What is ETCS?

ETCS is an advanced digital signalling system that relays continuous information between trains and central Rail Management Centre via a radio system, trackside technology and onboard equipment.

Put simply, ETCS helps to keep trains separated by controlling their movement.

Already operating in many cities around the world, the system monitors, evaluates and helps regulate speed of trains continuously, so that trains can be run more frequently and more efficiently without compromising safety.

ETCS has been installed and is currently being tested on the Shorncliffe line, will be a key component of how trains operate in the new Cross River Rail tunnels and will then progressively be rolled out across the wider SEQ rail network over the next 10-15 years.

Delivered by the Sequence Signalling & Systems Alliance

Formed especially to design and deliver ETCS, the Sequence Signalling and Systems Alliance brings together Hitachi Rail, Queensland Rail and the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority under an alliance style contract, working closely with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

This combines Queensland Rail’s 150+ years of proud local history and operational excellence with Hitachi Rail’s global rail and digital signalling expertise, under the governance, procurement and project oversight of the CRRDA.

A truly international alliance, Sequence is a highly skilled team with experience in digital signalling, systems and network operations in Australia, across Asia and Europe and the USA.

For employment opportunities and a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, just click here.

How it works

How it works

Workers making changes to the rail tracks in preparation for ETCS works.

Transforming travel

Engineers approaching a signal hut.

Beyond Cross River Rail

How it works

ETCS relays continuous information between the central Rail Management Centre (RMC) and trains via a radio system, and between trackside equipment and the RMC through a fixed transmission network. Some additional data is transferred via fixed balises (or beacons) on the train tracks to the trains. This information reports the position, direction and speed of each train and enables the system to calculate safe, maximum running speeds. Knowing the exact position of each train along the network means they can be scheduled to travel closer to each other while maintaining the highest standards of safety.

Infographic explaining how ETCS works.

Transforming travel

Already operating in cities around the world, ETCS will increase rail capacity, efficiency and reliability while maintaining safety – particularly important for tunnel operations.

A crucial part of Cross River Rail, the ETCS will support the region’s rapid population growth and continued prosperity by:

  • Making our rail network more reliable – which means less disruptions to your journey,
  • Helping us increase the frequency of trains – which means less time waiting for your next service. And…
  • Improving the flow of real-time information – so you’ll always know how trains are running.

You can learn more by downloading our brochure

Workers making changes to the rail tracks in preparation for ETCS works.

Beyond Cross River Rail

ETCS will play an important part in the future transformation of the wider South East Queensland rail network.

The new system will deliver a significant change for the rail network – supporting increased capacity, efficiency and reliability for a sustainable transport network and play a key role in how Queensland prepares to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Engineers approaching a signal hut.

Help us deliver a next-generation rail network for future generations

Working on Cross River Rail offers you a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects and to be a part of something that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Sequence is regularly recruiting to our diverse, dynamic and collaborative team, expanding our capability across a wide range of engineering, project management and project delivery support roles.

Want to rewrite your resume in rail? Use the links below to view available jobs:

A smiling worker posing for a picture in their high-vis workwear.

Hear from existing staff

Watch this video to learn more about what it’s like to work for the Sequence Systems & Signalling Alliance.

Hear from existing staff

Watch this video to learn more about what it’s like to work for the Sequence Systems & Signalling Alliance.