We make rail safety more efficient and flexible!"As responsible product manager for rail control technology , a real highlight of my career was the commissioning of the first control system in the world that functions via the cloud. And this was in two senses: first, it helped to make rail safety more efficient and flexible; second, it reached 3,089 m above sea level."
For 20 years now, the "Iltis” control and information system has been managing and monitoring the Swiss federal railways (SBB), numerous Swiss private railways and federal railways outside Switzerland (including the Austrian federal railways). This year, an extra dimension was added to the Gornergrat Bahn (Gornergrat Railway, GGB): for the first time in the world, a rail control system operated as a service was realized. The entire IT infrastructure and application software were developed at Siemens and were put at the Gornergrat Bahn’s disposal via the Internet.
Efficiency curve with attractive inclination
Europe’s second highest railway has been bringing its passengers from Zermatt to 3,089 m above sea level since 1898; its way to the top sees it overcome 1,500 m of altitude difference. "Using the virtual solution and Iltis as a cloud-based service, GGB is getting all functions of its rail control system supplied to it via the Internet,” explains Salomé Iglesia, product manager for rail control technology at Siemens. "This has a number of advantages for the railway operator; our clients no longer require servers locally, for example. Siemens takes on the operation and management of the hardware and guarantees that the control technology is always up to date. This creates optimum preconditions for the flexible introduction of new functions,” adds Salomé Iglesia. As a result, the operation of the railway is more efficient, more flexible and continues to guarantee the highest level of availability. Salomé Iglesia studied industrial engineering at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid and completed the executive MBA program at the University of Zurich. She works in an expert team of rail engineering technicians and software engineers on digital mobility solutions for the future.
This year, an extra dimension was added to the Gornergrat Bahn (Gornergrat Railway, GGB): for the first time in the world, a rail control system operated as a service was realized.Salomé Iglesia, Head of Product Management for Operation and Control Systems (OCS), Wallisellen, Switzerland
Win-win situation with great prospects
"Everyone benefits from our solution that provides Iltis as a service,” assures Salomé Iglesia. "The train dispatcher in Zermatt still operates the control system and monitors the railway system.” The Iltis server at Siemens is connected to the Iltis workstations in Zermatt via a secure, redundant direct line. The latest security technology ensures only those authorized to access the system actually do. "That also gives passengers the good feeling of being in the best hands from Zermatt right up to Gornergrat,” Salomé Iglesia is pleased to say.
Once passengers have arrived up at Gornergrat, they are free to enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful mountain panoramas featuring the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif and 27 other peaks higher than 4,000 m above sea level. And, thanks to the proverbial meteorological high over Valais, mostly without any clouds.