Rail Communications System To Be Upgraded

Rail Communications System To Be Upgraded

Western Australia Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti

Public Transport Radio Communications Upgrade

Victor P Taffa

  • Government issues request for proposal to upgrade public transport rail communications system
  • $120 Million project budget to move to digital spectrum
  • Project vital to create a more efficient rail network and support future expansions

Western Australia State Government is upgrading the radio communications system for Perth’s urban rail system.

“Shift from analogue 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.” Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said.


“Radio systems are critical to train operations as they are used by operational staff carrying out tasks of almost every type, from customer service staff, to train drivers, train controllers, security and maintenance staff. It will also provide a platform for a future improved train control system.”

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

$120 Million project will see the current analogue radio communications 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.

“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.” Ms. Saffioti said.

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

Radio Communications System 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 analogue system is switched off to comply with changed licensing and spectrum allocation requirements of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.