Australia’s Trans-Australian Railway is set to test the introduction of new technology across a 1,280km section of track between Tarcoola in South Australia (SA) and West Kalgoorlie in Western Australia (WA).
The Government of Australia has agreed to an investment of A$50m ($38m) in support of the project.
The new technology is known as the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) and uses GPS and wireless technology to provide real-time train information and location data, eliminating the need for on-track signals.
Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said: “ATMS has been undergoing rigorous development and testing on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) rail network in South Australia for the past eight years, and the Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie section will soon be ready for the next phase of the trial.”
The introduction of the new in-cab technology and installation of modern telecommunications solutions is expected to enable the authority to run more trains at a higher frequency on the line, while increasing safety and efficiency.
ARTC CEO John Fullerton said: “The ARTC and technology partner, Lockheed Martin, expect to have ATMS in live operations as the accredited safe-working system between Port Augusta and Whyalla by late 2018.
“Advanced trials of the system have been successfully taking place between Port Augusta and Whyalla since 2015, and additional on-track tests using locomotives and an ATMS fitted road-rail vehicle are planned for later this year.
“These on-track trials provide the opportunity for users of the system, network controllers and train drivers, to provide feedback on how it is working and exposes ATMS to real-world operations.”