Digital Train Radio System

NSW NOW logoProject profile

Transport for NSW has begun installing a Digital Train Radio System (DTRS) throughout the 1455 kilometre electrified rail network, bounded by Kiama, Macarthur, Lithgow, Bondi Junction and Newcastle.

This project will see the installation of masts and other communication equipment at about 250 locations within the rail corridor and more than 60 sites in tunnels.

UGL Infrastructure Pty Ltd has been contracted to design, construct, commission and maintain the new network.

More information about the project can be found in the DTRS FAQs (pdf 465KB) and the DTRS Fact Sheet (pdf 645KB). The FAQs provide more information on safety, technology, environment, community engagement (pdf 107KB), construction and operations.

Key features

The project will involve installing new radio masts or, where possible, attaching DTRS equipment to existing infrastructure. Cabinets containing electrical and other equipment will also be installed.

The DTRS is based on the GSM-R standard now widely used by major rail operators in Europe and Asia. GSM-R systems, based on mobile phone technology, are operational in countries including Norway, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Finland and Sweden and under development in countries including Great Britain, France, Austria and China.

In Australia, this system is also being installed on the Melbourne train network by the Victorian Government.


The DTRS will ensure that staff such as train drivers, train controllers, signallers and train guards on the electrified rail network are able to communicate with each other using the same system with the same technology.

Replacing the existing analogue train radio system with DTRS will fulfil recommendations from the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Waterfall train accident to provide a common platform of communication for staff working on the railway.

Project status

Community and stakeholder consultation on sites is rolling out progressively across the network. Feedback from the community is considered prior to construction commencing at each site. It is anticipated the project will be completed in 2015.

Slideshow Images (Links below display larger version of images:)
DTRS at Como
DTRS at Carringbah
DTRS at Cronulla