The SkyTrain is Metro Vancouver’s rapid transit system. It is the oldest and one of the longest autonomous light rapid transit systems in the world. The Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines connect downtown Vancouver with the cities of Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey. The Evergreen extension opened in 2016, expanding the SkyTrain’s service into Port Moody and Coquitlam.
The SkyTrain Integrated Alarm Notification System was originally designed and installed in 1985 when the first SkyTrain line, the Expo Line, opened. The purpose of the alarm notification system was to monitor the SkyTrain stations and the guideways. In the time since the original alarm notification system had been operating, SkyTrain had added an additional line and had multiple expansions planned. By 2014, the Skytrain Integrated Alarm Notification System was at the end of its designed service life. SkyTrain’s operator, TransLink, required a new monitoring system with the ability to adapt to future expansions and replace their aging alarm monitoring and control system by segregating and removing non-critical and non-life safety alarms into a separate system, the WMS.
Cogent was selected by TransLink as the lead contractor to design and install a WMS at each of TransLink’s SkyTrain passenger stations along the Millennium and Expo Lines as well as the central monitoring system at the operations centre. It was crucial that the transition from the current SkyTrain Integrated Alarm Notification System and the new Wayside Monitoring System was seamless. The new monitoring system was required to segregate and transfer the inputs and outputs from the old alarm system to the new platform.
The WMS is based upon a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) at each passenger station reporting back to the centralized monitoring station to provide SkyTrain Operation and Maintenance personnel with effective end-to-end monitoring and control. For this project, Cogent also redesigned the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) to incorporate Human Factors Engineering, and replaced the HMI at each of the WMS workstations to make the system more intuitive and user-friendly. Additionally, Cogent provided on-site testing, commissioning and training to facilitate a smooth transition to operation. The system was also designed to be able to accommodate future SkyTrain expansion projects that could double the size of the current system.
Cogent’s new Wayside Monitoring System improved upon the functionality, reliability, and maintainability of the old alarm notification system. The new system was able to facilitate and enhance the Skytrain Operation and Maintenance efforts with the capability and capacity to handle all the non-fire and non-life safety functions of the retired alarm notification system.
The Wayside Monitoring System currently operates on the Millennium, Expo, and Evergreen Line of TransLink’s Skytrain. The system monitors over 50 transit stations, covering over 60 kilometres of track. Approximately 80 million yearly passengers are served by the Wayside Monitoring System Cogent built for TransLink.
TransLink, formally the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, is the statutory authority responsible for the regional transportation network of Metro Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, including public transport, major roads and bridges.
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