The scope

We were asked to develop a communication-based train control (CBTC) system. These are part of a new generation of signalling technology, and we were able to push this further in an innovation that worked – for the very first time – for heavy haul rail. 

The customer required a centralised system that met CENELEC EN 50128 standards, as well as SIL 4 – the highest possible safety standard.

The solution

We assembled dedicated teams, which focussed on rigorous software development and testing. The work had to be engineered to integrate with existing rail infrastructure systems and had to be tested at all levels in both a simulated situation and out on track.

We worked hand-in-hand with the customer at all stages to deliver a solution which met those rigorous standards, while ensuring the system provided a solution that worked both in theory and in practice. 


  • Effective: it delivers an effective management system for a fleet size of approx. 190 trains running 500KM of track and allowed optimal train route identification to build in network resilience should trains break down or track-related issues appear. This also allowed for automatic train configuration.
  • Prudent: it makes trains much more efficient.
  • Informative: trains using the track are now overseen and continually supervised thanks to accurate communication between it and the signal.
  • Safer: safety is further increased by the implementation of a ‘moving block’ – a moving safe zone defined around the train using the CBTC.


  • Pioneering: This created the first heavy-haul rail CBTC SIL 4 solution in the world.
  • Revenue-generating: By improving the system to allow trains to run more efficiently, it included daily revenue to $15M AUD, an increase of 15% to 20% on average.
  • Automated: the new CBTC system allows for automated train operations and automatic unloading of trains.
  • Sustainable: we are able to carry out complete remote software upgrades thanks to significant digitalisation of this system.