Off-the-shelf solution helps manage China's high-speed rail line

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To complete the 120-kilometer Beijing-to-Tianjin line in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, the China Ministry of Railways selected solutions from Council member Schneider Electric to help run its passenger information system. The Wonderware® System Platform is off-the-shelf, standardized and scalable software, which contrasted with previous systems China used that were based on proprietary solutions that were expensive, hard to configure and difficult to maintain.

With the first leg complete, the Ministry is now deploying the high-speed line throughout China. When completed in 2020, it will carry both passengers and goods and be able to reach distances of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) in a day.

But it is a massive and complex undertaking involving 12,000 kilometers of rail line, 800 stations and the collaboration of more than 60 different third-party vendors for each station’s facilities management system. Interoperability was obviously an issue, but because the Schneider Electric platform is based on open standards, every vendor can communicate seamlessly with each other and new features can be plugged in and expanded to new stations in a very short time.

More than 220 stations across 15 high-speed rail lines are controlled by Schneider Electric today. Once complete, more than 800 stations will be running the solutions throughout the rail network.