Cab radio is a statutory safety system that ensures engine drivers can communicate with train traffic controllers (dispatchers). All vehicles must have an approved and functioning cab radio system in order to operate on the rail network.
GSM-R (the R stands for Railway) is a closed mobile network in the form of a digital radio communications system designed for use on European railways. All locomotives and train sets must therefore be equipped with approved cab radio systems in order to operate on the railways.
Production of the cab radio system (Mesa 25) that has been used to date has been discontinued. New trains delivered to Norske Tog in recent years have therefore had Mesa 25 systems retrofitted from old vehicles that have been phased out. We have now reached the point where the number of new procurements is greater than the number of vehicles being phased out, which is why there is a need to produce new cab radio systems.
The need to produce new cab radios coincides with a technological overhaul which is planned to take place in Norway during the period 2025-2030. This will see the communications standard gradually change from GSM-R to the Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS) standard. 5G is used as the technological cornerstone of FRMCS.
Therefore, it must be possible to upgrade new cab radio systems as this shift takes place and they must be ready for the migration from GSM-R to FRMCS.
The new cab radio system will be fitted to all trains. Additionally, Norske Tog will replace current cab radios in a number of older vehicle classes.
In July 2020, Norske Tog signed a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility Limited and Siemens Mobility AS for the delivery of cab radio systems.
In Norway, the overall responsibility for the GSM-R system, as well as ensuring that the network and cab radio systems are able to maintain communications, lies with Bane NOR. Bane NOR is also obliged to approve the train companies’ cab radios and telephones, including the software.
The train operators are responsible for ensuring that they have approved radios and telephones fitted, as well as making sure that their staff have received training in the use of such equipment.
Read more about cab radio on the website of the International Union of Railways (UIC), which is responsible for drafting standards and norms for rail traffic here.
Further information about cab radios is also available on supplier Siemens’ website here.
- In July 2020, Norske Tog signed a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility Limited and Siemens Mobility AS for the delivery of new cab radio systems.
- At present, Norske Tog has placed orders for new cab radios to be fitted to Class 73, Class 93, Di4 and EL 18 train classes.
- The new model of cab radio has the designation SVR-511 and is based on the Siemens SVR-500 series.
- It will be possible to upgrade the Siemens cab radios with new technology when this is implemented as scheduled in the period 2025-2030.
- A total of 500-600 new cab radio systems are due for delivery.
- 2023 “First Of Class” for four vehicle types, approval from SJT, training and test operations.
- 2023 Series installation on Class 73, Class 93, Di4 and EL18. This will involve operators GoAhead, SJ and Vy.
Bane NOR, rail operators (GoAhead, SJ, Vy) and Norske Tog
Siemens Mobility Limited and Siemens Mobility AS
The Norwegian Railway Authority (SJT)
Last updated 16/12-21