Houston Metro Light Rail Transit Corridors

As a sub consultant to Mass Electric Construction Company, Innovative Solutions provided hardware design and processor programming for Houston Metro’s project to expand their existing light rail network. Work included an extension to the existing Red Line, as well as all engineering for the new Green and Purple lines. Innovative Solutions’ responsibilities included hardware design for over 100 houses and cases, as well as programming for more than 100 vital processors. Additionally, programming was provided for Train-to-wayside (TWC) controllers, industrial control panels, and highway crossing controllers.

Vital processors were Siemens SICAS S7 CUP’s and TWC controllers were also Siemens products. Crossing controllers included Siemens SSCC-IV and, where required, CTC U-1400 loop controllers. Train detection was by axel counters.

The project challenges included the design and programming of an extensive auto-routing system that allowed trains to use TCW to call their route. It included not only normal running routes, but also reverse running and special operations. Additionally, extensive interface was required with the traffic light system to assure priority for light rail trains running in medians and in street-running.

The new corridors tie the downtown area with Houston’s Universities and Hospitals. The light rail also provides access to the downtown sports venues, including Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros), NRG Stadium (Houston Texans and 2017 Superbowl), BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston Dynamo). Toyota Center (Houston Rockets), and Robertson Stadium (UofH Cougar Football).

Total value of the project was $900 million. Innovative Solutions’ value was $1.3 million.

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