Automation software for London Underground

July 2005 SCADA/HMI

The London Underground has chosen Wonderware's Industrial Application Server built on ArchestrA technology to equip 150 rail stations with an Advanced Station Management System.

Wonderware (a business unit of Invensys Systems) has announced that its suite of industrial automation and information software has been selected by Thales to provide station management systems at 150 London Underground stations whose assets are renewed and maintained by Metronet in order to manage passenger communications and monitor the assets.

The $21,5-million contract between Thales and Atkins Rail will use the Wonderware Industrial Application Server, which offers the simplicity of a component object-based approach to application development. It is built on Invensys' ArchestrA industrial automation and information software architecture, which enables the creation of objects as well as the re-use of engineering effort through the ability to define templates and to develop, maintain and deploy standards. This means that the ArchestrA objects can be easily shared throughout London Underground's enterprise.

The station management system will also use Wonderware's InTouch human-machine interface (HMI) software, IndustrialSQL Server realtime plant historian, ActiveFactory analysis and reporting software and SuiteVoyager portal software to assist in managing and maintaining the stations on several underground lines including Bakerloo, Central, Victoria, Waterloo and City, Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith and City. These Wonderware products will work together to form a station management system in which the Industrial Application Server provides centralised management, common services and a revolutionary development environment.

"Wonderware's software applications are key components in the unified network of station management systems," said Stephen Hall, Metronet's strategic programme director. "These systems are an important part of our station modernisation programme. With the system incorporating Wonderware applications, along with our planned investment in new trains, track and signalling, we are developing a world-class transportation system to fit the needs of our passengers well into the 21st century."

The contract marks a significant first step in the renewal of key station assets and passenger information systems as part of the 30-year, $31,3-billion contract between the London Underground and Metronet in partnership with Atkins Rail.

"With the implementation of Wonderware's Industrial Application Server based on the highly scalable ArchestrA software architecture, Thales is laying a solid technology foundation for the future growth of the unified station management system," said Justin Tweedie, business unit head at Futuristix, a member of the EOH group of companies and principal distributor in southern Africa for the Wonderware range of industrial automation and MES solutions. "The ArchestrA architecture takes scada applications to the next generation all the while focusing on a reduced cost of ownership. Perhaps more important, ArchestrA's Galaxy concept will allow the London Underground to expand the system to any size yet to still view its network as a single business entity rather than a collection of insular control systems."

Each rail station management system is designed and developed by the Thales Services division, a company specialising in IT system integration. These systems enable operators to monitor and control station assets and communication equipment including help points, closed circuit televisions, elevators and escalators, public address systems as well as passenger information displays. Each station management system includes industrial PCs as well as networking and data acquisition equipment that can be configured to suit the individual needs of each station. The rail station management systems are not associated with the rail emergency systems. The first installation is scheduled for August this year.

"Wonderware's applications are valuable management tools which integrate all these vital station communications systems into a central computer at each location," said Richard Molloy, Atkins Rail's Metro Unit director.

Tim Porter, international sales and marketing director - enterprise, for services, Thales said: "We are delighted to be chosen as Atkins' partner on this important project and look forward to drawing upon our vast experience of delivering state-of-the-art control systems to metro and rail organisations worldwide. The Thales solution is technically advanced, highly flexible and builds upon the experience gained working with London Underground over the past eight years."

By deploying Wonderware's Industrial Application Server built on the ArchestrA software architecture, Metronet will make effective use of object technology to enhance engineering and lower administration costs and simplify the process of rolling out updates to other stations. Wonderware's InTouch HMI provides visualisation and supervisory control featuring easy-to-use and simple-to-configure graphics that can be accessed from mobile devices, thin clients, computer nodes and over the Internet subject to security measures. The IndustrialSQL Server historian will be used to acquire realtime station asset data. ActiveFactory data analysis and reporting software will be used in conjunction with the IndustrialSQL Server historian for trending and data analysis. Wonderware's SuiteVoyager software will deliver realtime and historical-asset information throughout Metronet via a web browser.

For more information contact Justin Tweedie, Futuristix, 011 723 9900,,

The London Underground, or 'the Tube' as it is universally known to Londoners, is normally the quickest and easiest way of getting around London with 275 stations conveniently dotted across the city (63 in central London), passengers are never far from a Tube station. Most people in London use the Tube.


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