Aurizon is replacing four ageing analog radio systems with a single mission-critical digital radio network covering Australia’s largest export coal rail network. Construction of the network commenced in early 2017, and once completed in 2018, the network will be made up of over 74 radio sites and will be one of the largest private Tetra networks in Australia covering more than 2600 km of track.
Through extensive project and engineering processes, starting with developing stakeholder and system requirements, through to technology evaluation and selection, Tetra was chosen as the technology platform to be deployed into the challenging environment of a heavy haul railway. The new Tetra network will also enable a range of additional benefits for Aurizon, including enhanced asset monitoring, automated alarm voice messaging and flexible talk groups, and support a range of applications such as geofencing, heat maps, location services and automated fault reporting. All of which will lead to a safer and more efficient operating railway.
With over 75% of the network constructed to date in less than 12 months, coverage testing is exceeding predictions and all indicators point towards project success. The final migration onto the new Tetra network is scheduled for 2018, with Aurizon now facing the task of managing operational issues and challenges that come with this generational change.