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May 1, 2014
RVAAC Communications Sub-committee Conference Call
1:00 – 3:00 PM
888.396.7314 or 773.756.0935
8020595
Real time captioning: http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=050114USAB100pm

Today’s meeting will begin with a presentation from Mr. Tom Lane of Ampetronic with a brief Q&A to follow on the topic of induction loop systems on rail vehicles.
Additional committee information available at http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/transportation/vehicles/rail-vehicles-access-advisory-committee/

Excerpts from an email from Tom Lane, today’s presenter, that may be useful to committee members.

We have received a number of enquiries regarding Assistive Listening Induction Loops (Hearing Loops) for projects in the USA over the last year (especially in the Autumn), so in some ways it makes sense to learn that the US RVAAC is reviewing the ADA regulations.

Previous Experience

Ampetronic has some experience of working with rail vehicle manufacturers to achieve successful Hearing Loop installations on rail vehicles.
With Alstom, we have systems:

We have also participated in a number of pending rail vehicle bids with Alstom in the recent past.

With other manufacturers / installers, we have achieved successful projects on heavy rail trains in

In all these cases, the system provides effective assistance to hearing impaired passengers (in some cases known through user feedback), and has been shown not to affect other on-board systems (including carefully monitored out-of-hours testing with Alstom on the first LUAS project).

We have also demonstrated success with similar systems aboard public buses (including articulated vehicles).

It is worth noting that (unlike most of the other suppliers who have attempted to do this), Ampetronic have worked to create systems that meet the requirements of the relevant international standards and had considerable success in doing so.

However, I can quite understand Alstom’s concerns about hearing loop provision on rail vehicles. We also have had to address most of these issues.

Basic Explanation of Hearing Loops

Perhaps it would be a good to summarise a Hearing Loop system’s main features, as relevant to rail vehicle applications. You may know most of this but it is still useful to create a summary for reference.

That is about it for a basic explanation!

Alstom’s Questions

To answer your specific questions:

On the Citadis trams, the route is perhaps not as easy to install as would be desirable (by virtue of the vehicle design), but in the heavy rail applications the loop wire was integrated into the body build quite successfully. There are apertures in most body structural members (to reduce weight) and when run inside flexible conduit and mounted on stand-offs from the bodyside, this has been reported a viable and repeatable install.

The loop path can vary up and down to some degree; the overall path should be moderately constant in most cases. This would be part of an installation-specific design and test (we can simulate the field generated by the loop for any given path).


I hope this is a useful set of answers for you. I’m sure that additional questions and thoughts will arise, and of course we’d be happy to answer and/or discuss any matters that might arise.
Please contact me if there is any way we can help you further.