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Strategic Review of TfNSW ATP Program

The Automatic Train Protection (ATP) Program is a major initiative to improve network safety and reliability in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

The programme will see the Sydney Trains metropolitan and NSW TrainLink intercity rail network fitted with new equipment to improve rail safety by monitoring a train’s speed and position on the network and automatically intervening or braking to ensure safe operations.

The programme will play a key role in delivering faster and more reliable services as part of the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Rail Future.

The contract, awarded by TfNSW in 2011 for the implementation of ATP across 600km of the CityRail network, includes the roll out of ATP equipment to 160 trains by 2017 and will deliver an ATP system tailored specifically to the requirements of the network, based on Level 1 of the proven European Train Control System (ETCS).

The contract also includes a pilot line for ETCS Level 2 which will be installed on the Cronulla Branch Line. Once installed, it would permit more trains per hour with improved safety and reliability.

Installation to the whole network is expected to be completed by 2021.



Strategic Review of TfNSW ATP Program

Following the Rail Reform in New South Wales and the break-up of RailCorp who were previously responsible for delivering the ATP programme, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) commissioned an independent review of the programme to determine its deliverability and the appropriateness of the solution.

Network Rail Consulting was approached by TfNSW to carry out this high level review and was asked to consider the following in their analysis:

  • is the first milestone date of 2017achievable and could it be improved
  • realistic calculations of the risks to the successful delivery of the program and what mitigation measures might need to be put in place to ensure effective delivery
  • consider if the programme is undeliverable within the planned timescale and advise accordingly on a more robust delivery date, providing an outline road map to achieve the revised delivery date
  • suggesting the most economic implementation plan in order to maximise the benefits
  • identify the major interfaces and suggest an interface management plan in order to minimise the risk arising of the same
  • review and comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of the revised delivery strategy for the Level 2 pilot trial
  • provide lessons learnt based on experience for Level 1 and 2 ETCS, for adoption, as applicable, to the NSW program.



Strategic Review of TfNSW ATP Program

The key outputs from this commission was a report responding to the clients questions supported by 33 recommendations categorised within the following areas:

  • leadership;
  • delivery programme;
  • approvals; system integration; or
  • resources.

The success of this assignment has been followed by a number of additional requests for support including:

  • review of procurement strategies
  • technical review of technical specifications.



Client: Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW)

Location: NSW, Australia

Start date: 2013

End date: ongoing

Duration: Initial 1 month review - contract ongoing

Services provided: ERTMS & ETCS levels 1-3, Programme management, Signalling, train control & telecoms, Systems integration