IP NETWORK: Downer EDI Rail has awarded Finnish firm EKE-Electronics a €15m contract to supply an IP-based information system for 78 eight-car trainsets on order for Sydney suburban services.

The double-deck EMUs are to be built by a joint venture of Downer EDI Rail and Hitachi Australia for Reliance Rail, the PPP contractor which holds a A$3·6bn rolling stock financing, supply and maintenance contract awarded by RailCorp in December 2006. The first trains are due to enter service from 2010.

EKE-Electronics will supply train computers, IP-based communication gateways, driver interface displays and train management functionality.

Core of the EKE-Trainnet is the new 1 Gb optical ethernet switch unit, which can handle all non-safety critical data traffic using standard internet protocols. It will also control GPS-driven passenger information and radio communications. Twin rugged event recorders will protect data in the event of an accident.