More about TPL

Train Position Locator (TPL) System

A breakthrough in Train Position Locator Technology for:

The key to expanding the capacity on existing railway networks and improving passenger service and safety is positioning accuracy and independency of signal systems.

Knowing exactly where every train is at any given moment, and being able to dynamically adjust the arrival, departure and progress of each train in reaction to unforseen circumstances, allows railway administrators to schedule more services along each line without compromising safety levels.

TSS specializes in positioning accuracy. In fact we do it better - and less expensively - than just about anyone else in the world.

TSS is a leading pioneer in low frequency RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) batteryless tag technology. Until now, this inexpensive technology was only reliable at slow speeds and over short distances, making it unsuited to ITS applications such as rail transport.

Recently however, we made a revolutionary discovery which, through intensive R&D, has allowed us to extend the capabilities of low frequency RFID far beyond what was previously achievable.

Using this breakthrough in our Train Position Locator (TPL) systems has allowed TSS to not only meet, but to exceed the demanding technical and operational requirements of any rail network, and provide the necessary input essential for Train Management, and Control and Information Systems. They are also ideally suited for use in moving block systems in metro and urban train environments as well as on main and sidelines including systems operating with ERTMS.

Forming an essential subsystem in almost any existing signalling and management system, our TPLs offer:

TSS' TPLs involve using our tag reading equipment (RF-ActiveAntennas) mounted under the train to read the unique ID code stored in the memory of each of our batteryless TrackTags securely embedded in the railway sleepers.

The ID code provides an absolute reference for location. To independently confirm its position, the train's onboard odometer system can integrate the speed readings to calculate the distance travelled between each TrackTag. Conversely, TSS' TrackTags can be used for calibrating the output from the train's odometer or other types of speed sensors.

TSS' TPLs use the Specific Transmission Module (STM) to translate data from our TrackTags into ERTMS telegrams.

TPL for Metros and Urban Train Systems

TSS' TPLs are highly effective solutions for underground and urban train systems, providing both the positioning accuracy and reliability needed to optimise railway operating capacity and safety. For ensuring passenger safety, double doors systems requiring exceptional accuracy are often used. Our TPLs can reliably measure a train's position to within a centimetre, making them ideally suited for such applications.

Our TPLs are also excellent candidates for operators requiring a secondary, backup system to meet the safety approval requirements of systems featuring automatic or semi-automatic driving.

Low-Cost TPL for Secondary Lines

Systems for secondary, low traffic lines need to be very economical - both in their initial cost and in their ongoing maintenance. For applications like these, TSS can deliver simple TPL systems, configured without speed control or trackside communications circuits. TSS' TPL meets the requirements for train protection. The accurate positioning necessary to ensure the safe operation of the points in the sidings can be achieved using TSS' TPLs - even in instances where the trains are as long as the siding itself where the positioning accuracy equivalent to that required for main and high speed lines is needed.

In sections of line between stations, the location accuracy needed to ensure an acceptable level of safety depends on the required headway. TSS' TPLs can provide the accuracy needed to protect each section of line according to the levels specified by the ETCS, thereby extending the railway capacity by allowing several trains to be present on the same stretch.

Antislip Calibration

At high speeds (300 km/h) the slip and slide phenomena is constantly present. When the train's antislip system cannot adequately correct this, TSS' TPLs can provide the calibration necessary.

Speed Measurements

Whether they are using gyroscopes to measure acceleration rates, Doppler radar or lasers, GPS, Differential GPS, or GNSS, all new speed measurement systems on high speed trains need input from absolute position sensors.

The output from these new systems needs to be elaborated by proper algorithms in order to calculate, at each speed, the required resolution and accuracy of location, speed and acceleration measurements. TSS' TPLs can cost-effectively provide this input.

Passenger Information and Traffic Management

The real-time data about train location automatically gathered and processed by TPLs can be used for both passenger information and traffic management purposes.

Normally, the positioning accuracy required of, and supplied by existing systems, is within +/- 50 metres. TSS' TPLs enable an accuracy to within +/- 50 cm, providing the opportunity for new applications, such as the automatic detection of the exact track on which a stationary train is situated.

Infrastructure Maintenance and Comfort Measurements

Integrating TSS' TPLs with other onboard equipment and sensors creates opportunities for improving other areas of railway management.

For example, TSS TPLs can be used when performing comfort measurements to help quickly identify troublespots leading to faster, more efficient infrastructure maintenance.

More information:

Train Position Locator PDF format

Discriptions in PDF format can be viewed with Acrobat Reader