Control rooms  |  2023-09-05

Barco OpSpace Features at HTM Public Transport Critical Control Room in The Netherlands

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

OpSpace successfully enables HTM Traffic Control to monitor the operation of tram, bus and RandstadRail with full flexibility.

HTM is the public transport company of and for the Hague region. At HTM Traffic Control one monitors the operation of tram, bus and RandstadRail. They can see exactly where each vehicle is driving and make adjustments where necessary. For example, consider operating the switches, turning a signal to red or assisting during a calamity.

Few years back, HTM announced a public tender for renewal works of the Traffic Control control center. An important requirement in the tender was that they wanted to have a permanent view of specific sources in a fixed layout. Flexibility in the workplaces was also an important part of HTM's request, with the aim of easily switching workplaces during the shift. Also called free seating.

Today, five workplaces are equipped at the Traffic Control that run Barco OpSpace. This solution ensures that it is possible to display multiple sources on one screen at a workplace. One fixed layout was developed for this that can be controlled with one mouse and one keyboard, resulting in a clean desk and a better overview. Traffic Control also works on the basis of free seating. This means that the traffic controller at any workplace can pre-program any desired working environment with associated sources.

The challenge of this project was to install the new system while keeping the current system is running in a live environment. To avoid taking over during peak hours, the project was largely carried out during night hours. After the two systems ran in parallel for a while, the old system was decommissioned.

After completion, a number of HTM employees followed a training course at INTER where all functionalities of Barco OpSpace are discussed and malfunctions are simulated to see what their best resolution would be. As a result, HTM employees are now aware of all the ins and outs of the system, enabling them to make optimal usage of the functionalities.