Australian rail freight operator Pacific National has fitted its new fleet of locomotives with voice and data communications systems to avoid a delay in operations.

The system, which was required before the fleet became operational, will provide emergency reporting and voice communication to train controllers as well as GPS location and simultaneous voice and data via the Telstra NextG network.

The system uses an Advantech Uno-2176 as the base computer and runs Linux as an operating system to integrate NextG phone for primary voice and data communications. The phone provides a continuous VPN connection back to the Pacific National enterprise.

The system also allows the operator to operate business-related applications from within the locomotives and connect directly to the enterprise.

The use of the system is aimed at cutting losses occurring due to assets sitting idle during delays.

The system has been developed by ComGroup Australia and Mintec Systems.