Mass Transit Systems

Proven on-vehicle network solutions for the Mass Transit Industry

The Belden portfolio of networking, connectivity and cabling products incorporates the latest innovations whilst being based on proven technology. Our portfolio, coupled with our in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the Mass Transit industry, makes Belden the ideal solutions partner to ensure you overcome your system challenges.


Designed for uncompromising safety and reliability

The Belden product portfolio is designed to meet the uncompromising safety and reliability requirements of the Mass Transit Industry. Our portfolio consists of all the important network elements:

  • Cabled and wireless ethernet switching products with best in class reliability
  • Cabling with certifications against fire and smoke standards and market leading temperature ratings
  • Transport EMC rated connectors designed for quick and easy installation

Through this integrated product portfolio, Belden is able to provide the complete solution to your on board network system, fully compliant with your exacting requirements.

Future proof solutions

Mass transit vehicles are becoming increasingly more sophisticated with more systems being installed onboard to take advantage of new technologies. As the data rates to support all of these onboard systems increase, the Belden product portfolio is ready to meet and exceed your current requirements. Whether implemented through the use of fiber or copper, a Belden supplied network solution can be designed to provide data rates for the future, thus eliminating the need for any upgrades to cope with future onboard system innovations.

An experienced partner

Belden has a long history of working closely with all of the leading organisations within the Mass Transit industry; key operators, manufacturers and system integrators are all current and past customers. In a sector where domain knowledge is vital we offer an innovative product portfolio which is already proven within the Industry. This portfolio, in combination with an unmatched range of services, from engineering to maintenance and support means that in choosing Belden you are choosing an experienced partner who has the Mass Transit Industry knowledge to help you achieve your goals.

Belden Onboard Network Solutions

Network Switching

With the harsh environmental and electrical requirements of the Mass Transit industry, OCTOPUS IP67 network switches are the ideal solution when onboard space is at a premium. These switches, which are the most robust available to the Mass Transit industry, are available with PoE and represent future proof technology, including support for Gigabit data rates. Thanks to their compact form factor and IP67 sealed rating, they can be mounted in any orientation within a vehicle. Where space permits, the railway approved fanless MACH1000 19“ ruggedised switch range with 24 custom configurable ports and the potential for two 10-Gigabit XFP uplinks is the ultimate in onboard network switching designed for the future. With proven extended management functionality, these switches from the Belden product portfolio can meet almost any onboard media need; all copper, all fiber (multi-mode and/or single mode) or combinations of copper and fiber using standardized M12 connector technology.

Cabling and Connectors

The Belden portfolio also includes copper cabling and M12 connectors, engineered for high performance, flawless reliability and long life in the Mass Transit industry. The copper cables are available as standard Ethernet 4 pair and 2 pair conductor designs (supporting Cat5e and Cat7 performance) and a Profinet compliant cable with a star quad conductor design and a RAL6018 cable jacket. Cables are available either pre-terminated with M12 connectors and when field termination is required, this is also fully supported.

Wireless Connectivity

If wireless access is required within the onboard network, then the BAT range of wireless Access Points, Clients and Bridges can be effortlessly incorporated into the network, allowing the network functionality to be extended in a secure and cost-effective manner.

The key criteria for successful integration of industrial wireless technology into railway systems:

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Network Management

All of this innovative hardware is supported by Switch and Network Management firmware and software, capable of being integrated into the Belden Onboard Network, providing almost seamless integration with technologies such as Ethernet/IP or PROFINET. For larger networks, the HiVision Network Management Software allows real time control and feedback with/from multiple switches. Faults and network status information are readily viewed, allowing informed decisions to be made and knowledgeable troubleshooting to be carried out.

Where can I find copies of the test reports for testing against European standards (such as EN45545, EN50155 and EN50121) for your products?

Copies of detailed test results as required for certification against external standards are not held on our publically accessible internet site. If you would like to see copies of these test results for a specific reason, please contact either your local Sales Representative, or

How many switches can be put in an MRP or RSTP ring?

MRP: 50+. Switches based on ring topology. Recovery time is almost independent of the number of switches in the ring

RSTP: up to 40 Switches for any type of topology. Because RSTP works in a hop-by-hop principle, recovery time will almost linearly increase with the number of switches in the ring.

What are the recovery times of HSR (best case and worst case)?

There is no best or worst case recovery time for HSR, since there is no recovery time at all. The network recovery time from no fault to a single fault in a ring will always be zero. Also, the repair operation from one fault to no fault is also with zero switchover time.

HSR, as MRP or RSTP in ring configuration, can only sustain one fault in the ring network. This is due to the physical topology, not due to the redundancy protocol. Rings that are coupled via Quad Boxes do not share the same redundancy domain. Therefore, each individual ring can sustain a single fault.

Are HSR/PRP standardized technologies or are they proprietary?

Both HSR and PRP are specified in the International Standard IEC 62439-3. HSR and PRP are therefore standardized and not proprietary technologies.

If HSR and PRP are superior to MRP or RSTP, why should I continue to use them? Why shouldn’t I switch over to HSR/PRP completely?

While HSR and PRP are superior to MRP or RSTP in terms of reconfiguration performance, there are also drawbacks to the technology:

  • PRP: Requires a complete network infrastructure for both networks, which usually means double the costs for network equipment.
  • PRP and HSR: For both PRP and HSR, hardware support through FPGAs or ASICs is required, leading to higher device costs.
  • HSR: Compared to an MRP ring or RSTP in ring configuration, HSR carries only 50% of the traffic (available bandwidth is halved due to doubled frame transmission).

Where seamless redundancy is not explicitly needed, the use of MRP (with SubRings) or RSTP technology may be more cost-effective than HSR/PRP. But where the application requirements justify the additional costs, PRP/HSR can be utilized.

If HSR/PRP is a standardized technology, why should I buy an HSR/PRP device from Hirschmann? Other vendors will provide the same redundancy functionality?

There are several answers to this question. It is true that the technology is standardized, but there are several key factors why a customer should buy a Hirschmann HSR/PRP device:

  • Hirschmann was instrumental in the development of the PRP/HSR standard. With Hirschmann products, a customer can be absolutely sure that the device will satisfy every requirement HSR/PRP was designed to accommodate and that, thanks to our detailed insight knowledge, the implementation is of high performance and absolutely 100% standard conformant.
  • A high performance redundancy is almost useless without proper monitoring and fault detection. Hirschmann HSR/PRP switch products will be integrated into our state-of-the-art SCADA tool Industrial HiVision, which adds up to a combined redundancy and network solution that no competitor can match.

What are the typical application fields of PRP and HSR?

HSR and PRP were conceived for use in IEC 61850 substation automation, where network reconfiguration times cannot be tolerated, especially on the process bus with sampled values traffic. However, PRP/HSR can also be used in factory automation, especially as redundancy solutions for motion control applications.

In short, PRP/HSR can be used anywhere when only very low to zero network recovery times can be tolerated. This is especially true in time synchronized networks, e.g. with IEEE 1588v2. HSR in particular with its ring structure and cut-through switching, can also provide very low end-to-end latency on ring networks.

How many HSR ring devices are supported?

The total number of HSR devices in one ring should be limited to 50. This is mainly to reduce the latency in the ring. For very time-critical applications it may be necessary to limit the number of devices even to a smaller number. Another limitation for the number of devices in a ring can be the size of the duplicate detection table inside the device. This is dependent on the implementation.

Are HSR and PRP future-proof technologies? What is the technological outlook?

The IEC standard (IEC 62439-3) for HSR and PRP is now stable and the feasibility of the technology has been shown. HSR and PRP are highly future-proof thanks to the direct integration into the IEC 61850 standard and the acceptance of all major energy automation companies. HSR/PRP technology is expected to be successful in other application fields as well, in particular factory automation. The technology is scalable in line speed (Gigabit speed is scheduled as future improvement to the standard) and can be flexibly adapted to incorporate other technologies, e.g. 1588v2 time synchronization.