Dynamic Passenger Information with Ethernet



The 'Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG' (KVB AG) transports approximately 800,000 passengers per day in the metropolitan area of Cologne. On the platform passengers are kept informed via dynamic LED displays. In addition to train announcements and date and time, information such as delays or company advertising can be displayed as ticker tape or graphics. The next generation of passenger information systems in Cologne is MOFIS 2000 from BBR Verkehrstechnik GmbH, which is based on industrial Ethernet technology.



In MOFIS 2000 systems the data about moving trains, which is retrieved from different control systems (signal boxes, coupling coils, RBL system as central control system) is used in area control units. There the data serves as the basis for generation of display contents and control information for the passenger information displays (PIDs) and other presentation media. Development, operation and supervision takes place in a control station via a comfortable graphical user interface.

Project parameters / Requirements

Until 2001 data was transmitted via serial fiber optic cable to the remote displays. The limited bandwidth of serial communication coupled with increasing data volume, lead project partners BBR and ITM to develop a new, efficient and future-proof passenger information system.


Basic components of the MOFIS 2000 system are Fast Ethernet data lines (via optical fiber), which are built up with RS2-FX/FX Rail Switches from Hirschmann™. Using 100 Mbps connections they provide a powerful network between internal and external systems. Bundling of several services via one single data line permits resource-saving use of optical fibers and communication hardware.

Why Hirschmann™?

The deciding criteria for the selection of Hirschmann™ Rail Switches were:

  • 100 Mbps connection to the control station LAN
  • High availability due to HIPER-Ring technology and redundant power supply
  • Management via web browser and HiVision
  • Fast Ethernet as an industrial standard
  • Network dimensions of up to 20 km between control station and external systems

Parallel to a MOFIS 2000 system, the high bandwidth of the data line allows the integration of additional services for the public transportation:

  • Video systems (video over IP), e.g. for station monitoring
  • Voice over IP, e.g. for public address systems (PA) and station phones
  • Ticket machines
  • Remote control systems