The situation is a heavy machinery example of something that happens across most categories of electronics, from phones, laptops, health devices, and wearables to tractors and, apparently, trains. In this case, NEWAG, the manufacturer of the Impuls family of trains, put code in the train’s control systems that prevented them from running if a GPS tracker detected that it spent a certain number of days in an independent repair company’s maintenance center, and also prevented it from running if certain components had been replaced without a manufacturer-approved serial number.

The problem was so bad that an infrastructure trade publication in Poland called Rynek Kolejowy picked up on the mysterious issues over the summer, and said that the lack of working trains was beginning to impact service: “Four vehicles after level P3-2 repair cannot be started. At this moment, it is not known what caused the failure. The lack of units is a serious problem for the carrier and passengers, because shorter trains are sent on routes.”

Very good article, I’d recommend reading it. I hope the court rules against NEWAG and sets a precedent for right to repair.

  • grey
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    7 months ago

    Man, just go back to normal trains and now computers with attached trains. Can’t hack or remotely kill what doesn’t have a computer in it.

    • RubberElectrons@lemmy.world
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      7 months ago

      Erm… There’s a lot going on inside an electrically powered train. Even a diesel engine has a computer managing fuel flow and diagnostics.

      More importantly, you need networked computers to handle automatic train safety systems, a requirement in the EU from what I understand, after several notable rail crashes up to the 70’s.