- Develop a world class fully integrated and centralized control and communication system.
- Simplify day-to-day operations.
- Ensure reliability and performance now and for future expansions.
OC Transpo, entrusted with the public transit in Canada’s capital city, is a Customer who embraces integration. OC Transpo sought a solution for their expanding metro rail, O-Train, that would enable the integration of both control (SCADA) and communications, including multimedia. They were looking for a flexible integration Partner, and chose Willowglen to provide our enterprise Integrated Control and Communication System (ICCS) solution, SCADACOM.
The O-Train Confederation Line saw the introduction of a modern light rail transit service to Ottawa, Canada. The O-Train is a multimodal light metro system consisting of two lines, east–west electrified Confederation Line (Line 1) and the north–south diesel-powered Trillium Line (Line 2).
Along with our ICCS, Willowglen provided Station E&M and Traction Power RTUs, project management, professional software development, configuration, and integration services for the Confederation Line. At the time, we delivered our latest generation SCADA (SCADACOM6) server and workstation products for the Transit Services Control Centre, Back-Up Control Centre, and Yard Control Centre.
The Team at Willowglen worked closely with teams from Ottawa Light Rail Constructors (OLRTC JV), OC Transpo (the operators), the City of Ottawa, and various sub-system providers (Alstom, TG Baker, IndigoVision, and more) to clarify needs and consider optimal design features to keep the project on track while meeting end-user expectations. Our proven project management philosophy enabled clear paths of communication to empower our experienced business analysts, solution architects, engineers, and managers to interact directly with all necessary stakeholders to ensure end-to-end clarity on all matters. Our project management skills, honed over our 50 years of operation, is what ultimately led to on time delivery of our entire system and exceptional customer satisfaction. For continuity, we provide reliable 24/7 support by many of the same engineers who worked on the original project and subsequent scopes of work.
As the ICCS provider, a big part of what we do is work with different vendors and technology providers. We have established relationships with many vendors over the years, which our clients appreciate as it improves communication and creates efficiencies on projects. Willowglen integrated 26 different subsystems, from 12 separate vendors, for the O-Train Confederation Line. We will highlight three of the most impactful integrations for OC Transpo in more detail. Below is the complete list of integrations as well as the vendors and technology providers for each subsystem.
Legend: Vendor | Technology Provider
Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) – City of Ottawa
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) – Johnson Controls |
Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) – Thales
Communication Transmission System (CTS) – Connex
Fence Intrusion Detection System (FIDS) – Protech VideoWave’s Maxibus GFENCE 3000 with Portalis Gate System
Fire Detection Alarm System (FDAS) – Vipond
Guideway Intrusion Detection System (GIDS) – Molinari
Network Management System (NMS) – Connex
Non-Revenue Vehicle Location System (NRVL) – Willowglen Systems
Onboard Systems – Alstom
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – Willowglen Systems
Telephone System – Allstream | Mitel | Guardian
Tunnel Ventilation System (TVS) – SNC Lavalin | SIL | CIP | Rockwell PLCs
Wayside Passenger Information System (PIS) – T.G. Baker Americas Inc (TGBA)
Legend: Vendor | Technology Provider
Parallel Acknowledgements and Display Assignments
OC Transpo wanted any unusual activity (motion, infrared, other CCTV visual processing) detected by the CCTV system to generate an alarm.
The CCTV detects unusual activity via a third-party video analytics software and generates an alarm that is relayed to the ICCS. The operator can either acknowledge the alarm on ICCS or the CCTV system. Both systems notify each other automatically, keeping all acknowledgements in sync. As a result, the operator only has to acknowledge the alarm once, which is a major time saver.
The CCTV system detects unusual activity, it generates an alarm and alerts both security and operations teams. The operations team sees the alarm first on the ICCS. The operator simply drags and drops the CCTV feed to the desired monitor on the video wall while using the ICCS. When the operator acknowledges the CCTV alarm, the ICCS automatically acknowledges the same alarm on the CCTV system so the security team knows someone is working on it.
Dealing with alarms is a day-to-day activity for operators. Metro rail operators typically receive 3-5 alarms per hour. The CCTV integration ensures that OC Transpo operators only deal with the important notifications and allows for CCTV alarm management to be as efficient as possible.
OC Transpo has a goal of making the O-Train 100% accessible, so extra attention was placed on the Passenger Announcement (PA), Passenger Information Systems (PIS), and Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) integrations.
A visually impaired person uses the O-Train Confederation line to cross downtown Ottawa. To help them board the right train and ensure they know when to disembark, multiple audio announcements are utilized. For example, audio announcements on the train confirm the direction of travel and destination as well as announce each upcoming station as the train travels along the line.
Similarly, for people with hearing impairments the following provisions are in place.
All of these features are enabled by integrating Passenger Announcement (PA), Passenger Information Systems (PIS), and Passenger Information Display System (PIDS). Each metro rail operation is unique and as such we work closely with key stakeholders to ensure all the configuration they require is executed. We recommend configurations based on international standards and industry best practices to ensure the operation is not only compliant but going above and beyond for safety, useability, and accessibility.
Safety is a central pillar on which we design, develop, and deploy our solutions. OLRT shares a similar view, as they ensure Customer safety comes first. Two safety-related integrations stand out for this OLRT project – a passenger emergency call that brings CCTV into focus and multimodal fire/smoke response.
Improve response time when emergency phones are engaged and automate safety responses.
Passenger picks up the emergency phone. ICCS detects when an emergency phone is engaged. ICCS pans, tilts, zooms the nearest CCTV camera to look at who’s calling. From this point there are many optional actions that can be configured.
Response actions can be automatically triggered or manually triggered by an operator. In the case of manual triggering, the system would give the operators a handy list of big buttons they could click instead of having to search for them.
In the event that smoke or fire is detected, a rapid multi-modal response is triggered to mitigate casualties, economic loss, and functional disruption.
Smoke or fire is detected in a tunnel or enclosed station by a Fire Alarm System (FAS)/FACP (Fire Alarm Control Panel) or Building Management System (BMS)/ MEP (Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing) and reported to the ICCS. The ICCS coordinates safety information across multiple systems.
A fire or smoke detection alarm can trigger different types of reactions, including but not limited to the following.
“Tells Trains” – if it is an ATC we provide a safety override. We can also talk to a person, we can talk to either system.
*Telephony = telephone system, hand held device, cellular phone, big yellow safety phone, passenger intercom, etc.
Stage 2 of Ottawa’s rail network improvement project involves a three-phased approach to extend both the Confederation Line and the Trillium Line. In phase one, the Trillium Line will be converted to a dual-track system, and it will be extended 16 kilometres in the south. The Airport Link (Line 4), a 4-kilometre system sharing track with the Trillium Line but operating as a distinct segment, is also scheduled to open in September 2022 (phase one). Willowglen is providing the RTUs and our ICCS solution for the phase one extension of Trillium and the Line 4 addition. Similarly, in the second and third phases, Willowglen is facilitating the East and West extensions of the Confederation Line, which is more than doubling its current capacity with 16 new stations!
— Eugene Creamer, Project Director, OLRT Constructors
Once Stage 2 is complete, it will bring 77% of Ottawa residents within 5 km of rail. Willowglen is proud to be part of the great Team helping bring Ottawa’s master rail improvement plan to life.