Data communication between facilities


The communication of information between facilities refers to connections between multiple bodies (such as control centres or RTPI management centres) responsible for the management and operation of transport services. These connections tend to be fixed cable connection due to their ability to carry far higher quantities of information at a faster rate than wireless communication systems.

The use of fibre optic cable connection is the best method for transporting data between facilities. Fibre optic connections have higher capacity and are many times faster than any other method of connection allowing for much greater amounts of data to be transferred over longer distances. These types of connection are ideally suited to intelligent transport systems which require ever increasing data carrying capacity and transfer speed. Due to the benefits of fibre optics, it is increasingly replacing standard conductive cabling as it is not subject to the same interference issues and it is much more suitable for real-time data transfer applications. In addition to this, standard conductive cabling is vulnerable to data theft, electromagnetic interference and other signal transmission problems, spark hazards and power surges whereas fibre optics is not.


  • Operations management
  • Traveller information and traffic management

Benefits and cautions

The method chosen to facilitate communications between multiple facilities depends on the type of data to be transmitted and the speed at which it is required. Where transfer speed is not a critical issue and there is only a need for relatively small packets of information, then wireless connections could be a potential solution due to convenience and the lesser wiring requirement. However for large data quantities fixed connections, particularly fibre optics, are far superior allowing access to data much faster over greater distances.

While the fibre optic solution performs best, is the most secure and is easier to install due to its lesser vulnerability to interference, smaller size and greater flexibility, it can present a substantial cost compared to standard cabling. In situations where distances are short and data quantity and speed are not critical, this may present a more cost effective option.

Relevant case studies

Dublin, Johannesburg, Zurich