Digital train radio systems - case study
- Engineering design
- Construction and commissioning
The Digital Train Radio System (DTRS) project consists of design, development, construction, integration, commissioning and testing and Through-Life-Support (TLS) of a GSM-R private communication network for train safety and control throughout Transport for NSW’s (TfNSW) entire electrified rail network.
UGL’s role was to design, supply, install and maintain a state-of-the-art DTRS on Sydney Trains electrified rail network. The DTRS covers 1,455 kilometres of track, stables and rail sidings and 70 kilometres of rail tunnels across the Sydney metropolitan rail network. This includes the fitment of 675 trains with onboard radios and interface equipment, enabling communications between train crews and other rail staff such as track workers and freight operators.
As part of the network deployment, UGL provided telecommunication and site design, including:
- radio frequency (RF) and optical link budgets
- tunnel RF systems design
- transmission backhaul
- direct current (DC) power system design
- site layout
- earthing and bonding
- tower and mounting structural analysis
- lightning protection
- power system provision
- electromagnetic emissions (EME) analysis
- major dispatch and location system
- PSTN & PABX interface
Services for installation and commissioning included:
- civil works
- tower installation
- fibre optic cable install and terminate
- antenna systems
- equipment room fitout
- DC power supplies
- air conditioning
- intrusion alarms
- equipment install in live operational areas
- mains power supply
- train cabin radios
- services location
- configuration management
This project includes over 330 global system for mobile communications-railway (GSM-R) 1800 MHz base transceiver stations (BTS) on greenfield and existing radio sites. UGL is responsible for the radio frequency (RF) coverage planning, site selection and EME analysis. Duplicated core network switching centres are located at diverse sites with automated changeover in the event of a major incident.
The network contains 115 control consoles located at signal boxes, sophisticated dispatch terminals in control rooms and 77 kilometres of leaky feeder systems in tunnels. The 330 BTS sites are connected to the switching centres and control points by a high-speed fibre optic network using Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology.
UGL was also responsible for the deployment of a sophisticated Network Management System (NMS) which allows detailed monitoring and integration of all network elements from the Network Operations Centre (NOC), or by remote dial in for maintenance support.
A sub system provides actual signal strength measurements from each site ensuring the integrity of both equipment and antenna systems.
The electrified rail network utilises almost 1,000 multi-car train sets which were fitted with radio equipment to allow train drivers and guards to communicate with signallers and to receive and generate vital emergency messages using location-based message addressing.
UGL’s contract included training to TfNSW for engineering and field staff enabling them to manage and control the DTRS network. A long term Through-Life-Support contract with logistic services and maintenance was also included within the contract.
Through Life Support
Following on from the successful design, install and commissioning of the DTRS, UGL was awarded the TLS project on a five-year maintenance contract for routine and corrective maintenance of the DTRS.
UGL’s TLS responsibility covers 1st, 2nd and 3rd line maintenance (hardware and software) across 3 core sites, 330 base station sites, as well as 2nd and 3rd line maintenance for approximately 1000 on-train radios across 4 rollingstock depots.
UGL TLS operate and maintain the following:
- 330 track side base transceiver stations and Direct Broadcast Satellites
- 115 Dispatch Terminal
- 3 Cores
- 20 Operational Core Data Networks
- 1000 cab radio, Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) and other on-train equipment
The UGL DTRS TLS team has a Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of zero since the inception of TLS in August 2016.
Other successes include:
- maintaining a fully operational systems with zero downtime to date and demonstrated ability to deal with potential service affecting incidents within 90 minutes across the greater Sydney metropolitan area on a 24/7 basis
- providing full turnkey design, development, construct and maintenance skill-set for technology and construction sectors
- high KPI success rate
- successfully coordinating and managing critical global technology suppliers and subcontractors.