Network Rail has awarded Siemens Mobility a €36m contract to upgrade the GSM-R cab radios for the entire rolling stock fleet in the UK.

As per the terms of the contract, Siemens will upgrade 9,052 driving cab radios starting this October.

The task is scheduled to be completed by March 2022. The company will also supply 1,948 additional communication radios, which bring the total to 11,000.

All trains will be fitted with a V4.0 model cab radio that will offer better communication quality and performance compared to the existing ones.

“It will resolve the rail safety risk and performance impact attributed to interference on the railway from public mobile network operators.”

Network Rail Telecom director Simon Atterwell said: “Our programme to upgrade over 11,000 GSM-R cab mobiles to V4.0 will deliver significant benefits to passengers and the railway.

“It will resolve the rail safety risk and performance impact attributed to interference on the railway from public mobile network operators and enable them to improve their coverage for passengers at locations where we have asked them to turn down their coverage or power.

“The programme also provides the opportunity to explore additional railway applications such as GPS location data for train positioning location and the trial of a track remote condition monitoring application.”

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The contract follows the completion of a series of trials in January that involved the demonstration of the GB version 4.0 software and Nexus hardware.

Trials were carried out over a two-month period and included more than 100 trains.

Siemens and Network Rail have also worked together to assess the effectiveness of the use of Nexus Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM).

The application provides a digital representation on the condition of track assets in real time, facilitating targeted preventative maintenance.