Last week, in between computer conferences, I attended AusRAIL PLUS 2007, the
Australian Rail Conference Exhibition. This is held in conjunction with a conference, which costs money. But like many such events, the exhibition is open to anyone from business for free. There were a number of computer and telecommunications exhibits to justify my attendance, but it was really just an excuse to look at train stuff. ;-)
Some items of interest:
Thales Australia are expanding out from Defence equipment into transport, particularly rail systems. As an example they are supplying the Communications and Surveillance Subsystem (CSS) and to perform the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) System Integration (SI) for the Sydney Suburban Passenger Vehicle Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project (ie: computers and telecommunications for Sydney trains).
Ultimate Australia Transportation Equipment Pty Ltd have designed an aircraft style reclining seat for long distance trains . The SLP-1 Sleeper Seat (prototype) is 60 kg (production mass 50kg), has a single seat width of 600 mm (double 1200mm), with a pitch of 1800 mm.They hope to sell this for the Cairns Tilt Train. The seat has the same entertainment system LCD video display as fitted to the tilt train retracting into one arm of the seat. I suggested to Gary Ullmann, the designer, that they replace this with a larger 10 inch LCD display and keyboard, as used on the Airbus A380. This could then be used as a computer for business, as well as entertainment. Unfortunately Ultimate do not seem to have an Australian web site, but you can get an idea from their China one.
China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corporation were one of several companies from China with cumbersome names selling locomotives and other railway products. They each seemed to have some form of high speed passenger train on offer as well as freight locomotives. I was unable to get their web site to work in English.
Garard were offering monolithic concrete shelters for equipment. These are buildings about the size of a shipping container made from one continuous piece of reinforced concrete. They are used to hold electrical equipment for railways, but could make very secure computer rooms. The buildings can be made on site, or delivered on a truck (or train) pre-wired with the equipment installed. Because they are made of one piece of concrete, they are very secure and less likely to leak.
Open Access displayed their Wireless Announcer. This is the wireless Emergency Warning and Intercommunication (EWIS) Alert system installed in the Sydney CBD for the APEC meeting. Unit with antennas, digital radio, amplifier, loudspeakers and battery backup are mounted on poles around the city to warn in an emergency. Some units also have alphanumeric displays.
CRC for Rail Innovation, is an industry academic research collaboration. They are looking at: