The modern digital control room: interaction between man and machine
With passenger numbers on the up and the constraints this puts on capacity, control rooms are put under increasing pressure. Thomas Kritzer, Head of the Tramway Operations Division at Wiener Linien, explains how digitalisation can help, with intelligent assistants stepping in to do what humans can’t.
Vienna’s tram network is incredibly dense, with 28 lines, and an additional tram line for tourists – the ‘Vienna Ring Tram’. The tram network originates from the consolidation of various private tram companies, which were eventually gathered under the umbrella of the city-owned tramway company in 1903.
The network layout follows the historic city’s layout, so any thoughts of modernisation can only be implemented at new extensions. This means that the network is very dense and very focused on historical parts of the city, where the tram ‘survived’ the age of the thriving motor car after WWII.
The organisational structure of the Viennese tram network is decentralised. As one of the world’s biggest networks, a centralised operation with one depot would not make sense, nor would it be economically feasible.
As the tramway operations business unit is organised in four sectors, with one main depot and one or two so-called ‘satellite depots’ each, usually six to eight tramlines are operated and supervised by one sector. Some of the longer lines, which usually cross the entire city, are operated by two sectors to avoid long, unproductive journeys.