Fluidmesh to Provide Trackside Connections for New Milan Metro Line(27 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
Italian/US technology supplier Fluidmesh has been chosen to supply the wireless connectivity on Milan Metro’s new Line 4 according to reports in the Italian press. The new route, currently under construction, will run for 15Km from the city’s Linate Airport to San Cristoforo and will be served entirely by driverless trains. Fluidmesh says its track-side wireless technology will be deployed to provide critical connectivity for the automated train control system, as well as live video streaming from the on-board security cameras.
The company responsible for the new Communication-based Train Control (CBTC) system being installed on the new Line 4 is the Hitachi-owned Ansaldo STS. According to Ansaldo, it chose Fluidmesh’s technology after the company demonstrated that its track-side connections showed “a seamless handoff with no packet loss, no matter the speed of the train”. In addition, Ansaldo said the technology allowed for extended spacing between track-side base stations cutting down operational complexity and the cost.
The new line, which will cross Milan almost entirely underground, was originally slated to begin operations in 2015. However, delays in planning and funding have led to the start date being pushed back to 2022. When it opens, Line 4 will boast 21 stations and 47 trains carrying an expected total ridership of 87 million passengers annually. The most recent estimates put the total cost of the new line at around €1.7 billion.
Fluidmesh said of the new Metro system, “CBTC allows the operator to reduce the distance between consecutive trains in a tunnel thus increasing the overall capacity of the line. This is particularly relevant in Milan given the small tunnel size and the short station platforms that limit the number of cars a train can support. As a result, the Milan Line 4 system is more cost effective compared to a traditional metro system.”
Vincenzo Greco, MD of Comesvil, who partnered with Fluidmesh to deploy the train-to-ground wireless communication system for Ansaldo STS, said “The MPLS solution has been able to reduce the number of track-side base stations, therefore reducing the total cost of ownership for the end customer. Less track-side hardware means less maintenance costs over the lifespan of the Metro.”
Umberto Malesci, Fluidmesh CEO commented “We are proud to provide our technology in Milan, one of the cities leading the way in innovation in transportation.”