Interoperable Train Control Systems


Our regular client, a significant player in the world rail market, needed to implement a 3rd party system to provide seamless communications between wayside, locomotives, and back office regardless of connectivity type. This application allows for Positive Train Control (PTC), as well as for monitoring and configuring thousands of remote wayside units over the radio. The system would allow for voluntary messaging between all the endpoints and enhanced sound quality within narrowband signals.


Client Challenge

Unify the mechanism for safety-critical communication between rail assets to provide seamless train control under PTC requirements.

Project Objective

Establish interoperable and wireless communication between the wayside, locomotives, and back office to transfer secure PTC data.


The PSA team integrated a 3rd party Interoperable Train Control (ITC) Tool into the existing rail signaling solutions based on MicroLok II hardware to ensure all the rail assets communicate smoothly. Specifically, we provided a system that executed 2 functions: messaging between rail applications, and managing those applications. 

To ensure operational, maintenance, and security-related tasks, our team provided the following: 

  • resolution of bugs in 3rd party’s source code

  • adaptation of ITC to multiple specific MicroLok platforms

  • security infrastructure for distributing sensitive data wirelessly

  • interoperability component

  • enhanced access controls

  • direct and scheduled over-the-air updates for configuration and software

  • problem diagnosis and alarm notifications

We successfully completed porting of ITC to the resource-limited Wayside Interface Unit (WIU) board, including its optimization and customization. To ensure smooth data flow, we performed memory allocation and usage optimization, reduced system multitasking, and created a lightweight package manager to simplify further improvements.

After the Interoperable Train Control System was integrated into the client infrastructure, we provided continuous support with immediate troubleshooting and resolution of issues by request. During support activities, we: 

  • resolved issues in communicating with the back office

  • improved ITCSM performance and stability

  • enhanced the file transfer functionality

  • updated firmware for PTC WIU

  • fixed issues with ACSES updates

  • prevented unnecessary processor load by eliminating software resetting

To explore more technical details click here.

Development Included

  • Documentation review
  • Requirements investigation
  • Prototyping
  • Architecture review and adaptation
  • Porting and base components implementation
  • Test cases definition and preparation
  • Functional testing and debugging
  • Continuous support


  • PTC was fully implemented across the Class I railroad

  • 100% security during train-wayside-back office communication

Technology Breakdown

Project size
  • 6.5 people
  • 16 months

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