New group will establish interoperable systems for the rail industry


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "New group will establish interoperable systems for the rail industry", Facilities, Vol. 18 No. 3/4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

New group will establish interoperable systems for the rail industry

New group will establish interoperable systems for the rail industry

Keyword: Rail transport

The LonMark Interoperability Association (LonMark) announced that it has recently formed a Transportation Task group. The LonMark Transportation Group has been formed to facilitate standardization and interoperability of LonWorks based systems in this industry. Initial focus will be rail transportation where LonWorks technology is already well established. Echeion's LonWorks is widely used in freight railroads and the rail transit industry. It is specified for use in electro-pneumatic braking of freight trains in the United Stores market, by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). LonWorks is also part of the draft IEEE P1473 standard for train communications. However, to fully realize the benefits of LonWorks technology, suppliers, buyers, and specifiers within the rail industry must work together so that interoperable products and systems become the rule and not the exception.

"I am extremely pleased and excited about continuing the progress made by others in the transportation industry towards open, interoperable control networks based on LonWorks technology. I believe the development of new LonMark devices for the transportation industry is the next logical step in this progression and I look forward to working with the LonMark Interoperability Association and the transportation industry to achieve its ultimate goal of cost-effective interoperable control systems," Said Tom Sullivan, who is spearheading the newly formed task group.

Sullivan has over 28 years' experience in the rail transit industry. As former director of New Technology Signals for New York City Transit (the longest subway system in the world) Tom helped lead the industry shift towards open, interoperable train control systems. More recently, as a founding member of the IEEE's Rail Transit Vehicle Interface Standards initiative, Tom has participated in numerous working groups to help develop new interface standards for transit vehicles and has been involved in new initiatives by the freight railroads for cost-effective interoperable train control systems. Currently he is VP of engineering for Transportation Systems Design, Inc. in Oakland, CA.

Founded in 1994 with over 200 members today, including major controls companies in a wide breadth of industries world-wide, the LonMark Association's mission is to enable the integration of open multi-vendor controls systems based on LonWorks networks using standard tools and components. Over 3,500 companies, including transportation's well-known Bombardier Inc., are developing products for LonWorks control networks building controls, industrial controls, home automation, telecommunications, transportation, refrigeration and others. The association provides an open forum for member companies to work together on marketing and technical programs to advance the LonMark guidelines for open, interoperable control systems. In addition, the organization defines design guidelines for interoperable devices based on LonWorks and various products meet the LonMark standard.

The LonMark Interoperability Association

Since its inception in May 1994, the LonMark Interoperability Association has become a major driving force in the establishment of interoperable standards for building, industrial and residential/utility automation. LonMark membership is open to any manufacturer, end-user and system integrator committed for the development and use of open, interoperable products using multi-vendor LonWorks control networks.

Echelon Corporation

Echelon Corporation is the developer of LonWorks networks, recognized internationally as a standard for interoperable control networks. With thousands of application developers and millions of devices installed worldwide, the LonWorks system is a leading open, networked control solution for building and home automation, industrial, transportation, and public utility applications. Echelon offers a full range of off-the-shelf hardware and software products to support the development, installation and management of intelligent, open and interoperable control networks. Echelon is based in Palo Alto, California with international offices in China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands and the UK. News and information are available at:

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