Yarra Trams finally settles on supply control system

Four-year search comes to a close as timelines firm for new SCADA system

Private Melbourne tram company, Yarra Trams, will implement real-time supply monitoring and control systems over the next year as it seeks to replace obsolete systems throughout the network.

The new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) platform, to be supplied and migrated by Logica, will see the the tram company implement 66 remote telemetry units along existing field wiring and allow technicians to remotely view and manipulate the network, manage work permits and control power supply for its vehicle fleet.

Yarra Trams is also expected to upgrade its audio video monitoring (AVM) system over the next three years, replacing the current, five-year-old video wall, enabling the company to visualise potential disruptions to the network and correlate tram movements with substation loads. The wall is fed by traffic cameras from VicRoads and is used in association with Victoria Police to control traffic during peak periods and special events.

“Improved access to a wider range of data will enable a proactive and faster response to potential problems in our power network, resulting in greater business efficiency. It will bring us close to real-time management, as well as providing greater control over our carbon emissions,” Yarra Trams projects director, Sozos Pavli said in a statement.

“This is a technically challenging project and we required a reliable partner that will upgrade our control centre with minimum disruption, with the expertise to integrate new technology with our existing business systems,” Pavli said.

The system will monitor the activity of the company’s fleet of 486 trams, which in total cover 31,000 services per week. The track infrastructure spans 250 kilometres.

Logica has been involved in developing and planning the SCADA implementation for the past year, with consultants from the company working with Yarra Trams as early as July last year. However, the private tram company has been on the lookout to replace its previous system for at least four years with initial tenders for the project stretching back to 2006.

The new SCADA system is expected to last for the next decade.

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