HMI - Human Machine Interface

The Control and Display System (CDS) represents the HMI with the HMR9 Computer Based Interlocking System and RBC9 System.


HMI - Human Machine Interface


The Control and Display System (CDS) represents the HMI with the HMR9 Computer Based Interlocking System and RBC9 System.

In the realm of railway signaling systems the information provided to the operators via HMI is normally provided by a sub-system that is compliant with CENELEC standards to safety integrity level 2/4, with the interlocking providing safety of the overall system to an integrity level 4. 

In degraded mode of operation or when vital route commands have to be actuated, it is necessary to verify that the information provided to the operator is correct. Upon demand (use of a hit button and confirmation from the keyboard) the control and display system are able to provide an integrity level of 4 for the information provided.

CDS software is modular and highly configurable. According to the applications executed and the configuration it can assume different functions: CDS can become a command workstation, front-end workstation for communications with automation systems, event recorder workstation, diagnostic workstation.

the CDS software for the RBC9 system has inherited all the features of the HMR9 CDS software by adding system-specific configurability and functionality.

The CDS is connected to the central interlocking via a local area network (LAN).

The CIU (HMR9 or RBC9) passes information to and from the CDS.

The CDS typically consists of a personal computer, monitor(s), functional keyboard and mouse.


The typical command workstation is made up of three elements:

  • Operator Terminal (OT)
  • Synoptic Panel
  • Safety Keyboard VCD (Vital Confirmation Device)

The Operator Terminal (OT) - the system with which the operator interacts with the system and receives information form it

The Operator Terminal (OT) is fully configurable on the basis of the specific application.

It collects all the command functions and status information gathered by functional areas, maintaining a consistent relationship between the command and the messages coming from the field. The size and position of the windows is fully configurable.

Commands are sent by the Operator through the use of a mouse and pull-down menus. Certain commands are also sent and confirmed by the use of a functional keyboard. Indications from the field and service messages, including alarms, are sent from the CIU via the graphics PC to the monitors located at the operator work desk.  Generally, there are three types of functional commands: system commands, functional commands, and reminder commands. These commands are in the form icons situated to the left-hand side of the operator terminal screen immediately beneath the section overview. Several windows are provided that show information related to alarms and service messages.

In developing the OT, great emphasis was placed on functional ergonomics, with the aim of best supporting the work of the operator in his various activities.


Synoptic Panel - video graphic display of the system status

The Synoptic Panel exists for each station and is composed of one or more monitors that schematically reproduce the specific railway system (signals, track circuits, PL, etc.) and provides visual control of the status of the entities. The Synoptic Panel software guarantees a secure view, because especially in degraded mode of operation, is necessary to verify that the information provided to the operator is correct.

The Synoptic Panel can display detailed zoomed views based on the user's selection on the OT.


Safety Keyboard VCD (Vital Confirmation Device) - for operator commands that have "vital" characteristics

In certain specific applications, in degraded mode of operation a Safety Keyboard can be used to provide a fail-safe confirmation that the command has been sent by the operator.

When the CDS is configured as an event recording workstation performs a function of event recording:

  • Complete recording of all changes in status (variations) of the CIU logic devices.
  • Complete recording of all operator commands or remote controls received from the CIU.


There is the possibility of implementing a remote operator interface, which can be placed away from the central post (that is, situated in an operations office or on-site in the case of degraded mode or for maintenance purposes).

About diagnostics, in addition to the on-site maintenance stations, we have the possibility to install on a dedicated server, located within the diagnostic apparatus which is accessed via a web application. From a normal web browser, we can view all the alarms and the synoptic panel of the system.



Progress Rail Signaling S.p.A.
Via IV Novembre 29
51034, Serravalle Pistoiese
Pistoia, Italy
Partita IVA 00089860472
Tel. +39 0573·1916301


Calata Cattaneo, 15
Edificio Millo,
16128, Genova


Via Quintino Sella, 15
00187, Roma


Carl-Benz-Str. 1
68167 Mannheim


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