Radio tower, solar panel and communication equipment room at Lefroy near Kalgoorlie.

AUSTRALIA: The A$16·5m installation of a radio communications network covering the 385 track-km Kalgoorlie – Esperance route has been completed by Brookfield Rail, which manages Western Australia’s 5 500 km open access, multi-user freight network.

Maintenance staff and train crew had previously relied on fixed landline telephones and mobile or satellite phones.

The new radio base stations and transmission equipment were purchased, installed and commissioned by Brookfield Rail’s in-house staff. Telstra supplied and installed the optic fibre cables, and Thiess Services supplied communication equipment rooms, radio towers and mains and solar power systems.

'Our customers' train drivers can now continuously communicate with train control throughout the Goldfields-Esperance region without disruption, making the communication process far more efficient and rail operations safer,’ said General Manager, Infrastructure, Paul Lowney.

  • On May 1 Brookfield Rail reached a new interim rail access agreement with Co-operative Bulk Handling Group, intended to ensuring continuity of rail access for grain growers. The agreement runs until the completion of negotiations for a long-term agreement, or December 31. The infrastructure manager said 'it is a matter of public record that Brookfield Rail has not received sufficient revenue from CBH to cover the costs of operating the grain freight rail network, or to fund the capital expenditure required to maintain the lines.'