More trains will be able to run at peak times on existing metropolitan rail infrastructure thanks to the Rudd Government’s decision to allocate dedicated radio spectrum for rail networks.
This dedicated spectrum enables state rail authorities to deploy next-generation wireless rail control and safety systems, allowing more trains to run with greater frequency.
These new systems will allow more frequent rail services, enabling up to 50 per cent more trains at peak times.
This would result in the capacity of metro rail networks increasing by 51,390 additional passengers per hour in Sydney, and 64,000 additional passengers per hour in Melbourne.
Investing in new infrastructure is important, but so is using the infrastructure we have as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Future deployments of high-speed rail will also be able to take advantage of dedicated spectrum to implement advanced rail communications systems.
Mr Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association, said harmonising the allocation of radio spectrum for rail across the continent is a world first.
“This will enable us to move quickly to Digital Rail Control systems, which will revolutionise train control and operation across Australia.”
The Australian Government has allocated harmonised spectrum licences in the 1800MHz band to rail authorities at a public interest price, delivering an effective cost saving to the States of $33.8 million.
Victoria and New South Wales are well-advanced in deploying their next-generation rail technology.
Other States can proceed confident that they can address future increases in demand for rail services by implementing a nationally harmonised and interoperable approach to rail safety and control.