Proposed Network Upgrades Promise Boosted Coverage For Trains

A proposal to upgrade communication infrastructure for the Melbourne metropolitan train network has progressed to Stage Three under the Victorian Government’s Market-led Proposals Guideline.

The proposal by Vodafone and Nokia Networks involves installation of a new Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network on VicTrack assets to provide an option for the State to transition to a state-of-the-art communication system for Metro Trains, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and VicTrack.

The upgraded network would also improve Vodafone’s mobile phone coverage along metropolitan Melbourne’s train lines.

If the proposal is successful, the upgraded network will provide the core components for a future 4G Digital Train Radio System (DTRS), and has the potential to enable other rail network projects to be deployed onto a 4G network.

The Government’s acceptance of the proposal will be subject to the Victorian taxpayer getting value for money. If agreed the Victorian Government could potentially use the upgraded network to deliver other telecommunications projects.

The assessment process means the proposal must clearly demonstrate benefits to the community, align with Victoria’s priorities, and offer value-for-money for Victorian taxpayers.

The Andrews Labor Government has made a commitment to be open and transparent on all new projects. Under the Market Led Proposals Guideline, all proposals that progress to stage 3 of the process are publically disclosed.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“We are committed to supporting innovative projects that provide real value for Victorians.”

“The evidence is that many transport networks around the world are being upgraded to the latest standard that provides significant improvements in capacity and boosted signals.”

“While upgrading the communication network on the metropolitan train network shows great potential, we will ensure that this proposal offers value-for-money to Victorians before we fully commit.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“The Andrews Labor Government is building a bigger, smarter public transport system for Victoria, with high-capacity signalling, new trains and trams, and services so frequent you just turn up and go.”

“This proposal offers another opportunity to improve services, and we will assess it carefully to ensure it delivers for taxpayers, passengers, and every Victorian.”