TransPennine Express,

Passenger Information System.

The following details how KeTech designed, supplied, and configured a real-time, dynamic and ‘connected’ Passenger Information System (PIS) consisting of a Wayside Control System and Train-borne hardware to its clients, TransPennine Express and Siemens Mobility for use on their Class 185 train fleet. KeTech’s PIS is based on KeTech’s extensive proven capability and experience in managing real-time data feeds and dynamic communications between the wayside and train, to deliver best in-class, live travel information throughout the journey.


KeTech was awarded contracts by TransPennine Express (TPE) and Class 185 Train Maintainer, Siemens Mobility to design, develop and deliver an integrated, real-time Passenger Information solution, including software and on-going support. The requirements were to upgrade and enhance the existing system. The project comprised Requirements Capture, Concept Design, Detailed Design, Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) integration, Site Acceptance Tests (SAT) and Dynamic Testing. Key requirements were on-time delivery, to budget. The solution was required to be a robust solution that met and exceeded customer expectations and provided potential to add new functionality in the future through software updates.

The proposal was KeTech’s first fully integrated PIS retrofit. The system concept utilises real-time data and relays this in a meaningful way to passengers via on-train equipment supplied by Axion Technologies (now Luminator Technology Group – LTG). The real-time information interface concept has already been proven to work on-board trains through the successful delivery of KeTech stand-alone real-time PIS solution to Hull Trains.

Customer workshops were carried out to agree how the system should operate for TPE’s services, including the appearance and layout of the display screen information, corporate graphics, and layout of the Management Tool Graphical User Interface (GUI). KeTech agreed the format, corporate imaging, colour scheme and the rules that needed to be applied with the stakeholders. As a result, the system was delivered fully configured and operational on ‘Day 1’ with timetables, display screens, message trigger points and all ASDO announcements, such as short platforms, train splits and joins, pre-configured. This saved the Train Operator significant configuration time. A testament to our ability to correctly interpret and capture customer requirements is that the customer only had to move one geo-fence trigger for an announcement which was easily done and confirmed as correct in the simulator – delivered as part of the GUI.

The project was a challenge with multiple stakeholders and external project interfaces, and it was essential to carefully manage these to ensure that KeTech successfully delivered both Siemens and TPE’s needs and expectations.


The system architecture is not complex – the Wayside System holds the system configuration, processes the real-time data feeds, and distributes relevant information to the Axion on-train PIS Controllers. A key feature of KeTech’s PIS is that all train running information is sourced directly from the full Darwin interface. This enables the real-time and enhanced information updates to be displayed on trains within seconds of the information being updated. The typical latency required for this functionality is only seconds from the receipt of a change in information to it being displayed to passengers. KeTech’s system meets and exceeds this requirement. The newly installed displays are connected to the PIS Controller via the on-board Ethernet backbone. The audio voice library is held on the Axion PIS Controller and real-time announcements are triggered in sync with the displayed information. Only train specific data is transmitted to each train using only a very small amount of in-journey data.

Results Delivered

  • A fully scalable, resilient, future proof, and modular system, supporting industry compliance such as PIDD and PRM TSI.
  • Real-time data integration delivers meaningful passenger information as standard.
  • Service information, journey progress and calling points.
  • Delay time, along with the reasons for any disruption.
  • Consistent and relevant journey information – meeting the Approved Code of Practice for Passenger Information During Disruption requirements.
  • Dynamic Routing – auto addition/removal of stations when service is re-routed or altered.
  • Centralised, intuitive management and control: Enabling updates to onboard corporate notices/promotions/adverts remotely.
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Every journey is different, that’s why KeTech’s Passenger Information System tailors the information and infotainment shown on every route to ensure a truly seamless experience.

Passenger Information System

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