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EU looks to improve rail lines with fiber

By Max Burkhalter
October 21, 2013

The EU Institute of Railway Research recently unveiled initiatives to improve its rail lines by installing fiber optic cables along them. To be completed over a four-year span, the Capacity4Rails project will help improve service and make the laying of new lines easier.

Transportation needs are evolving in Europe, with increased need for low maintenance infrastructure. The improved railway lines can provide for this, while improving the sustainability of lines as well. By installing fiber optic and the necessary media converters to relay information back to central hubs, the EU IRR will be able to track cracks, deformities in lines and other issues. Additionally, control over crossings and signals will improve.

"We could make the track system intelligent. Fiber optics running along the rail would enable you to know from the signal whether or not there is an unusual deformation, an indication of fatigue cracking or some other problem," said Dr. Yann Bezin of the IRR, according to The Engineer.

Investments into fiber optics can greatly enhance network, as long as the proper fiber to copper converters are in place to optimize signal and infrastructure needs along the way. Optimizing the flow of data from the physical rail lines to a central hub requires low latency and high quality to ensure safety and security, and as such only the best fiber to copper media converter solutions should be utilized.

Similar improvements can be taken into consideration in other industries as well. The implementation of fiber lines can improve network infrastructure for energy providers, city smart grids and more. Simply focusing on the technology and key fiber media converter solutions will provide improved support and the elimination of network latency needed to optimize service.

Technology alone isn't a solution to infrastructure needs, regardless of industry, but proper planning, implementation and support can go a long way toward improving quality of living in any nation. The EU has dedicated more than 470,000 Euros to the Capacity4Rails project to help ensure its success. Smaller scale investments may not require the same level of funding, but equal dedication is critical to eliminating hurdles along the way and ensuring that organizations can implement such improvements quickly and efficiently.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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