Friday, February 13, 2009

Single digital train control system vital for Australia

“The implementation of a single Australian Digital Train Control System (ADTCS) is imperative if we are to increase rail’s capacity, productivity and safety,” Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) said.

Currently, there are 22 train control radio networks in Australia. This means that on average, an Australian freight train is fitted with up to eight (8) different radio systems.

Further, a train driver needs to interpret different signalling systems and deal with a multitude of train control systems and procedures to travel between states.

“This situation is clearly absurd, and reflects the chronic under-investment from governments in rail. It clearly impacts on the capacity and productivity of all rail operations, and acts in detriment of Australia’s economy, society and environment.” said Mr Nye.

Whilst a small segment of the Australian rail network has been upgraded to more modern technology, the great majority of the network is based on old signalling equipment.

With the rapid increase in rail use, the nation desperately needs a single Australian Digital Train Control System to underpin urban and regional passenger services as well as inter-capital and regional freight operations.

The ADTCS would ensure each train driver has only one digital screen and one radio microphone. This will set the pillars on which rail builds its future.

This kind of world class technology is already in operation in Europe and China and is being adopted in the US, India and South East Asia. Australia must adopt the ADTCS now.

“We call for Commonwealth and State governments to work together with our industry to bring Australian rail back into the 21st century.” concluded Mr Nye.

- Article taken from Transport & Logistics News

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