Rail safety issues and actions

Train radio functionality

Issue number: RO-2016-002-SI-07
Who it affects: Owners and operators of passenger rail services in Victoria
Issue owner: Metro Trains Melbourne
Operation affected: Rail: Passenger - metropolitan
Background: Investigation Report RO-2016-002
Date: 16 May 2018

Safety issue description

The functionality of the Digital Train Radio System (DTRS) did not allow an emergency call to override an initial lower-priority call.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Metro Trains Melbourne
Action number: RO-2016-002-NSA-009
Date: 16 May 2018
Action status: Monitor

Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) has enhanced its driver training to highlight the operation of the DTRS for normal and emergency use, including the need to cancel a lower-priority call prior to initiating an emergency call. MTM is also reviewing the functionality of similar digital radio systems used by other rail operators, and options for changing the functionality of the DTRS.


Date received: 31 August 2018
Response from: Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM)
Action status: Monitor
Response text:

Radio upgrade project

MTM confirmed that there are other systems that enable a higher-priority call to override a lower-priority call. An order has been placed for the functionality of the DTRS to be modified, with new software expected by October 2018. This software will be tested under controlled conditions, trialled on a sub-set of the fleet and subsequently rolled out to the fleet through a controlled program of works.

Current issue status: Safety action pending
Status justification:

The safety action taken by MTM should reduce risk associated with the safety issue. Improved DTRS functionality that provides automatic override of a lower-priority call would further reduce risk.

Last update 30 July 2018