Advanced Train Management System implementation on the interstate rail network

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Rail freight capacity constraint on ARTC network
Priority Initiative
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016


Australia’s interstate freight rail network comprises many long sections of single track. This restricts the number of train paths, reducing rail’s competitiveness with road, and hindering rail’s ability to meet growing freight movement demand. The interstate freight rail network needs to be enhanced to accommodate growth in the freight and passenger task, and improve efficiency and safety.

Proposed initiative

The Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) is a wireless satellite communications-based train control system that will replace line-side signalling, allowing:

  • more train paths, to increase line capacity
  • faster crossings, to reduce transit times
  • improved rail safety
  • improved system reliability
  • reduced maintenance costs for signalling equipment.

ATMS will improve the safety and efficiency of train operation, and improve competition with road. It is proposed to be rolled out across the interstate rail network linking metropolitan centres and key national ports.

There is in-principle agreement to adapt ATMS to be inter-operable with the Electronic Train Control System being implemented in some commuter networks.

The Australian Government has provided $50 million in grant funding to prepare for the deployment of ATMS between Tarcoola and Kalgoorlie.

Implementation stage 1, which involves deployment between Port Augusta and Whyalla, is now complete and the ATMS safety case has been certified allowing ATMS to be the primary safe-working system. Implementation stage 2, which involves roll-out to Tarcoola Kalgoorlie, has advanced to detailed design and commissioning and is anticipated to proceed during 2020/21.

Next steps

Proponent to complete business case development (Stage 3 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).