METRONET: High Capacity Signalling

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Perth’s existing signalling and train control systems.
Priority Project
Perth, Western Australia
Fast-growing cities
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near to medium term (0–10 years)
Proposed By
WA Government
Evaluation Date
07 April 2020
map of the location where project will take place

Problem to be addressed 

Perth’s existing signalling and train control systems include ageing assets that are in some instances approaching life expiry and/or obsolescence.

The ageing infrastructure is currently causing safety, capacity and reliability issues on Perth’s rail network, and will be pressured by the anticipated population growth in Perth.

The Western Australian Government’s METRONET rail program aims to cater for this population growth by delivering new and extended railway lines and new stations. However, as the rail network expands, it will also increase pressure on the ageing signalling and train control systems will exacerbate the issues currently impacting the rail network.

Project description 

The project will implement an Automatic Train Control system using modern, radio-based, high-capacity Communications-Based Train Control technology on all three line-groups of the Perth metropolitan railway network.

The scope of this project includes:

  • Replacing the existing ‘fixed‑block’ signalling system with a ‘moving-block’ Communications Based Train Control system.
  • Replacing the life-expired Automatic Train Protection system
  • Implementing Automatic Train Operation
  • Implementing Automatic Train Supervision and Regulation to replace the existing Train Control System

The project also includes the construction of a purpose-built Rail Operations Centre, a back-up Signalling Equipment Room and an upgrade of the existing Alternate Train Control facility.

Economic, social and environmental value

Economic benefits of the project include shorter wait times, reduced train crowding, and travel time savings for public transport users. Other benefits include reduced vehicle emissions and operating costs, health benefits, and road-safety benefits.

The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 2.6, with a net present value of $688 million (7% real discount rate).