Brookfield has installed a $16.5 million two-way radio network to a 385km section of its track, in one of its largest communications projects since privatisation in 2000.
The company, which manages and operates 5,500km of WA’s open access, multi-user freight rail network, said the communications system will improve safety, efficiency and operability along the line from Kalgoorlie to Esperance, in the state’s south.
Brookfield’s general manager for infrastructure Paul Lowney said the project, which was completed at the end of April, has provided a high speed, high availability transmission system which would future proof the rail line.
“This new system introduces a reliable 2-way radio communications network which will mean train control, train drivers, maintenance crews and contractors will be able to communicate more efficiently and effectively in that region,” Lowney said.
“The project highlights Brookfield Rail’s long-term commitment to improving the safety, efficiency and reliability of the state’s freight rail network.”
Previously, rail workers and train operators had relied on fixed land line telephones and use of mobile or satellite phones where available for communication.
“Our customers’ train drivers can now continuously communicate with Train Control throughout the Goldfields-Esperance region without disruption,” Lowney explained, “making the communication process far more efficient and rail operations safer.”
The radio and transmission networks were fully designed using in-house expertise, Brookfield said. The project also involved the installation of fibre optic cable, new radio towers and communication equipment rooms.