Getting people to the places they want to go, when they need to be there is the foundation of rail connectivity and making sure people can connect digitally while travelling is an important part of the experience.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) recognised that there was an opportunity to improve digital connectivity on regional rail networks and established the Regional Rail Digital Connectivity project to identify potential solutions to achieve better outcomes for NSW rail customers.
TfNSW then partnered with NSW Telco Authority as part of a whole-of-Government NSW Connectivity Strategy. NSW Telco Authority provided TfNSW with a 'find and fix' report containing a data-driven review and analysis of digital connectivity across more than 4,200km of regional rail network. The analysis found patchy connectivity to any of the three major mobile carriers from within regional trains, along many segments of the rail network, and on major nearby roads.
Poor digital connectivity can make it difficult for regional rail customers to work in a digital environment, stream from the internet, or connect with people whilst travelling. Additionally, road journeys by car, truck, coach, and emergency vehicles, can be adversely impacted by poor connectivity.
The customer impact of poor digital infrastructure on the regional rail network goes beyond the frustration of not being able to text, call, stream, and use applications such as social media, banking, and video conferencing. Limited connectivity reduces one of the key benefits achieved by choosing public transport instead of driving; that is, the ability to remain connected and productive while travelling. As a result, regional economic development could be compromised when productive commuting or business journeys become less viable.
Working together, Transport for NSW and NSW Telco Authority will continue working towards a solution using innovative technology that brings the best of government and industry together. Delivering on regional rail digital connectivity will bring us closer to the Future Transport vision to provide regional NSW with better connectivity supported by improved digital infrastructure.
NSW TrainLink Staff at Cardiff Station
Mandatory credit: Transport for NSW