At the end of 2017, The Transport Department of the Government of Hong Kong launched the Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS), which gathers information from the transport infrastructure and subsequently ensures the provision of traffic information to all stakeholders, including the public. Two-way communication with TIMS is therefore an essential part of all new systems. However, the problem is the connection of older systems, the modernization of which is not yet planned, but the data from them are very important for the Transport Department.
The connection of two older tunnel centers (TCSS) to TIMS required considerable effort from our developers. The subject of the solution were Aberdeen Tunnel, managed by a system older than 15 years, operating on the WinCC 5.1 platform, and Cross Harbor Tunnel, managed by a system older than 10 years, operating on the WinCC OA 3.06 platform. A reliable concept and a responsible approach have made it possible to successfully connect redundant TCSS servers (running on platforms that are no longer supported) to TIMS during full tunnel operation and without any traffic restrictions.
The concept is based on the creation of digital twins of both TCSS systems in our environment, which has allowed developers to pre-diagnose and eliminate potential threats. The data analysis selects the required information for TIMS, which is sent to the TIMS Gateway (locally within TCSS) using our built-in function. TIMS Gateway acts as a "gate" between the old control system and TIMS. It is a computer added to the TCSS of each of the tunnels, with Windows Server 2019 operating system and WinCC OA 3.17 software. Subsequently, the TIMS data are processed into the required format and sent via a secure connection to the Transport Department. Data processing and communication is fully automatic without the need for operator intervention.
The solution we proposed was successfully implemented in both tunnel control centers without any problem, allowing work in TIMS with data even from old systems.