One moment please while we configure for you...

Welcome to RTS. Please specify your country so we can customize your experience.

The Americas
Asia & the Pacific Rim
the Middle East, & Africa
Latin America

Manual Authorization Required

You must be manually authorization to access this file


Telex C-Soft brings reliable radio dispatch to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel



Hover over image to zoom
Click image for full-size
Share Picture
May 19, 2014
Two centuries ago, hundreds of thousands of settlers made their way through the Cumberland Gap, pushing the Western frontier of the then-young United States into Kentucky and points beyond. Today, portions of the Wilderness Road through the Gap—originally cut by Daniel Boone following Native American paths—have been preserved or recreated in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which straddles the borders of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. But the vast majority of East-West traffic, some 32,000 cars per day, no longer flows on the surface, but rather underground through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

Built in the mid-1990s, the 4,600-foot long dual-bore tunnel connects the states of Tennessee and Kentucky with two lanes of US Route 25E in each direction. The area encompasses multiple federal, state, and local jurisdictions, so it’s crucial for public safety to keep all of the relevant agencies in easy communication. To do that, the Cumberland Gap Tunnel Authority recently undertook a complete revamp of the tunnel’s radio systems, putting Telex C-Soft software IP consoles and IP-223 dual IP remote adapter panels at the heart of dispatch operations.

“The old system used analog phone lines through the tunnel,” explains Rick Torstrick, whose company, Harlan 2 Way in Harlan, Kentucky, handled the radio project for the Tunnel Authority. “But they were having quite a bit of problem with those lines on the Tennessee side.” Part of the issue was moisture from the numerous underground springs and streams in the tunnel’s path. “The tunnel cuts through a cave,” Torstrick continues, “and they have a lot of dampness. Among other things, water was getting in the lines and the lines had also been chewed up by rodents.” The old system also predated current narrowband requirements and was therefore not compliant with FCC mandates.

The solution was to use an IP network running on military-grade fiber, known to be reliable in a hostile environment. The network connects the C-Soft consoles in the dispatch center on the Kentucky side to distributed Daniels radio base stations, which are interfaced via the IP-223s. “We have some of the transmitters in an equipment room on the Tennessee side,” Torstrick says, “and some in the tunnel at CP1, which is one of the cross-paths between the two bores. That’s also where we originate the leaky-feeder antenna cable that runs the length of the tunnel.”

All told, the new system provides channels for tunnel management and operations and a wide range of agencies: the National Park Service, state police on both ends, sherrif and ambulance services in Claiborne County, Tennessee, and Middlesboro police and Bell County ambulance in Kentucky.

Torstrick says several criteria guided his choice of the new system. “I needed something that supports at least 13 channels, and C-Soft does more than that. I needed a system that works over IP, like C-soft does. And I needed to be able to bring all the channels into one location and to patch channels together, which C-Soft lets you do from one screen.”

Now that the system is in, Torstrick points to “ease and flexibility” as two noteworthy aspects of C-Soft in daily use. “It’s flexible,” he says, “because as long as you have an IP network, you can plug the system in anywhere. Even if your control room caught on fire, you could plug a laptop into the network somewhere else and you’d be up and running again.”

As for ease-of-use, that has turned out to be particularly important due to the unconventional way that dispatch operations are organized at the tunnel. Instead of having a few dedicated full-time dispatchers, there is a larger pool of personnel who rotate two hour dispatch shifts interspersed with other duties. That makes it critical that the dispatch system is intuitive, easy to learn, and easy to remember. “The system is simpler to use than the old analog console they had in there before,” Torstrick says. “The dispatchers can keep just the two main channels they use all the time up on the screen. But when they need to they can quickly display the other minimized channels. The dispatchers like the C-Soft consoles a lot.”


Related products

Software IP Dispatch Console
C-Soft is the industry’s most flexible and capable software dispatch console, and is the perfect application for any dispatch environment.

Related Articles

Sanjay Kumar joins RTS as Sales Manager CCS for Middle East and Africa
Sanjay Kumar appointed RTS Sales Manager CCS for Middle East and Africa In the future, Kumar will hold responsibility for RTS and Telex sales in the Middle East and Africa Sanjay Kumar: “RTS are the most reliable systems I have ever seen.
Telex C-Soft brings flexible, versatile dispatch technology to renovated Duxbury Emergency Communications Center
As one of the earliest European settlements in Massachusetts outside of the Plymouth Colony, Duxbury is a community with a long, proud history.
Telex C-Soft dispatch system provides value and versatility to Montville, Connecticut Fire Department
For emergency dispatch operations at the Montville, Connecticut Public Safety, which functions under interoperability requirements mandated by the state, interfacing with a variety of radio systems from multiple other agencies is an essential requirement.
RTS+OMNEO wins industry award at NAB 2013
The RTS Intercoms team is very pleased to announce that its new RTS ADAM OMNEO interface cards have been presented with a TV Technology magazine STAR 2013 award for superior technology at this year's NAB trade show! Photo, L-R: Gary Fisher, Sr.
RTS + OMNEO: introducing the first generation of OMNEO-compatible RTS intercom matrix products at NAB 2013
OMNEO is a media networking architecture for professional applications New RTS ADAM OMNEO interface cards transform the RTS ADAM matrix into a flexible, IP-based, AVB-compatible intercom network Launch marks the first deployment of OMNEO in the broadcast intercom industry Las Vegas, NV, April 8, 2013: RTS ADAM intercom matrix products and OMNEO professional media networking technology have come together in a big way at NAB 2013.
Telex takes Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to monumental heights
Austin, TX – The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is the state agency responsible for managing and conserving the natural and cultural resources of Texas.
Telex ensures seamless communications along St. Lawrence Seaway
Telex Dispatch equipment is ensuring seamless communications along the length of one of the world’s busiest maritime thoroughfares: the St.
Telex Radio Dispatch solution for New Hampshire Department of Safety
A Telex Radio Dispatch system based around IP-223 ROIP network adaptors and C-Soft control positions is providing a flexible solution for the New Hampshire Department of Safety, enabling them to gradually transition from 10 remote offices to a single centralized location in Concord without losing functionality.
Telex IP-223 for San Ramon Valley Mobile Command Unit
San Ramon Valley Fire District (San Ramon, CA) in the San Francisco bay area is one of many busy emergency service departments relying upon the solid performance of Telex IP-223 IP-based network remote adapters for their mobile command vehicles.

Share this article

RSS Subscribe

E-mail E-mail

Print Print

Submit a story >

Telex is part of the Bosch Communications Systems family of brands, offering the world's most complete portfolio of professional audio and communications solutions.

Share this with:
E-mail Email