Title:
Transport unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a transport unit including at least one passenger transport vehicle and at least one attached driver vehicle; a set of networks including a train bus, first and second gateways, first and second vehicle buses each connected to the train bus via the first and second gateways respectively, and first and second on-board equipment groups connected solely to the first and second gateways. The transport unit includes at least two vehicles each having at least one piece of equipment in the first equipment group and at least one piece of equipment in the second equipment group.



Inventors:
Leignel, Christine (Perigny, FR)
Thuery, Christian (La Rochelle, FR)
Gellon, Michel (Marsilly, FR)
Application Number:
12/228581
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/14/2008
Assignee:
ALSTOM TRANSPORT SA (Levallois-Perret, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Other References:
Hans et al. "IEC 61375-1 and UIC 556 - International Standards for Train Communication." IEEE, 2000.
IEC Train Communication Network, IEC 61375-1. Introduction. 1999 December, HK.
IEC Train Communication Network, IEC 61375-2. Real-Time Protocols. 1999 December, HK.
IEC Train Communication Network, IEC 61375-3. Multifunction Vehicle Bus. 1999 December, HK.
IEC Train Communication Network, IEC 61375-4. Wire Train Bus. 1999 December, HK.
IEC Train Communication Network, IEC 61375-1. Services for remote device configuration, monitoring and diagnostics. 1999 December, HK.
Primary Examiner:
LI, CE LI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Davidson, Davidson & Kappel, LLC (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A transport unit comprising: at least one passenger transport vehicle and at least one driver vehicle attached to the passenger vehicle and forming a self-contained vehicle set having on-board propulsion equipment; and a set of networks conveying traffic in real time, the set of networks including a train bus, first and second gateways, first and second vehicle buses each connected to the train bus via the first and second gateways respectively, and first and second on-board equipment groups including pieces of equipment connected solely to the first and second gateways respectively via the first and second vehicle buses respectively; at least two vehicles each including at least one piece of equipment of the first equipment group and one piece of equipment of the second equipment group.

2. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein the first vehicle bus and the first equipment group and the second vehicle bus and the second equipment group are distributed amongst all of the vehicles of the transport unit.

3. The transport unit according to claim 1, the set of networks further includes a third gateway, a third vehicle bus connected to the train bus by the third gateway, and a third equipment group including pieces of equipment connected solely to the third vehicle bus, the third equipment group including only pieces of equipment suitable for managing communications, display, railway signaling, diagnosis, and driving control of the transport unit.

4. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein the pieces of equipment belonging to each equipment group contribute to performing a function selected from the following functions: comfort; propulsion/braking; and controlling driving of the transport unit.

5. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein the first equipment group includes only pieces of equipment suitable for managing and carrying out activities associated with passenger comfort.

6. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein the first equipment group includes at least one piece of equipment selected from: a master computer; door control equipment; lighting equipment; public announcement equipment; heater and air conditioning equipment; equipment for delivering information to passengers; equipment for diagnosing comfort; and a washroom installation.

7. The transport unit according claim 1, wherein the second equipment group includes only pieces of equipment suitable for managing and carrying out propulsion and braking of the transport unit.

8. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein the second equipment group includes at least one piece of equipment selected from: a master computer; an electronic control unit for controlling propulsion equipment; an electronic control unit for controlling an auxiliary inverter; an electronic control unit for controlling high voltage distribution equipment; an electronic control unit for controlling a battery charger; an electronic control unit for controlling a compressed air production device; an electronic control unit for controlling traction/braking equipment; an electronic control unit anti-sliding; an electronic control unit for controlling a unit for detecting and extinguishing fire; an electronic unit for detecting bogie instability; and an electronic unit for detecting a hot axle bearing.

9. The transport unit according to claim 1, wherein each equipment group includes a master computer for controlling the vehicle bus the master computer is connected to, the master computer being suitable for managing and controlling the other pieces of equipment of the equipment group, each master computer receiving data from the other pieces of equipment and being suitable for delivering synthesis data to the train bus representative of the operation of all of the other pieces of equipment of the equipment group, the synthesis data being encoded on a predefined number of bits regardless of the number and the type of pieces of equipment in the equipment group, the amount of data delivered by the master computer being less than the amount of data received by the master computer from the other pieces of equipment.

10. The transport unit according to claim 9, wherein the pieces of equipment belonging to each equipment group contribute to performing a function selected from the following functions: comfort; propulsion/braking; and controlling driving of the transport unit, the master piece of equipment of the third equipment group being suitable for managing the control of the transport unit, the master piece of equipment of the third equipment group being suitable for controlling the master piece of equipment of the first and/or second equipment groups.

11. The transport unit according to claim 9, wherein each gateway of the train bus includes at least one configuration table for converting the data format of each vehicle bus to the data format of the train bus and vice versa, and wherein the or each master piece of equipment of an equipment group includes a receiver for receiving a new computer program such that in the event of a piece of equipment being added or replaced with a new piece of equipment in the equipment group or in the event of a new control relationship being implemented for a piece of equipment, the or each master piece of equipment is suitable for being reprogrammed without modifying the configuration tables of the gateway to which the new piece of equipment is connected.

12. The transport unit according to claim 9, wherein the or each master piece of equipment is suitable for delivering over a periodic transmission channel only data that signals existence and the sort of a fault.

Description:

This claims the benefit of FR 07 57071 filed on Aug. 14, 2007 and is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

The present invention relates to a transport unit of the type including at least: at least one passenger transport vehicle and at least one driver vehicle attached to the passenger vehicle and forming a self-contained vehicle set provided with on-board propulsion equipment; and a set of networks conveying traffic in real time.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A transport unit is known that includes two to five passenger-transport vehicles that are connected to one another, and two driver vehicles each attached to a respective end of a string of passenger-transport vehicles. The transport unit is provided with on-board propulsion equipment and forms a set of vehicles that is self-contained, which vehicles are inseparable from an operating point of view and can also be referred to as an indivisible unit.

Such a transport unit can either operate independently or else be attached to other transport units to make up a train.

When the transport unit operates independently, the driver vehicle at one end of the transport unit controls the transport unit as a function of the direction in which the transport unit is running.

When a plurality of transport units are assembled together to form a train, the driver vehicle at one end of the train acts alone to control all of the transport units.

Data relating to managing the operation of equipment on the train, such as power supply, braking, or heater equipment is delivered by means of a train bus to a train control computer situated in the driver vehicle.

Nevertheless, for train architectures comprising a large number of transport units, there is a risk of the network as a whole overloading.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention provides a transport unit with a network of architecture that limits the risk of network overload.

The present_invention provides a transport unit wherein at least two vehicles each include at least one piece of equipment of the first equipment group and one piece of equipment of the second equipment group.

In particular embodiments, the transport unit may include one or more of the following characteristics:

    • the first vehicle bus and the first equipment group and also the second vehicle bus and the second equipment group are distributed amongst all of the vehicles of said transport unit;
    • the set of networks includes a third gateway, a third vehicle bus connected to the train bus by the third gateway, and a third equipment group comprising pieces of equipment connected solely to the third vehicle bus, and the third equipment group includes only pieces of equipment suitable for managing communications, display, railway signaling, diagnosis, and driving control of the transport unit;
    • the pieces of equipment belonging to each equipment group contribute to performing a function selected from the following functions: comfort; propulsion/braking; and controlling driving of the transport unit;
    • said first equipment group includes only pieces of equipment suitable for managing and carrying out activities associated with passenger comfort;
    • said first equipment group includes in at least one piece of equipment selected from: a master computer; door control equipment; lighting equipment; public announcement equipment; heater and air conditioning equipment; equipment for delivering information to passengers; equipment for diagnosing comfort; and a washroom installation;
    • said second equipment group includes only pieces of equipment suitable for managing and carrying out propulsion and braking of the transport unit;
    • said second equipment group includes in at least one piece of equipment selected from: a master computer; an electronic control unit for controlling propulsion equipment; an electronic control unit for controlling an auxiliary inverter; an electronic control unit for controlling high voltage distribution equipment; an electronic control unit for controlling a battery charger; an electronic control unit for controlling a compressed air production device; an electronic control unit for controlling traction/braking equipment; an electronic control unit anti-sliding; an electronic control unit for controlling a unit for detecting and extinguishing fire; an electronic unit for detecting bogie instability; and an electronic unit for detecting a hot axle bearing;
    • each equipment group includes a master computer for controlling the vehicle bus to which it is connected, the master computer being suitable for managing and controlling the other pieces of equipment of the equipment group, each master computer receiving data from the other pieces of equipment and being suitable for delivering synthesis data to the train bus representative of the operation of all of the other pieces of equipment of the equipment group, the synthesis data being encoded on a predefined number of bits regardless of the number and the type of pieces of equipment in the equipment group, the amount of data delivered by the master computer being less than the amount of data received by the master computer from the other pieces of equipment;
    • the master piece of equipment of the third equipment group is suitable for managing the control of the transport unit, and said master piece of equipment of the third equipment group is suitable for controlling the master piece of equipment of the first and/or second equipment groups;
    • each gateway of the train bus includes at least one configuration table for converting the data format of each vehicle bus to the data format of the train bus and vice versa, and the or each master piece of equipment of an equipment group includes receiver means for receiving a new computer program such that in the event of a piece of equipment being added or replaced with a new piece of equipment in said equipment group or in the event of a new control relationship being implemented for a piece of equipment, the or each master piece of equipment is suitable for being reprogrammed without modifying the configuration tables of the gateway to which the new piece of equipment is connected; and
    • the or each master piece of equipment is suitable for delivering over a periodic transmission channel only data that signals existence and the sort of a fault.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be better understood on reading the following description given purely by way of example and made with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a transport unit forming part of the state of the art;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of a transport unit of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of a train comprising a plurality of transport units of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A transport unit 2 forming part of the state of the art is shown in FIG. 1. It includes a first driver vehicle 4, four passenger transport vehicles 6, 8, 10, 12 referred to below as passenger vehicles, that are attached to one another, and a second driver vehicle 14. The first and second driver vehicles 4 and 14 are each disposed at a respective end of the transport unit 2.

In the embodiment described, the transport unit 2 is traveling in the direction F1 such that the second driver vehicle 14 is at the leading end of the transport unit and controls it.

Such transport units 2 are suitable for being attached to one another to make up a train. The driver vehicles at one end or the other of the train are suitable for controlling all of the transport units, depending on the direction in which the train is advancing.

The transport unit 2 includes a set of networks 15 that convey traffic in real time. This set of networks 15 is generally made up of a so-called “train communications network” (TCN).

The set of networks 15 includes a wire train bus (WTB) 16, a first gateway 17, a first vehicle bus 18 (generally constituted by a multifunction vehicle bus (MVB)) connected to the train bus 16 via the first gateway 17, and pieces of equipment 20, 21 that are connected solely to the first gateway 17 via the first vehicle bus 18. Together, these pieces of equipment 20, 21 form a first equipment set 22.

The train bus 16 is suitable for conveying operating data between the pieces of equipment 20, 21 in the equipment set 22 and a controlling computer 26 disposed in the second driver vehicle 14 that is controlling the train. The computer 26 is referred to below as the train control computer.

The operating data includes data representative of commands generated by the train control computer 26 and delivered to all of the pieces of equipment 20, 21 that execute them. The operating data also includes data representative of the operating state of the pieces of equipment 20, 21 as generated by the pieces of equipment 20, 21 and delivered to the train control computer 26.

The gateway 17 includes a configuration table 17A providing operating data format conversion between the first vehicle bus 18 and the train bus 16, and vice versa.

The configuration table 17A is programmed as a function of the numbers and the types of the pieces of equipment 20, 21 in the equipment set 22 connected the first gateway 17. The configuration table is one of the elements subjected to testing when the train is type approved.

When a passenger vehicle 6 or a piece of equipment 21 is removed from or added to a transport unit 2, the configuration tables 17A of all of the gateways of the train need to be reconfigured and subjected to approval by the type approval service.

The first vehicle bus 18 and the pieces of equipment 20, 21 in the first equipment set 22 are disposed and located solely in the first driver vehicle 4 and in the two passenger vehicles 6, 8 adjacent to and directly attached to the driver vehicle 4.

The pieces of equipment 20, 21 of the first equipment set 22 include pieces of equipment of the computer type and of the remote input/output module type. These pieces of equipment 20, 21 are suitable for receiving data representative of commands from the train control computer 26 and for returning thereto, via the train bus 16, data representative of their respective operating states.

In particular, the first equipment set 22 includes a master computer 20 that arbitrates the vehicle bus 18 and that is suitable for managing and controlling all of the other pieces of equipment 21 of the equipment set 22, i.e. the set of pieces of equipment located in the first driver vehicle 4 and in the two passenger vehicles 6 and 8 that are directly connected thereto via the vehicle bus 18.

Furthermore, the first equipment set 22 includes pieces of equipment 21 suitable for managing all of the functions associated with operating the train and in particular pieces of equipment suitable for managing the driving of the transport unit 2, such as, for example: communications and display equipment; equipment suitable for managing power supply, propulsion, and braking of the transport unit 2, such as for example an electronic unit for controlling high voltage distribution equipment or an auxiliary inverter; and equipment suitable for managing and performing activities associated with passenger comfort, such as for example equipment for controlling doors and lighting equipment.

The networks 15 further include a second gateway 23, a second vehicle bus 24 connected to the train bus 16 via the second gateway 23, and pieces of equipment 25, 26 connected solely to the second gateway 23 via the second vehicle bus 24. The pieces of equipment 25, 26 make up a second equipment set 27.

The second gateway 23 includes a configuration table 23A.

The second vehicle bus 24 and the pieces of equipment 25, 26 making up the second equipment set 27 are disposed and located solely in the second driver vehicle 14 and in the two passenger vehicles 10, 12 that are contiguous with and directly attached to the second driver vehicle 14.

The second gateway 23, the second vehicle bus 24, the pieces of equipment 25, 26 making up the second equipment set 27 (i.e. the pieces of equipment connected to the vehicle bus 24) are identical to the first gateway 17, to the first vehicle bus 18, and to respective pieces of equipment 20, 21 of the first equipment set 22, and are therefore not described in detail.

In operation, the master computer 20 of the first equipment set 22 receives data from the pieces of equipment 21 in the first equipment set 22. It delivers some of that data to the gateway 17. The gateway 17 reconfigures the data using the configuration table 17A and then delivers it to the train computer 26 via the train bus 16.

When a piece of equipment 21 in the first equipment set 22 is defective, the data delivered to the train bus 16 includes data needed by the second equipment set 27 to enable it to perform the defective function in a degraded mode. This data includes in particular the identity of the defective equipment and the sort of the fault in said equipment.

The transport unit 28 of the invention is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 2. Elements that are identical to elements of the transport unit shown in FIG. 1 are given the same references and are not described again.

The transport unit 28 includes a set of networks 29 comprising a train bus 29A, and a comfort set 30, and a propulsion/braking set 31.

The comfort set 30 has a first gateway 32, a first vehicle bus 34 connected to the train bus 29A via the first gateway 32, and a first equipment group 36 including pieces of equipment 38, 40, 41 that are all connected to the first gateway 32 via the first vehicle bus 34.

The first gateway 32 includes a configuration table 42 for performing equipment operating data format conversion on passing said data from the first vehicle bus 34 to the train bus 29A.

The configuration table 42 defines the interface between the comfort set 30 and the remainder of the train. This table identifies the types of the pieces of equipment present in the set and the train level control data for these types of equipment.

The configuration table 42 does not have conversion data relating to the identities of the pieces of equipment 38, 40 of the first group, so there is no need to reconfigure this table 42 whenever a piece of equipment 38 in the first group is replaced, added, or removed, as explained further below in this description.

The pieces of equipment 38, 40, 41 of the first equipment group 36 are disposed in and located amongst at least two vehicles of the transport unit 28.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2, the pieces of equipment 38, 40, 41 of the first equipment group are arranged in all of the vehicles of the transport unit 28, i.e. in both driver vehicles 4, 14 and in all four passenger vehicles 6, 8, 10, 12.

According to the invention, an equipment group is a functional group of pieces of equipment. The pieces of equipment in the group are suitable for performing one particular function amongst the main functions of a train, specifically comfort, propulsion/braking (in other words converting energy into force for power supply, propulsion, and braking purposes), and controlling the driving the of the transport unit.

In other words, the pieces of equipment in any one group of the invention all contribute to performing operations of the same type.

The first equipment group 36 includes solely pieces of equipment 38, 40 of a type suitable for managing and performing activities associated with passenger comfort.

In particular, the first equipment group 36 includes at least one piece of equipment 38, 40 from a set comprising: a master computer 41; door control equipment; lighting equipment; public announcement equipment; heater and air conditioning equipment; equipment for delivering information to passengers; comfort diagnosis equipment; and washroom equipment.

The first equipment group 36 includes one or more of the above-mentioned pieces of equipment, but it includes equipment of those types only and no equipment of any other type, such as, for example, equipment suitable for controlling other activities such as controlling driving and/or propulsion/braking of the transport unit.

The master computer 41 acts as the bus arbitrator for the vehicle bus 34.

The master computer 41 includes a processor suitable for executing a computer program 43 that summarizes the operating data of the pieces of equipment 38, 40 of the first group 36 for the purpose of delivering to the first gateway 32 only data that is representative of the operation of all of the pieces of equipment from the first group 36 that is necessary for driving the train.

The program 43 is suitable for encoding the synthesis data on a predefined number of bits regardless of the number of pieces of equipment in the first equipment group 36. The amount of data delivered by the master computer 41 to the first gateway 32 is less than the amount of data it receives from the other pieces of equipment 38, 40 in the first group.

The program 43 is suitable for encoding the synthesis data in such a manner that it does not include the identities of the pieces of equipment 38, 40 concerned by said data. For example, when a piece of equipment 38 in the first group is defective, the synthesis data delivered to the first gateway 32 includes solely data indicating the existence of a fault and the sort of the fault, but not the identity of the faulty piece of equipment.

Thus, the synthesis data is encoded on a predefined number of bits regardless of the number and the type of the pieces of equipment in the first equipment group 36. When a piece of equipment in the first equipment group is faulty, the first equipment group 36 is seen initially as being a single piece of equipment so far as the train control computer 62 is concerned.

The train control computer 62 warns the driver that there is an anomaly. This anomaly is characterized solely by its sort. The driver then carries out the provisions of the driving regulations that correspond to such circumstances. For this purpose, and subsequently, the driver seeks to identify the defective piece of equipment in order to carry out corrective actions and ensure the best possible service. This action initiates dialog in the form of messages relating to the context between the train control computer and the master computer 41.

Consequently, the amount of data that is conveyed periodically over the train bus 29A in transport units of the invention is smaller than the amount of data transiting over the train bus in transport units of the state of the art as shown in FIG. 1. The detailed data necessary for performing accurate diagnosis of events is no longer delivered systematically, but only when required. This enables the data transfer rate to be optimized.

The master computer 41 further includes receiver means, for example, a receiver 44 for receiving a new computer program. The new program is suitable for modifying the program 43 so as to take account of a piece of equipment in the first equipment group 36 being added or replaced.

The propulsion/braking set 31 includes a second gateway 45, a second vehicle bus 46 connected to the train bus 29A via the second gateway 45, and a second equipment group 48 comprising pieces of equipment 49, 50, 51 that are connected to the second gateway 45 via the second vehicle bus 46.

The second gateway 45 includes a configuration table 45A performing a function similar to that of the configuration table 42.

The pieces of equipment 49, 50, 51 in the second equipment group 48 are disposed and located in at least two of the vehicles of the transport unit 28. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 2, the pieces of equipment 49, 50, 51 of the second equipment group 48 are arranged in all of the vehicles of the transport unit 28.

The second equipment group 48 includes only pieces of equipment 49, 50, 51 of a type that is suitable for managing and providing power supply, propulsion, and braking of the transport unit 28.

In particular, the second equipment group 48 includes in at least one piece of equipment selected from: a master computer 51; an electronic unit for controlling propulsion equipment 50; an electronic unit for controlling high voltage distribution equipment; an electronic control unit for an auxiliary inverter; an electronic control unit for a battery charger; an electronic control unit for producing compressed air; an electronic control unit for controlling a traction/braking unit; an electronic control unit anti-sliding; an electronic control unit for a fire detection and extinction unit; an electronic unit for detecting bogie instability; and an electronic unit for detecting hot axle bearings.

The second equipment group 48 includes one or more such pieces of equipment but only pieces of equipment of this type and it does not include any pieces of equipment of some other type, such as for example pieces of equipment suitable for managing activities such as passenger comfort.

The master computer 51 is the bus arbitrator of the second vehicle bus 46. It is therefore suitable for managing the other pieces of equipment of the second group 48.

The master computer 51 includes a processor that is suitable for executing a program 52A and receiver means 52B for receiving a new computer program. The program 52A and the receiver means 52B are similar in function to the program 43 and to the receiver means 44 of the comfort set and they are not described again.

The set of networks 29 also includes first and second control sets 53 and 54.

Each of the first and second control sets 53 and 54 is disposed and located solely in a respective one of the first and second driver vehicles 4 and 14.

The first control set 53 includes a third gateway 56, a third vehicle bus 58 connected to the train bus 29A via the third gateway 56, and a third equipment group 60 that includes pieces of equipment 62, 64 connected to the third gateway 56 via the third vehicle bus 58.

The third gateway 56 has a configuration table 66A similar to the configuration tables 32 and 45 and a configuration table 66B. The configuration table 66A is used when the control computer 62 arranged in the second driver vehicle 14 is not controlling the train.

The configuration table 66B is used when the control computer 62 arranged in the second control vehicle 14 is controlling the train.

The configuration table 66B is suitable for recovering data from the first and second gateways 32 and 45 so as to deliver that data to the vehicle bus 58. It is also suitable for transforming the format of data coming from the vehicle bus 58 to the format of the train bus 29A.

The pieces of equipment 62, 64 in the third equipment group 60 include only those pieces of equipment that are suitable for managing communication, display, railway signaling, diagnosis, and controlling the driving of the transport unit 28, when said pieces of equipment are themselves situated in the driver vehicle at the leading end of the transport unit 28 or of the train.

In particular, the third equipment group 60 includes a master computer 62 that constitutes the bus arbitrator for the first vehicle bus 58. The master computer 62 is thus suitable for managing the pieces of equipment 64 in the third equipment group 60.

The master computer 62 includes a processor suitable for executing a program 68 and receiver means 70 for receiving a new computer program. The program 68 and the receiver means 70 are similar in function to the program 43, 52A and to the receiver means 44, 52B of the comfort set and of the propulsion/braking set, and they are not described again.

When the master computer 62 is the train control computer, it is also suitable for managing the master computers 41 and 51 of the first and second equipment groups 36 and 48 of the transport unit 28. Under such circumstances, the master computer 62 is suitable for delivering data representative of control to the master computers 41 and 51, and for receiving data representative of the operation of the pieces of equipment therein, and for delivering data representative of operation to the communications and display pieces of equipment or to other pieces of equipment in the third group 60, depending on the sort of the data.

When the driver vehicle 14 containing the first driver set 53 is situated between a passenger vehicle and a driver vehicle of another transport unit, the first driver set 53 does not perform functions associated with train control.

The elements of the second driver set 54 are identical to the elements of the first driver set 53, they are designated by the same references, and they are not described again.

A train 72 of the invention is shown in FIG. 3. The train 72 includes three transport units 74, 76, 78. These transport units 74, 76, 78 are identical to the transport unit 28 shown in FIG. 2.

In FIG. 3, the driver vehicles 80 and 82 are arranged at each of the ends of the train 72.

When the train 72 is traveling in the direction F1, then the master computer 84 situated in the driver vehicle 82 at the end of the train 72 is the controlling master computer and the gateway 86 to which it is connected is referred to below as the lead gateway.

When the train 72 is traveling in the opposite direction F2, the master computer 88 situated in the driver vehicle 80 situated at the other end of the train 72 is the controlling master computer and the gateway 90 to which it is connected is the lead gateway 90.

In the embodiment described, the train 72 is traveling in the direction F1.

The controlling master computer 82 delivers a control and request data set to the lead gateway 86. The lead gateway 86 configures said data and delivers it to the train bus 29A over a periodic transmission channel.

The first and second gateways 32 and 45 in each transport unit 74, 76, 78 select from said data set any data that is specific thereto and delivers said data to the master computers 41, 51 of the first and second vehicle buses 34 and 46 in each transport unit.

In particular, the second gateways 45 of each transport unit select the data relating to passenger comfort and deliver said data to the master computers 41. The master computers 41 process the data and deliver the processed data to the pieces of equipment in the first equipment groups 36 via the first vehicle buses 34. Each piece of equipment 38, 40 in the first equipment groups 36 recognizes in the first vehicle buses those data items that relate thereto and executes the commands contained in said data.

Each piece of equipment 38, 40 in the first equipment groups 36 delivers operating state data either periodically or aperiodically to the master computer 41 of its group.

The master computers 41 process said data, produce a summary or overview of all of the data received from the pieces of equipment 38, 40 in the first equipment groups 36, and deliver only said synthesis data to the first gateways 32.

This synthesis data contains only data for indicating the existence and the sort of a fault. In other words, this synthesis data does not contain information specifying the reference of the piece of equipment concerned.

On receiving data from the master computers 41, the first gateways 32 reconfigure the received data and deliver it to the train bus 29A for forwarding to the lead gateway.

The lead gateway 86 reconfigures the data delivered to the train bus 29A and forwards it to the controlling master computer 84. This computer puts this data into form and forwards it to the control equipment 60 concerned thereby.

Thus, the data conveyed by the train bus 29A includes synthesis data only, so the bus is less loaded.

The controlling master computer 84 manages the master computers 41, 51 of first and second vehicle buses 34 and 46.

When a piece of equipment in the set of networks 29 needs to be changed or added, e.g. a piece of equipment connected to the first vehicle bus 34 of the transport unit 74, a new computer program is input into the receiver means 44 of the master computer 41 so as to modify the program 43 of the master computer 41 to take account of the new equipment or of a new control relationship, i.e. new equipment driver software.

If the piece of equipment forms part of a type already present and if the control data relating thereto at train level is identical, then the synthesis data generated after reprogramming the program 43 by the master computer 41 is identical to that generated by the master computer 41 when said new equipment was not present.

Thus, there is no need to reconfigure the reconfiguration tables 42 of the first gateways 32 of all of the transport units 74, 76, 78 when adding a new piece of equipment or a new control relationship. The synthesis data generated by the master piece of equipment 41 is of the same type as the synthesis data generated when said new equipment was not connected to the first vehicle bus 34.

In a variant, the train 72 may have some other number of transport units.

In a variant, each driver vehicle 4, 14 may have both a passenger compartment and a driver's cab.

In a variant, the set of networks 29 may include some other number of equipment groups.

In a variant, a transport unit may be fitted with types other than the comfort set type, the propulsion/braking set type, and the driving set type.

Preferably, the transport unit may be used in high-speed trains, i.e. trains that reach speeds greater than 250 kilometers per hour (km/h).

Advantageously, data transmission may be faster in a transport unit of the invention.

Advantageously, the transport unit may be a train or a tram.