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Industry involvement sought for ETCS and ATMS interoperability solution

Transport for NSW is seeking industry involvement on the design of an integration solution for next generation signalling systems.

With Sydney Trains in the process of rolling out European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 signalling as part of the Digital Systems program on sections of the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) implementing its Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) across the interstate network, interoperability will be key for the effectiveness of these technologies in enabling more traffic to run through the Sydney network.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) recently closed a market sounding registration process for industry involvement on a proposed “interoperability server” solution.

“The ‘Interoperability Server’ term refers to a proposed technological interface which would allow movement authorities to be passed from ETCS to ATMS,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson.

“Transport for NSW and ARTC are engaging industry to advise on and help develop the best interoperability solution.”

The market sounding process requested organisations which have experience in developing, implementing and integrating safety-related software and hardware products and interfaces to those products to inform TfNSW’s thinking on the proposed solution.

Information on how the solution could be developed and delivered, including the process and timeframe, as well as possible packaging and contracting models, was part of the market sounding process.

A vendor was selected in August to deliver the ETCS technology to the Sydney Trains network. The first deployments will be on sections of the T4 line from Sutherland to Cronulla and Bondi Junction to Redfern.

“The system will enable improved reliability, increased capacity and an enhanced customer experience,” said the TfNSW spokesperson.

With deployment planned for the rest of the Sydney Trains network, including sections shared with interstate rail freight, a solution to enable freight trains to traverse the metropolitan network has been a focus of the program.

“We have been working closely with the ARTC to develop an interoperability solution which would allow trains fitted with the ATMS to communicate with TfNSW’s proposed Digital Systems,” said the TfNSW spokesperson. “This would allow trains fitted with ATMS to operate on the Sydney Trains network.”

The interoperability of signalling systems is also a focus of the National Rail Action Plan, which will identify standard operating rules to enable control and communication systems to interact around the country.