Regional Fast Rail Project – Case Study

AA Radio On Track!

Over recent years the Victorian State Government has undertaken the implementation of a “Regional Fast rail Project” to improve the speed and frequency of trains servicing several provincial cities.

Awarded the construction phase was one of Australia’s major construction companies, Thiess, and along with premier railway signaling company Alstom (Now United Group),approached AA Radio to design and implement the radio communications system along the rail corridor.

The radio system designed was best fulfilled with the composition of Tait fixed radio units with connections between the radio sites and Control Location by circuits within the Fibre Optic network.

Several organisations operate the trains on the system and the radio equipment in all trains is common. One of the first design constraints was to retain operations within the existing channeling of train radios.

AA Radio technicians hold Railway Trackside Safety Certification and regularly worked under challenging conditions with works carried out ‘After last train and before first train’ (between midnight and 5am). In addition to the radio system, AA Radio also installed a telemetry system at many of the Trackside sites, which enabled the signal system to monitor Boom barriers at level crossings.

AA Radio has built a reputation on delivering solutions based on customer requirements and this system was no exception. ‘Train Describer Bells’ is a relatively simple system wherebya signalman indicates to the next signal operator that he is releasing a train from his control to the next site. These bells are in part a hangover from a bygone era; albeit still an important operational requirement. The old system provided signal bells on the copper circuits using telephone ringing voltages and format, these technologies could not operate in a Fibre Optic environment. AA Radio designed a simple and effective system utilising tone signaling to replace the old Bell System and give the signalmen their alerting system. This was yet another example of

AA Radio turning a requirement into a solution. “It didn’t matter what we threw at AA Radio, they just went away and made it work, no fuss, no complaints, it just happened” said Stuart McLean, a Railway Signaling Engineer with Alstom. “AA Radio were professional in their approach, worked very effectively with all parties and sought to have involvement from the users to ensure that they would be happy with the finished product, we were extremely happy with their approach and results”.

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March 27, 2012 5:23 am Published by

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