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World’s largest command and control LED display arrives at train operation centre

Sydney based operation centre deploys giant 32m curved NanoLumens display to monitor the entire Sydney trains system

A new Sydney Trains Rail Operations Centre (ROC) now nearing completion includes a central control room featuring what is believed to be the world’s largest command and control LED display. 

This display, which includes the largest number of pixels, blends with the new centre’s futuristic interior design, and is integral in enabling Sydney Trains’ train controllers to monitor the entire rail system, controlling the trains, tunnels and platforms at all 178 stations, to deliver a safe and reliable journey.

Located near the Green Square Station in Alexandria (an inner-city suburb of Sydney), the NanoLumens 1.6mm Performance Series LED display measures 32m x 3.6m and contains 41 million pixels and the largest number of processors ever installed in an LED display. 

The entire length is suspended for ease of viewing by the controllers, some 6,900kg in weight and creates an open feel for the space which would have been closed and restricted had a floor mounted cube wall been used.

The display was installed by Critical Room Solutions (CRS), a specialist in command and control room installations, and long-time NanoLumens technology consultant in Australia 

“Sydney Trains was initially looking at a cube wall for this installation because that is what they used in prior control centres,” explained John Kimenkowski, technical supervisor at CRS. “We presented the option of LED display technology for several reasons and, once we made that pitch, NanoLumens quickly became the solutions provider of choice. From initial inception, concept proof and demonstration, to manufacture and installation, the process has been relatively short at just over 12 months.”

Kimenkowski added: “Due to the long lifetime of components, low maintenance, low cost of ownership and small amount of space it consumes, we believe that fine pitch LED display technology is the future for many control room environments.”

The “super fine” resolution design provides an entire display resolution of 19,200 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels high, equivalent to 20 windows of native Full HD resolution or 5 windows of 4K resolution, all without the need for scaling.

Tony Eid, Sydney trains executive director added: “Our new Rail Operations Centre is more than bricks and mortar, it’s a symbol about how we operate trains and provide real time customer information to improve the customer experience. For the first time in our history we have managed to bring together and consolidate multiple control centres in the one location.”

The consolidation from six different locations that were being utilised to monitor Sydney Trains’ entire operation to one central location and will drastically change the way the rail system manages day-to-day operations. 

“The Operational Visual Display Screen (OVDS) plays a key role in providing the control centre real-time information to make informed decisions with train operations, incident and customer management,” Eid continued. “The OVDS, now dubbed the WOW board due to its sheer size and stature, is the first of its kind used in Australian control centres.”

“The NanoLumens wall, which is what this display really is, is central to the main operations of this command and control centre for the entire rail network,” said DPS Co-Founder Gerry Thorley. “The central control room houses about 100 staff on the floor. Essentially, it’s like a NASA command and control centre and operates 24 hours a day, every day, and this display provides critical rail information.”

He continued: “Sydney Trains is dedicated to creating a next-generation transportation system comprised of world-class fast, safe and reliable trains that easily take customers to where they want to go. NanoLumens technology now provides the centrepiece for the continued world class operation of this growing railway system.”

NanoLumens CEO Rick Cope concluded: “NanoLumens LED displays are already being used in a number of military command and control centres around the world. The Sydney Train Station ROC marks a major step forward in our plan to bring the many performance and operational benefits of our solutions to leading transportation authorities.”