Digital Systems: Transforming Rail Transport in Sydney with ETCSL2, TMS & ATO



Author: Stephen Lemon
Conference Day 2
Innovation & Future Development (2) Session

Transport for NSW’s Digital Systems Program is transforming the way the Sydney rail network is managed and operated. It will provide a ‘step-change’ introduction of a new traffic management system, radio-based cab signalling and automatic train operation to assist drivers, who will still remain in control. The first deployments will be at the two ends of one of Sydney’s busiest suburban lines, allowing for the parallel development of two ETCS suppliers with interoperable solutions. Subsequent deployments of Digital Systems will be prioritised to increase capacity on the most constrained lines of the network first. An overarching program of rail upgrade projects, ‘More Trains, More Services’, has been formed to manage that prioritisation and bundle the Digital Systems rollout on any corridor with additional improvements and enabling activities required for higher service capacities, including traction power system upgrades.
A key challenge for introducing ETCS to a high-density brownfield operation near its capacity limits is the minimisation of service disruption combined with the transformative nature of Digital Systems. Learning from international best practice and the experiences of comparable projects, combined with effective knowledge transfer is vital for successful ETCS introduction far from Europe. Our paper will present and update the evolution of the transformative ‘Digital Systems’ program for the people of Sydney.