Perth rail comms upgrade gathers steam

Tuesday, 02 May, 2017

Network 01

The Western Australia state government is progressing its plan to upgrade the radiocommunications system for Perth’s urban rail system by issuing a request for proposal.

Five short-listed companies will be asked to respond to the RFP, after the Public Transport Authority (PTA) called for and evaluated expressions of interest earlier this year.

The $120 million project will see the current analog radiocommunications system replaced with a modern digital system.

It will involve installing new towers and poles with new digital-friendly infrastructure. It will be at the forefront of technology, allowing the PTA to take advantage of modern applications.

All radio devices in trains, security vehicles and handheld radios for mobile staff will be replaced with new equipment.

The contract will be awarded early next year.

The project is expected to generate about 40 jobs and bring important technical expertise to Western Australia. It will be delivered by late 2020 before the existing analog system is switched off to comply with changed licensing and spectrum allocation requirements of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

“The shift from analog to digital has a number of benefits including improved transmission security as well as more flexibility to transmit not just audio but data as well,” said Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“An upgrade like this is highly technical and isn’t always visible to the public. However, it is critical in ensuring the Transperth rail network is ready for future expansions — including METRONET.

“This project will help facilitate automatic train control in the future, in line with METRONET objectives.”

Image courtesy Transperth.

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