SCADA + PLC. The brain which controls the energy distribution in high speed railway lines.

SCADA + PLC. Scada systems + PLC are key elements to warrantee the safety of energy supply in a high speed railway line.


Railway lines, each time more extended around the world, need a very demanding monitoring and control systems. These should ensure the energy supply and the correct functioning of the whole system, providing the correct information and running the protocols previously scheduled in order to ensure the safety of the facilities and of course, paramount, passengers who regularly rely on this type of services. Scada + PLC systems are the brain of this operation and are responsible for monitoring power supply across the whole line at all times.

Its proper planning requires a demanding work of electrical and automation engineering. In the control system design it is fundamental to have remote monitoring and control due to the length of the facilities.


Design of the control system with SCADA +PLC (Programmable logic controller)


It is essential to make a correct design of the control and monitoring system of the electrical energy distribution network in order to achieve the power supply to the technical buildings as well as all the elements distributed along the line.

To do so electrical power distribution and control panels are installed all along the line. This cabinets have a PLC that gathers all the information about how the power distribution is working and its status and sends it to the Scada

Scada + plc - control systems

The PLC also control the different equipment for low voltage power distribution like the UPS.
The energy supply to technical buildings, from where the power distribution to the rest of the equipment is carried out, is obtained from several power supplies (catenary transformers, generators, public network). The power distribution and control manages these power supplies through an automatic switching system that has to ensure the continuous electricity supply to the building and, thus, throughout the installation of the high-speed route.


In addition to the Scada + plc… The implementation of a complete UPS system is essential.


An important measure in order to ensure the supply comes to implement an adequate UPS system that has to be connected as well to a backup UPS system that will start operating automatically if it detects failure or maintenance of the main UPS. The system should control at all times the connection between the UPS and the energy source and provide information to the SCADA system.


The SCADA system, the brain of the whole operation.


The SCADA system manages and monitors the status of the different technical buildings. The Scada provides real-time tracking of the status and functioning of the facilities in a simple and practical way. To do so, the following items should be set:

  • Creation of alarm panels- This is an essential part in the facilities of high speed railways. With SCADA systems + PLC, screens that monitor real-time signals must be available and should be supervised by operators from control facilities.
  • Historical databases of the field data are stored and can therefore be processed to obtain performance data and optimization of the facilities.
  • Development of applications and reports of the performance to help the maintenance of the installations.
  • Automatic functions – which allow the monitoring and control of electrical panels switching, prevent non-permitted operations to be held, and inform of alarms and events.


Learn some safety measures applied using Scada + plc .


The electrical panels we install, are basically of two types:

For the control of high-voltage electrical substations.
For the distribution of low voltage energy to the different systems in the technical buildings.

electrical cabinets with scada + plc system

The main functions of the control electrical panels of substations of high voltage are:

Allow manual control of the substation, so that the power control center operator can connect and disconnect different services to ensure optimum delivery to the different points.
Real-time monitoring of different supervised alarms.
Historical record of the acquired data.

Low voltage power distribution cabinets can be seen in the following drawing:

The main functions of these panels are:

  • Ensure the connection of one of the incoming supplies (T1, T2, or group) according to the planned priorities. To do this connections and disconnections will be done automatically, depending on the different voltage detectors.
  • Ensure the supply voltage in each of the different outputs, connecting the main UPS or the backup UPS, according to the detected state.
    Real-time monitoring of the different programmed alarms.
  • Historical record of the acquired data.

Many technical aspects must be taken into account in the programming and installation of power distribution in high-speed railways. Wico counts with over 10 years of experience in the realization of this type of projects, and we are fortunate to have a group of engineers capable of facing all kinds of challenges. If you have any questions about your project, please do not hesitate to get in contact us. We will be delighted to help you.

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