Modern rail technology to advance safety on Trans Australia Railway

Media Release


23 November 2017

Joint release with:

John Fullerton

ARTC Chief Executive Officer

  • Trans-Australian Railway testing ground for innovative rail technology
  • Advanced Train Management System will provide major efficiency and safety gains on east-west interstate railway
  • $50 million Australian Government investment into making the national rail network safer

Australia's Trans-Australian Railway continues to be a hub of innovation in its centenary year with work underway to investigate the introduction of state-of-the-art rail technology along a 1,280 kilometre section of track between Tarcoola (SA) and West Kalgoorlie (WA).

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) replaces the need for on-track signals, using GPS and wireless technology to locate trains and provide real-time information.

“ATMS has been undergoing rigorous development and testing on the Australian Rail Track Corporation's (ARTC) rail network in South Australia for the past eight years and the Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie section will soon be ready for the next phase of the trial,” Mr Chester said.

“The Australian Government has committed $50 million to ARTC to support the roll-out of ATMS which will revolutionise the way we manage rail freight services by increasing capacity and improving operational flexibility, safety and reliability.

“That means we can run more trains, more often and safer than ever before through highly innovative in-cab technology and modern telecommunications systems.”

ARTC Chief Executive Officer John Fullerton said Lockheed Martin Australia is playing a major role in the introduction of ATMS.

“The ARTC and technology partner, Lockheed Martin, expect to have ATMS in live operations as the accredited safeworking system between Port Augusta and Whyalla by late 2018,” Mr Fullerton said.

“Advanced trials of the system have been successfully taking place between Port Augusta and Whyalla since 2015, and additional on-track tests, using locomotives and an ATMS fitted road-rail vehicle, are planned for later this year.

“These on-track trials provide the opportunity for users of the system—network controllers and train drivers—to provide feedback on how it is working and exposes ATMS to real-world operations.”