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The LEA (Lokpersonal Electronic Assistant : “Electronic assistant for locomotive personnel”) is technological equipment used by locomotive pilots in Switzerland. This device is part of the minimum equipment for locomotive personnel and is always used in service. This system is developed by the Swiss Federal Railways and is not permanently installed in the locomotive, but consists of a personally assigned tablet that the conductors take with them.
For each journey of a train on the rail network, drivers need two documents: the description of the course and the route table. The LEA application installed on the device combines the two in one place and thus facilitates the work. Thus, the descriptions of steps and the route charts are no longer carried in paper form. The system is developed, maintained and operated by SBB and is used in the transport of goods and passengers. It is also used by some private companies such as Thurbo and Zentralbahn.
The first version of LEA was introduced in 2001 and consisted of a Psion netbook. It was replaced in 2009 by the LEA II, which consisted of a Fujitsu Lifebook T1010.
The current LEA 3 generation was put into service in October 2012. Initially, only SBB Cargo train drivers were equipped with the device, then since May 2013 passenger train drivers also use it.. The LEA 3 is an iPad and is based on three generations of devices, which however do not differ in terms of functionality or operation. Initially, the iPad 4 was distributed, then an iPad Air 2 was given to new entrants or as a replacement in the event of defect or loss. The current generation of devices (as of 2018) is the iPad from 5e generation. The tablets are connected to the internet by Wi-Fi and a 4G SIM card. The materials and accessories used do not differ from those available on the market.
The name LEA always refers to the device. Its main task (displaying the description of the march and the route chart) is carried out by theapplication LEA installed there. Along with this, WarnApp applications and Adaptive regulation (ADL) provide other useful services to drivers. The march description is displayed locally and does not require an internet connection, but WarnApp and ADL need to be connected with the operations center.
All relevant information about the trip is displayed in the LEA app. Planned detours and speed limits are automatically displayed, but the device must be synchronized before starting the service. This process takes a few seconds and updates the trip and route information. Unscheduled detours can be added by simply touching the appropriate field in the app, and the route table via the detour route appears immediately.
In addition to the LEA application, all regulations (such as OFT rules of conduct), as well as the operating hours of locomotive personnel, incident checklists, locomotive manuals , work email address, and other features are on the device.
In the event of a breakdown, there are various contingency plans.
If the LEA does not work before the start of the trip, the description of the walk can be printed from any computer connected to the intranet or internet, in order to be taken in hard copy. The display corresponds exactly to that of the LEA application. Thus, the paper solution completely replaces the device until it is repaired or replaced.
If the LEA has a problem during the journey, the drivers use their GSM-R mobile phone. Using an internal service, the LEA representation can also be generated and displayed as a PDF document. However, this is not a permanent solution as the information is more difficult to read due to the size of the screen.
- Federal Office of Transport FOT, Train running regulations (PCT), Berne, 1is july 2020(read online), R300.3, section 5.2 “Documents for the locomotive engineer”, and R300.13, section 3.2.2 “Timetable and route documents, orders”
- (from) Melkon Torosyan, CFF, « Company-wide management of mobile devices at SBB », May 21, 2014(consulted the October 24, 2014)
- (from) Stefan Rechsteiner, « Paperless driver’s cab: SBB equips staff with iPads », sure lpv-sev.ch, 1is october 2012(consulted the Dec. 2, 2016)
- (from) « This is how the new SBB warning app works », Daily indicator, October 15, 2015(ISSN , read online, consulted the 6 avril 2021)
- « RCS-ADL | CFF », sure bahninfrastruktur.sbb.ch (consulted the 6 avril 2021)