Latest Rail News

09.06.14

Cab radio upgrade for Tyne and Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear passenger transport executive, Nexus, is to invest £6.4m in a new digital radio system for its fleet of 90 trains.

Installed in the driver’s cabs on Metro’s fleet of trains and in the Metro Control Room at South Gosforth in Newcastle, the new technology will replace an analogue radio system which has been in use since the early 1990s.

Work to install the new radio system is set for completion in the autumn of 2015, and the initiative forms part of the £389m Metro all change modernisation programme, an 11-year project funded by the government to provide new-look stations, refurbished trains and other rail infrastructure, including tracks and signals.

Raymond Johnstone, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “The new technology will provide the Metro drivers with a vastly improved, digital communications system which is fit for the 21st century.

“Replacing the radio system is perhaps a less glamorous part of our modernisation work, but it is probably one of the most important upgrades that we will make.”

The radio system is being supplied to Nexus by an Austrian company called Kapsch CarrierCom, a market leading global manufacturer and supplier of end-to-end telecommunications solutions. Design work is underway now, with work on fitting the new radio equipment commencing in the spring of 2015.

The new communications system will provide full coverage of the network in the entire area of Metro operation and will also provide a significantly better performance than the existing analogue system. Nexus has also confirmed that the installation work will not mean any disruption to Metro services.

In an earlier interview with RTM, Johnstone said the new TETRA system is being installed because their current system is “obsolete”. He explained: “In terms of quality, it still functions reliably, but you’ve always got to keep ahead of the game when it comes to essential kit like radios.”

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