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Digital Train Radio System (DTRS)

Sep 26, 2016Bulletins

Bulletin 36 – 2016

To: RTBU Trains Guard Members;

Sydney Trains recently announced that it had received approval from the Rail Regulator to commence operation of the Digital Train Radio System (DTRS) on sectors 2 and 3, so the DTRS commenced on revenue services as from Monday 5 September 2016.

The RTBU did not agree with the rollout of the DTRS as we believe a number of outstanding issues remain which should have been resolved prior to it commencing operation.

Despite our objections as Sydney Trains had received approval from the regulator they believed that they had the right to commence operation with or without the approval of the RTBU.

In a telephone conference with attendees from the RTBU, Sydney Trains and members of the DTRS project group late on Friday 2 September, 2016, we advised Sydney Trains management that they would be commencing operation of the DTRS without our support and that we will hold Sydney Trains accountable should any incident occur as we believe that they are increasing the safety risk to our members and the travelling public.

In response Sydney Trains management confirmed that;

  • Initially, all Tangaras will operate in Dual fit operation as outlined in the recent SCD’s, with K sets and S sets being introduced from 19 September with a Single Fit operation.
  • Standards Officers have been located in areas where DTRS trains are being prepared for support. Additional DTRS support crew have been located at relief points for extra support following the rollout.

It is noted that Sydney Trains have committed to meeting further to discuss the outstanding issues needing to be resolved. As such, Members are strongly advised that if they do not feel confident operating the DTRS that they contact their Shift Manager or TCAC as soon as possible to arrange for support to be made available and members should report faults with Sydney Trains in the usual methods.

The RTBU also requests members to email any issues to us at nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au so these can be represented to both Sydney Trains and the Rail Regulator.

Members may recall a dispute raised by Guard representatives on the DTRS project about the placement of DTRS equipment and handsets in Drivers cabs only in all silver sets that are being rolled out in DTRS mode. Despite our strong safety concerns, Sydney Trains proceeded with the rollout with equipment remaining in Drivers Cabs only.

Members are also advised that they should also report any hazards to their local delegate and via the usual WHS committees to ensure Guard concerns are considered.

Issued by: Authorised by:
Helen Bellette


Alex Claassens


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