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April 22, 2015

Australian Government approves first part of funding for ATMS project

The Australian Government has approved the first tranche of $15.5m in funding towards the implementation of the advanced train management system (ATMS) project.

By Samseer M

The Australian Government has approved the first tranche of $15.5m in funding towards the implementation of the advanced train management system (ATMS) project.

The ATMS implementation is being jointly delivered by Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Lockheed Martin Australia.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said: "The Australian Government has committed $50m to start the roll out of ATMS across Australia and trains operating between Whyalla and Port Augusta in South Australia will be the first to implement ATMS as part of Stage 1, with the technology later able to be extended across Australia."

The ATMS system includes GPS navigation systems, broadband communications and computer technology to track the trains in real-time.

"The Australian Government has committed $50m to start the roll out of ATMS across Australia."

Truss also said that the system will enhance the reliability of country’s national rail network, increasing on-time performance and safety.

Moreover, it is also expected to increase capacity for the movement of freight across the nation.

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Despite the funding from the government, the ARTC will also provide funding to the estimated $65m project.

According to ARTC CEO and managing director John Fullerton, this project will increase the cost-effectiveness of the network and reduce reliance on expensive signalling and other physical trackside infrastructure.

Fullerton said: "Initial trials commenced in January 2015 and so far two locomotives that travel between Port Augusta and Whyalla have been fitted with in-cab ATMS equipment.

"Planning is already underway for the next set of trials, which will involve further consultation with the end users of the system, rail operators. These trials are expected to commence later this year."

In October last year, ARTC signed a contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to bring the ATMS on the national rail network.

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