RAILWAY COMMUNICATIONS - STAYING IN TOUCH

October 27, 2022
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Railway comms

With pressure growing on our road networks and increased costs for air travel, both the public and logistic companies are turning to the railways. For over three decades, ATDI has worked in partnership with rail network operators, system integrators and consultants to ensure our rail networks meet the growing challenges facing the industry.

TETRA for rail comms
Leading system integrator, Sapura Malaysia has been operating for over 40 years and has subsidiaries across the rail and aviation industry, oil and gas, defence and security.

Since 2018, ATDI has supported Sapura's vital critical comms for their rail projects by providing HTZ Communications, training and technical support. Sapura designed a TETRA network for train-to-ground communications to support vital emergency calls. HTZ Communications was used to study uplink and downlinks, analyse network traffic using population data and assess handovers. To ensure the network meets the required coverage, HTZ simulates radio coverage along the route, identifying areas where optimisation is required. Similarly, drive test data can be imported directly into HTZ to provide a real-life understanding of the network reach. To learn more, click here.

Private-LTE supports Aussie outback
Transporting goods in rural Australia is only achievable using trains or trucks. ATDI supplied Vodafone with a private-LTE network design to support their customer with their supply chain operations. The project covered three main areas: baseline design evaluation, link budget assessment and network optimisation.

  • Baseline design evaluation assessed the performance of the network and evaluated its compliance. This included the review of the existing network design, evaluating Digital Elevation Models (DTM) and identifying areas that require improvement. Base station positions were analysed to determine which sites needed moving or replacing. The replacements saw some of the previously proposed Greenfield sites replaced with customer-owned Brownfield sites. Overlap sites were also identified and removed with minimal impact on network performance.
  • Link budgets were assessed to verify the values, taking into account the different throughput requirements for the automation of trains, drones, and stationary structures. This information was used to develop a methodology to estimate capacity requirements for the network.
  • Network optimisation was completed to improve the overall performance of the network using the new and existing resources.

For the full case study, click here.

Transforming Railway comms - Poland

Poland completed a nationwide GSM-R network & mission-critical backhaul network to improve railway security and reliability.

ATDI formed part of the PKP consortium providing support across three key project areas: design of the country-wide backbone transmission network, support for the network infrastructure rollout including the framework to connect radio objects with the PKP infrastructure and the upgrades to the operator’s VHF networks. This last phase entailed the colocation of base stations to support both networks, to reduce equipment and infrastructure costs.

For a breakdown of all three project phases, visit our case studies.

Modernizing the Railways down under

Long-term customer, Sydney Trains operates routes across New South Wales. For the past decade, ATDI has provided technical support services and software solutions. During the initial GSM-R network rollout, ATDI completed the network dimensioning during the trial stage, which included propagation model tuning, site search, coverage, traffic, and handovers. To support this project, ATDI delivered HTZ Communications licenses and 5m resolution cartographic data along the NSW rail service corridors. The project vendors UGL Limited and Huawei also implemented HTZ for network deployment, design and optimisation.

Since the original network rollout, ATDI has evaluated the impact of new structures on comms along the rail lines and incoming coordination assessments for new mobile (4G/5G) services within the restricted boundaries of the GSM-R network.

Sydney Trains use ICS manager to manage their spectrum licenses across TETRA, GSM-R and MW. ICS Manager enables the operator to manage radio assets, license status analysis, notifications, change-log management, and statistical reporting for billing management.

ATDI continues to provide coverage and modelling reports for key areas across the network, ensuring Sydney trains stay on track.

Sydney Trains
Sydney Trains operates rail services across the metropolitan Sydney area plus the Rail Operations Centre and the maintenance of assets including tracks, trains, signals, overhead wiring, stations and facilities. Sydney Trains maintains trains and a large proportion of the infrastructure used by NSW TrainLink.

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