Irish railway operator Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) has awarded a contract to Austria-based Kapsch CarrierCom for the implementation of a digital train radio system for the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) region.

Under the deal, the company will upgrade the analogue railway system to GSM-R with IP-based release 4 architecture.

Kapsch CarrierCom’s vice president for GSM-R global Michel Clement said after a two year preparation and tendering phase, they look forward to the implementation of this strategically important project in the DART region and hope it extends to other routes in Ireland.

"Now that the contract is signed, we can immediately begin with the implementation of a test system for the release 4 network infrastructure as well as the access network and demonstrate our railway telecommunication dedicated end to end competencies," Clement added.

The company’s GSM-R network system consists of GSM-R access products including a base station controller (BSC), trans-coding unit (TCU), base transceiver station (BTS) and an all-IP voice core solution based on an ATCA platform.

It also includes a subscriber and configuration management system and service capabilities including design, implementation, maintenance and operation.

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By GlobalData

DART runs along the coast of Dublin, from Malahide and Howth southwards and towards Greystones, Wicklow. Initially, Kapsch will pilot the system on a 48km line, with the total km of lines to be equipped at 2,000km.

With the inter-connection of the European GSM-R networks and due to the standardised end-user terminals, cross-border communication using the same equipment is possible for international trains.

Kapsch said its digital wireless train communication eliminates the time-consuming operation of different, national systems due to this new European standard for the transmission of wireless information.

Through the new system, freight and passenger trains can be dispatched faster at the border and be quickly handed over to the neighbouring country’s railway operator.

In addition, Kapsch CarrierCom will also implement an efficient network subsystem (NSS) based on the new IP 3GPP release 4 technology and a new service control point (SCP) for the complete service management of intelligent networks. Base transceiver stations (BTS) will also be integrated, which establish the wireless connection to the mobile stations.