New railway communications system brings multiple benefits

A project for the procurement and installation of the GSM-R system on large sections of Hungary’s railway network promises direct benefits for passengers in terms of reduced travel times, quicker train speeds, fewer delays and improved levels of safety. The state-of-the-art mobile communications system is also expected to reduce waiting times at borders.

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The new equipment, which includes optical cables and radio transmission towers, is being installed along 935 km of railway line, mainly on the network’s international corridors. Priority has been given to sections of track which require the Global System for Mobile Communications – Railways (GSM-R system) to meet EU legislation relating to the interoperability of command-control and signalling sub-systems on the trans-European rail network (known as the TEN-T programme).

Improving cross-border services

Installation allows Hungary to establish interoperable railway communication connections with the neighbouring countries of Austria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Better, more seamless international services for rail travellers will be forthcoming, as the investment provides seven border crossing points with interoperable communications equipment.

This new system replaces one that is not suitable for data transmission or traffic management. The GSM-R will also make it possible to introduce value-added services in the future, such as passenger information systems and electronic ticketing.

Increased reliability

Increasing the reliability of railway communications on these sections of track offers the following estimated benefits:

  • Reducing travel times across Hungary’s key international rail routes by a total of 61 minutes by 2015;
  • Reducing waiting times at international borders of around 118 980 minutes by 2016;
  • Improving traffic safety, with about 3 140 fewer incidents by 2016;
  • Increasing travel speeds on the network of between 120-160 km/hr; and
  • Reducing delays of about 103 690 minutes by 2016.

This is the first project in a two-stage scheme to introduce GSM-R to Hungary’s main line rail network. Stage two will see the system deployed along a further 2 129 km of track.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Procurement of the GSM-R system and related services” is EUR 492 231 947, of which the EU’s Cohesion Fund is contributing EUR 74 018 000 from the Operational Programme “Transport” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority “Improving international accessibility to the country’s railway and waterway networks”.

Draft date

10/06/2015