ARM EnerTech Designs Streetcar Automation for Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority

streetcarARM EnerTech Associates, LLC (AETA) worked with Brookville Equipment Corporation located in Brookville, PA to program and design a vehicle computer unit (VCU) for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Authority’s lineup of streetcars.

The Brookville Liberty Modern Streetcars operate along a four-stop, 1.6-mile track that provides access for citizens of Dallas’ urban core to the downtown Union Station hub. This hub connects to DART’s Red/Blue/Green light-rail vehicle (LRV) lines and the Trinity Railway Express with service to Fort Worth. The streetcars utilize an innovative battery energy storage system (ESS) to power the vehicle’s four traction motors when off-wire. Approximately one mile of the 1.6-mile track requires ESS power, allowing the LRV to cross the city’s Houston Street Viaduct over the Trinity River without the use of catenaries.

ETA, a Siemens Solutions Partner, engineered a complete control system in the vehicle that incorporated many Siemens automation components. The VCU was a Siemens S7-317 PLC, and the vehicle’s monitoring and diagnostics system consisted of one Siemen’s Microbox industrial computer in each operator’s cab connected to a touch-screen monitor for the operator to interface to the system. Each Siemens Microbox is running WinCC RT Professional SCADA software and was implemented with a redundancy license in order to keep the alarm and data logs on each respective computer’s SQL database consistent via the vehicle’s PROFINET network. All distributed I/O stations located throughout the vehicle are Siemens S7-300 remote I/O racks that are networked via PROFIBUS.

Check out a video of the streetcar here!