RailCorp begins installation of digital train radio system

30 January 2012 (Last Updated January 30th, 2012 18:30)

Sydney rail network operator RailCorp in New South Wales, Australia, has begun construction of the first of 250 towers required for its new digital train radio system (DTRS) network.

digital train radio system (DTRS)

Sydney rail network operator RailCorp in New South Wales, Australia, has begun construction of the first of 250 towers required for its new digital train radio system (DTRS) network.

DTRS is a new communication system being installed on RailCorp's electrified network by UGL Infrastructure and Huawei.

The system is being implemented following recommendations from the Australian Special Commission of Inquiry into the Waterfall rail accident in 2003.

Estimated to cost about $225m, DTRS will be installed at about 250 locations and more than 60 sites in tunnels throughout RailCorp's electrified network. The first installations are between Sutherland and Waterfall, to the south of Sydney, where the construction has commenced this year.

DTRS will replace RailCorp's current analogue communications system, MetroNet, which is coming to the end of its operating life, with a modern and secure digital train radio system.

Based on the European GSM-R standard of communication systems, RailCorp said the DTRS meets strict safety, reliability and operational requirements and works in a similar way to a mobile phone network.

The GSM-R communications system will enable train controllers, train drivers, train guards and signallers working on passenger and freight services to use a single system for voice and data communication.

RailCorp will require new 25-metre towers near each of the stations, comprising antennas, power and equipment cabinets connected through a fibre-optic cable. Construction, installation and commissioning of the DTRS equipment will take about six weeks to complete at each site.

Previously, the company had awarded a contract to UGL Infrastructure to design, construct, commission and maintain a new digital train radio system (DTRS) at about 250 locations within the rail corridor, as well as more than 60 sites in tunnels throughout the network.

GSM-R systems are operational in countries including Norway and Holland and under development in countries including the UK, France, Austria and China. In Australia, this system is being installed on the Melbourne train network by the Victorian Government.

Image: The 25 metre tower will have antennas, power and equipment cabinets connected through a fibre-optic cable. Photo: Victorian Government.