Information technologies in railway systems, such as transportation IC cards, voice guidance systems in stations, real-time notice of delay in service, etc., are evolving on a daily basis. With more services likely to come out, railway networks are expected to play more important roles. First of all, railways as a transportation system must be “non-stop”, which means that networks supporting railways must be reliable. That is, a wide-area network interconnecting stations must be robust enough to achieve large-volume data transmission 24 hrs / 365 days.
In addition, we cannot ignore the growing demand for network devices that can provide stable operations even in harsh, poorly equipped environments (e.g., unmanned stations ).

Key points for railway networks

  • High-reliability, low-cost networks that can interconnect stations extensively
  • Robust security amid diversity of service
  • Switches that can achieve stable operation even when ventilation does not work

Reliable network providing non-stop services

What will happen if all services / systems in a station stop?
We’ll be thrown into a panic, often causing serious accidents. Since most of the systems we use are network-connected, suspending a network turns our orderly lives into chaos. To prevent this, we need a network that does not use STP (difficult to handle due to its complexity) and is capable of minimizing the influence of a failure.
In addition, in a multi-service network, preserving bandwidth is an important issue, because it will never be more than enough due to the diversification of services (e.g., payments by transportation IC cards, sharing information about transportation services, digital signage, etc.).

To address this issue, ALAXALA recommends Ring Protocol (ring network). Ring Protocol enables high-speed switching and excels in both availability and scalability, thus you can create a multi-ring network (network configured of multiple rings) that enables easy system expansion. Further, Ring Protocol is better at reducing cabling costs than star topologies, thereby making it easier to build 10G/40G core rings at lower costs. Moreover, AX3650S and AX3830S support Stack / Ring combination (to be supported in future), which helps create a redundant switch system for offices / stations.

Ensuring the total security of railway networks

In a railway network providing various services (e.g., IC cards, public wireless LANs, voice guidance, sharing information about transportation services, security cameras, etc.), multi-tenant functionality is needed. In such a network, ensuring security for each service at least is crucial in terms of information protection. However, building a network for every service is time-consuming and ineffective. ALAXALA’s Network Partition ensures the independency of each service by logically dividing a network into subnets. With this network virtualization, you can provide new services without expanding your facility.

Robust switch providing stable operation under severe environments

Network devices are often used in severe environments (e.g., places with poor ventilation, unmanned stations, etc.). When building networks, these severe conditions must be taken into account. The AX series fanless switches do not suck dust, thus assuring trouble-free, stable operation within a temperature range from 0°C to 45°C. ALAXALA provides the environmentally-resistant switch AX1250S, which can be used under more severe conditions within a temperature range from -10°C to 50°C.

Security cameras for secure and safe transportation

Security cameras are indispensable to protect passengers. For example, you can monitor the inside of a station from a security center through cameras. Further, you can prevent a potential accident by monitoring snowfall / landslide damages on railways through cameras. To provide these security services 24 hrs / 365 days, fail-safe systems that can recover from faults immediately are required. ALAXALA’s fault tolerant switches (FT switches) support multicast non-stop forwarding, enabling quick recovery from network faults without interrupting security services. Further, the fault tolerant switches, having functions of two switch units and enabling hardware-based fast switchover (50 ms), are suitable for use as the core switches of railway networks.

Network configuration image

Network configuration image

# Combination of Stack and Ring will be supported in future.


Layer 3 chassis-type switches

AX6300S Series

10 Gigabit Ethernet switches offering carrier-grade high reliability that enables non-stop networking, suitable for mission critical enterprises

(Ring Protocol, Network partition)

Layer 3 box-type switches

AX3800S Series

Layer 3 box-type switches for accommodating multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernets, suitable as a core switch in medium/small-scale enterprise LANs and data centers

(Ring /stack combination (to be supported in future), Network partition)

AX3600S Series

Gigabit Ethernet layer 3 switches offering high reliability and rich functionalities equivalent to those of carrier-grade routers, suitable as a core or distribution switch in enterprise networks

(Ring /stack combination (to be supported in future), Network partition)

Layer 2 box-type switches

AX2500S Series

Layer 2 Gigabit Ethernet switches offering high reliability and feature-rich functionality, suitable as a distribution or floor switch in enterprise layer 2 networks

(Ring Protocol)

AX2200S Series

High-performance, cost-effective layer 2 Gigabit Ethernet switches, suitable as a floor switch in enterprise mobile networks


AX1200S Series

Fast Ethernet switches offering robust security for network edges, suitable as a floor switch

(Environmentally-resistant switch(AX1250S), PoE)