communication links between                                          located at Orvieto, in the premises of the SSE

                                                                                                   Firenze Campo di Marte
                                                                                                   Control Room

                                                           PC – Pulpito di

         Maintenance - PC           Hub/Switch                   Alpha                    Modem                 ISDN Router

                                                                                          PCM                     ISDN
                                                                                  RFI                   Telecom
                                                                            Private Network          Public Network

         Concentrator - PC                                                                Modem                 ISDN Router

                                                                                                         Orvieto SSE Normal Line

                                                                                                                   High speed line

           S.S.E                 C.E                   S.S.E                  C.E.                S.S.E                 S.S.E
         CIVITELLA           ORVIETO SUD              ORVIETO            ORVIETO NORD           ALLERONE             C. D. PIEVE

          TIC 1000              TIC 1000     P        TIC 1000               TIC 1000     P        TIC 1000              TIC 1000

                                TIC 1000     D                               TIC 1000     D                              TIC 1000

                     TIC 1000              TIC 1000              TIC 1000               TIC 1000              TIC 1000

                     ALVIANO               BASCHI                 S.S.E                 ALLERONA        FABRO FICULLE

       Apparatus supplied by Tecnau                                                                              Normal speed line

       Apparatus not supplied by Tecnau
       Normal Modem Line

       Backup Modem Line

       WAN – Wide Area Network (Extended Local Network)

                             Fig. 2 – HW architecture of the SCTE system, Stand-alone version
of the LL line. The use of TIC1000 cabins                           In the case of the extension of the Ethernet
must not be considered as a design-driven                           network (manufactured and supplied by
choice, but rather as a need felt by the                            TECNAU) from Firenze – Campo di Marte to
customer, who wished to recycle as much                             Orvieto, a PCM channel belonging to RFI has
functioning material as possible.                                   been used as the primary line, while an ISDN
Figure 2 shows the HW structure of the SCTE                         channel has been rented from the public
system, Stand-alone version.                                        operator, Telecom, as a backup line.
In particular, the diagram shows:
• control position consisting of commercial
    PC, 4 18” LCD monitors, mouse,
    keyboard.                                                       SW Architecture. The SW architecture of the
• Alpha mainframe, distributed by the                               SCTE system is based on the Client/Server
    company HP.                                                     concept, which allows information to be
• Maintenance workstation, consisting of                            processed at any node in the network; data
    commercial PC, monitor, mouse,                                  can likewise be recorded at any other node.
    keyboard.                                                       This concept means that all resources,
• Network printer.                                                  throughout the network, have been
• Various network devices, e.g.                                     rationalized and may be used in a practically
    Hub/Switching device, ISDN router,                              unlimited fashion.
    modem.                                                          This design gives the SCTE system a high
                                                                    degree of flexibility and modularity, for

                                                                           Client Level – Control Position

                               Man Maschine Interface – MMI                                         Process control

     Remote control      Remote                                                     Menu Bar
                                              RCE               Database                             Synchroniz.
      Management        Monitoring

             MBX-BRIDGE       TCP/IP

     Remote control      Remote                               Calculation of        Privilege
                                              RCE                                                    Synchroniz.
      Management        Monitoring                            State of Track       Management
                       Management                              and Feeder

                                                                                  Process control    Topographic
              Management of
                                                                               Server Level – Alpha mainframe
                                                                               SCTE Firenze Campo di Marte
                                                                                             Control Room
                                       Fig. 3 – SW architecture of the SCTE system, Stand-alone version
example by allocating user processes to             function is very useful during
computers other than those used for data            maintenance operations.
processing.                                     •   Alarm and Signal Masking: makes it
In this context, the need to modify                 possible to exclude an alarm or signal
components or add new modules represents a          from scansion.
problem that can be solved immediately, from    •   Preventive lock: the operator is presented
the point of view of both Hardware and              with only those commands that are
Software. In the SCTE system, the Server            possible at that precise moment.
processes are installed on the Alpha            •   User privilege management: access to
mainframe, while Client processes take place        the system is regulated by a procedure for
on the Personal Computer of the Control             entering User and Password; each
Pulpit.                                             operator has his/her own access code
Figure 3 gives a functional diagram showing         (User and Password), unique within the
all the processes that make up the Control          system. A certain profile is attached to
Station of the SCTE system.                         each operator. The system can handle 4
Figure 3 shows that the Control Station has         different types of profile: Administrator,
various SW subsystems; for each subsystem           ET Operator, Maintenance Operator,
there is a Server block (sometimes consisting       Trainee.
of several programs) and a Client block.        •   Chronological event recording: all
Arrows indicate how the various subsystems          events intercepted by the system are
relate to one another. The programming              recorded in chronological order in a
languages used, and indeed the very structure       relational database. The application of
of the programs, allow porting of the entire        suitable filters helps the operator search
Server level on state-of-the-art Personal           for historic data.
                                                The functions for managing SMA apparatus
Tasks carried out by SCTE. The SCTE             (Scambio Moduli Automatico – Automatic
system has the following functions:             Module Exchange) and telemetry have not
• Remote monitoring: supervision of plant       been installed, because the peripheral cabins
    by means of several video terminals         (TIC1000) do not support these applications.
    providing overall views (Synoptic Panel)
    and detailed views (Command Pages);         Operational aspects. The SCTE system is
• Remote control: possibility of remote         extremely simple and intuitive to operate.
    control for all devices on the stretch of   Elements or functions are selected with the
    track controlled;                           mouse; the keyboard is used only for access
• Visualization of State of Feeders:            to the system or to enter optional comments
    visualization in real time of the feeders   concerning the events recorded. The operator
    (AT, MT, BT) in relation to the state of    can choose how to allocate the video pages
    the devices; Forcing: possibility of        (control pages, synoptic panel, window for
    simulating commands;                        handling events) among the 4 monitors. All
• Countermarking: possibility of                printouts requested by the operator are sent to
    countermarking a device (1-5 times) after   the network printer. The system also handles
    a module has been released. In this way,    acoustic signals associated with the activation
    the transmission of commands to a           of an alarm or with the spontaneous variation
    countermarked device is prevented.          of a device. The phases in the execution of a
• Device Masking: makes it possible to          remote command can be defined as follows:
    exclude a device from scansion; this
•   STEP1: select command page;                               out by the ET operator in the control position)
•   STEP2: select device to which a                           on events incepted by the SCTE system and
    command is to be sent;                                    recorded in the relational database.
•   STEP3: select command on device;
•   STEP4: enter (or cancel to interrupt
    execution of command).

                         Fig. 4 – Example of procedure to Unblock Countermarking

The command is registered by the program                      Configuration of SCTE system.
“Chronological Event Recording” and sent to                   The program EXCEL is used to compile a
the peripheral. Figure 4 shows an example of                  number of spreadsheets, which constitute the
the Unblock Countermarking procedure for                      configuration files for the SCTE system.
device S12 at the Allerona Electric Substation                The configuration files are processed (off
cabin.                                                        line) by special programs, which create the
                                                              database for the system.

Maintenance Workstation. This consists of
an operator workstation for the use of
maintenance personnel, installed in the
machine room. From this workstation,
historical searches may be carried out (in
exactly the same way as they can be carried
Reliability. The reliability of the system is     Conclusions. In conclusion, we can say that
ensured by:                                       collaboration between RFI personnel
• The robust SW of the basic product,             belonging to the Compartimento di Firenze
   SCADA, supplied by TECNAU s.r.l. (The          and the technicians of TECNAU s.r.l. has led,
   product has been used by FNF Ferrovie          in the space of a very short time, to the
   Nord Milano in a CTC configuration since       development of an ET remote control system
   1996 and by FCE Ferrovie Circum Etnea          that is to the client’s utmost satisfaction.
   in a CTC configuration since 2001).
• Precision of factory testing.
• Use of top-quality materials.

Remote maintenance. The apparatus
constituting the Control Station of the SCTE
system does not require ordinary
maintenance; everything is entrusted to
automatic SW procedures. All extraordinary
maintenance activities resulting from unusual
situations are described in the maintenance
manual. In cases of extreme necessity the
SCTE is connected via ISDN with the
laboratory of TECNAU s.r.l.

Advantages. The advantages deriving from
use of the SCTE system are as follows:
    • Rapid installation and activation;
    • Easy configuration;
    • Robust HW and SW architecture;
    • Modular HW and SW architecture,
        giving the system great flexibility and                     Fig. 5 – Tecnau cabinet
    • Possibility of configuring the Server
        level, i.e. the Alpha mainframe, in
        Warm-standby mode;
                                                  TECNAU Transport Division s.r.l
    • Possibility of including more than one      Via F.lli Rosselli, 19
        control position;                         50055 Lastra a Signa (FI) Italy
    • Use of cutting-edge HW that is easily       Tel. +39 055 8728222-3 Fax. +39 055 8975229
        obtainable on the market;                 http://www.tecnau.it
    • Possibility of video display on the
    • No ordinary maintenance required;
    • Easy integration with CTC or SCC
        systems (SCTE is designed to support
        the exchange of data with the CTC
        system supplied by TECNAU s.r.l.);
    • High degree of customer satisfaction.

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