Kobe Electric Railway, in Hyogo, Japan, gets reliability and high performance in an easy to use, robust package.

Kobe Electric Railway is a railway company in Japan. They provide safe, secure and comfortable railway services in 46 railway stations across and around Kobe city, in Hyogo.

A new company vision, established in 2008, saw Kobe Electric Railway aim to enhance their services in terms of functionality and safety. To meet this vision, the company needed a highly available network that provided uninterrupted service, yet was simply to use and maintain.

The need for future-proofing

Of Kobe Electric Railway’s 46 stations, only 8 are physically manned by staff.  An ‘Inter-Station Remote System’ was introduced in April, 2000, which allows staff working at major stations to operate ticket machines and entrance gates located in unattended stations. This system, however, was facing problems due to the increasing demand for high-speed network connections, and the need for a more stringent station surveillance system to maintain the level of security in the stations, among other issues.

It became clear that Kobe Electric Railway needed to upgrade their network. The new network had to be:

  • Reliable - Kobe Electric Railway had to maintain uninterrupted operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • High performing - The company required a high-capacity, high-speed network to allow the Inter-Station Remote System to efficiently perform data transmission.
  • Future-proof - The new high-speed infrastructure had to respond to future planned image and sound applications.
  • Easy to use - Kobe Electric Railway needed a simple network structure facilitating easy maintenance procedures.
  • Cost-effective - Kobe Electric Railway wanted to make use of existing connections to cut down on their overall costs.

A whole new way to look at railway services

Kobe Electric Railway now have a new ‘mission-critical’ inter-station remote system network featuring Allied Telesis x900 Series Advanced Gigabit Layer 3+ Expandable Switches.

The new network utilizes Allied Telesis Ethernet Protection Switched Ring (EPSR™) technology, as well as Virtual Chassis Stacking (VCStack™) with link aggregation, achieving maximum network bandwidth and resiliency.

VCStack enables the pairs of x900-12XT/S located in each station to be handled as a single switch, creating a simple network configuration which allows easy data traffic management. These products satisfy our requirements in terms of both functionality and cost performance.

Mr. Hironari Tatsuki

Information System Officer, Engineering Department, Railway Service Headquarters,

Kobe Electric Railway Co. Ltd.

This high-speed next-generation network enables extremely fast data transmission to electronic equipment located in the 46 different stations.  Fujitsu Network Solutions Limited (FNETS) undertook the new network installation for Kobe Electric Railway.


The Allied Telesis products’ provide advanced technology, ensuring Kobe Electric Railway meet their goal – to provide safe, secure and comfortable railway services.

These particular products of Allied Telesis meet the requirements of Kobe Electric Railway when it comes to both functionality and cost performance. An increasing number of our clients seek switch redundancy, because a network forms the lifeline of their businesses, but there are often significant equipment costs. Allied Telesis’ products offer an alternative – they provide the right solution at the right price, improving not just a company’s network but also their cost performance.

Mr. Hideaki Fujiwara

Fujitsu Network Solutions Limited


Kobe Electric Railway now enjoy uninterrupted network service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Kobe Electric Railway now has a high-capacity network, which allows the Inter-Station Remote System to perform efficient data transmission. With gigabit links connecting the stations together in high-speed, large-capacity EPSR rings, data transmission is now completed instantly.

Future proof

The new infrastructure will easily respond to future planned image and sound applications, with ample bandwidth available. Kobe Electric Railway can add additional fiber to the rings, increasing bandwidth for multiple gigabit connections between stations if required.

Cost effective

Kobe Electric Railway have made use of some existing infrastructure, cutting down on their overall costs.

Plus, with VCStack and Alliedware Plus, Kobe Electric Railway can easily operate their network, lessening the need for IT staff and lowering their administration and support costs – thus reducing their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).


Advanced security features are available to protect the network. The Allied Telesis switches support Network Access Control (NAC) giving unprecedented control over network user access.

Superior service and support

Allied Telesis service and support engineers tested the network prior to installation to ensure it would provide non-stop access and high performance.

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Virtual Chassis Stacking (VCStack)

Ethernet Protection Switched Ring (EPSRing)

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