GSMR-communications, source: Network Rail

Network Rail upgrades GSM-R cab radios

British infrastructure manager Network Rail will retrofit the GSM-R cab radios of the entire rolling stock fleet in the United Kingdom. The upgrading will start in October when Siemens Mobility will supply 11,000 cab communication radios of the V4.0 model. The project will be finished in March 2022.

The contract of Siemens Mobility and Network Rail is valued at 36 million Euros. The order is divided into two parts: 9,052 radios will be installed in driving cabs and 1,948 devices will be supplied as the spare ones. “Our program to upgrade over 11,000 GSM-R cab mobiles to V4.0 will deliver significant benefits to passengers and the railway. It will resolve the rail safety risk and performance impact attributed to interference on the railway from public mobile network operators and enable them to improve their coverage for passengers at locations where we have asked them to turn down their coverage or power,” said Simon Atterwell, Director of Network Rail Telecom.


Siemens Mobility has already provided a series of trials with Network Rail in order to demonstrate and prove the GB version 4.0 software and Nexus hardware. During the tests, more than 100 trains were covered. The trials were held during the two-month period and successfully concluded in January 2019. They achieved an average mean time between failure in excess of 50,000 hours. “The program also provides the opportunity to explore additional railway applications such as GPS location data for train positioning location and the trial of a track remote condition monitoring application. We look forward to working closely with train and freight operating companies, and Siemens Mobility, in the delivery of this nationally important program,” noted Simon Atterwell.

Also, Network Rail has been working with Siemens Mobility to evaluate the use of Nexus RCM, an application that effectively creates a digital representation of the condition of the track assets, gathering data on the condition of the rail, in real-time, to enable targeted preventative maintenance to take place. “With digitalization, we’re enabling Network Rail’s intelligent infrastructure and increasing value sustainably over the lifecycle of the radios. The system will not only improve communications but also has the potential for sustainability benefits as well,” commented Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines and

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