Come In, Houston

At a Glance

  • Client(s)
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO)
  • Project Location(s)
  • Houston
LTK-designed railcarCommunication is key. 

As part of the creation and expansion of Houston’s light rail transit (LRT) system, they needed a state-of-the-art communications and supervisory control systems. LTK’s work included Project Management Oversight for the design, installation, testing and integration engineering for all communications elements for Houston METRO’s LRT system.

The communications system incorporated a full suite of communications services into a Train Control Center compatible with existing METRO facilities. The LRT Control Center was housed in the existing Emergency Management Center in Houston (TranStar) and was fully integrated into each control console through the SONET network.

The SCADA system monitors and controls the communication system (node power equipment, CCTV, PA and VMS systems, multiplexers), signal system (track switch position, crossing gate position, power supplies), as well as all traction power substations (breaker position, transfer trip), ticket vending machines, fire / high temperature, intrusion alarms and a high water detector.

Public address and variable message signs are provided at all passenger stations. Closed-circuit television cameras are located at all passenger stations and at the park and ride facility. Telephone and computer network connections are provided in the yard and shop facility as well as along the alignment within the traction power substations, communication and signal houses and at station communication cases. The two-way voice radio system provided was an expansion of METRO’s existing EF Johnson 800 MHz trunked radio system used for bus operations.

These communications and central control systems provide secure, safe and efficient operations of the light rail system with a minimum of delays.