Global System for Mobile Communications

Encompassing the combined resources of technology, processes and people, the GSM-R System delivers secure and reliable driver-signaller communications. Improving safety, performance and passenger experience, it also provides the foundation for building a modern, sustainable, digitally-enabled railway network with increased capacity and lower running costs.

The GSM-R System integrates technology, processes and people. It uses a specially-designed FTN (Fixed Telecoms Network) and mobile technology that includes trackside radio base stations, cab and fixed terminal equipment, and central switching equipment.

Processes range from journey registration and operational messaging to prioritising driver-signaller communications, ensuring priority is given to the most important messages and calls. The people involved include train drivers and managers, signallers and signalling managers, route and electrical controllers plus maintenance, telecoms and train preparation staff, amongst others.

This UK-wide project for Network Rail included design, configuration, cell planning, field testing and radio service verification testing to complete the de-risking of the GSM-R network. This resolved coverage issues and provided an IRENE-compliant technical report to the ORR so the network could go live. A key feature was the specific solutions design and integration for locations not previously surveyed.

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