Sydney Trains Rail operations centre

Sydney’s bustling rail network and its associated train stations service thousands of commuters each day. Sydney Trains has recently revolutionised the way both its network of train stations and the train timetable itself are managed.

A state-of-the-art Rail Operations Centre (ROC) has been built and staffed. The 2,000-square-metre, four-storey facility is located in the South of Sydney, NSW.

Sydney Trains’ ROC controls Sydney’s rail network by incorporating many different systems into this single location.

The ROC is designed to efficiently keep the trains running on schedule and to help with the timely dissemination of information to customers when incidents do occur on the Sydney rail network, bringing monitoring and management all under one roof.

The ROC’s primary function is to monitor where each train is on the rail network in real time. The $296 million ROC incorporates a 33m display screen and 13km of cabling which assists in the handling of all of the train trips that occur across Sydney.

On a daily basis, Sydney Trains customers travelling on the rail network rely on clear, timely, up-to-date and regular audio announcements to get to and from their destinations as efficiently as possible.

The ROC is able to deliver this information to customers via tm stagetec systems’ digital PA system.

tm stagetec systems was involved in the ROC project, incorporating their digital PA systems into the facility.

As an important part of managing announcements and conveying information to customers, tm stagetec systems’ digital PA system can be used by staff within the ROC.

Staff have full access to the digital PA system and have the ability to make both live and scheduled announcements on every single platform and concourse in the entire Sydney Trains and NSW Trains network.

The digital PA system’s automatic digital voice announcement capabilities are enhanced with a web-based GUI system, which is designed to be easy to operate, has multiple languages and many other capabilities that ensure the system will continue to meet the needs of Sydney Trains well into the future.

The digital PA network is based on the Australian company Audinate’s Dante Audio over IP Protocol (ASX AD8). Sydney Trains have over 5,000 Dante enabled devices in their digital PA WAN. They also have hundreds of paging panels located at the workstations across NSW rail network.

The exterior of Sydney Trains' ROC

The exterior of Sydney Trains’ ROC

Aidan Willams, CEO of Audinate, said that Dante’s extremely low latency, perfect synchronization and ability to route thousands of audio channel over long distances makes it the perfect backbone for the Sydney Trains digital PA system.

“We are excited to watch tm stagetec and Sydney Trains continue to push the boundary of what is possible with a large, distributed audio network,” Mr Williams said.

“As far as we’re aware, this is the largest Dante deployment in the world.”

Given the current challenges being faced by the community and the inability to hold any form of gathering or event to commemorate ANZAC Day, the decision was made by Sydney Trains to broadcast the Last Post live at 6am to all Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink stations.

The Last Post was followed by a one-minute silence on Saturday 25 April, as a mark of respect on this solemn occasion. It was a huge challenge to ensure that this broadcast occurred without incident across all 370 stations at once.

Working together, Sydney Trains and tm stagetec systems were able to make this simultaneous broadcasting of the Last Post happen for the first time ever across all trains stations in NSW.

This event was able to highlight the ability of the digital PA system to manage audio for different events, including announcements for trackwork, special events and much more.

The ability to control the entire digital PA system from one central point, the ROC, will help ensure the performance of the Sydney rail network continues to meet the needs of commuters well into the future.

This partner content is brought to you by tm stagetec systems. For more on the digital PA system and its capabilities visit www.tm-systems.com.au/digitalpa.

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