Advanced Train Management System (ATMS)

The Advanced Train Management System is a communications-based train control and signalling system, developed by ARTC in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.

ATMS is an innovative solution to train management, which connects drivers in the cab to ARTC Network Control centres, centralising information and control, making trains ‘smart’ and simplifying our track. ATMS integrates four key components into one operating system:

    1. Network Control System
    2. Communications System
    3. Trackside
    4. Trainborne

​ATMS brings ARTC’s train control into the digital age, upgrading the capabilities of the Australian rail network and improving the safety, capacity and productivity for the entire supply chain.

Benefits of ATMS


  • Automatic safety intervention
    • For exceeding authority limits or over speed
    • Awareness of train locations, ability to apply a train’s brakes to prevent SPADs and overspeed
    • Increased safety through train brake intervention and removal of manual paper-based processes
  • Increased situational awareness
    • Positive prompts for the network controller
    • ATMS onboard equipment will continually determine the location of the leading edge of its train, calculate the location of the trailing edge of its train, and calculate other information relating to the safe working of trains, such as current train speed
    • Replace trackside signalling with in-locomotive displays of authorities to drivers
    • A Trackside Interface Units (TIU) will detect points position, detects fouling of points and points of entry to ATMS controlled track
  • Eliminate miscommunicated authority
    • Prevent the miscommunication of train orders
    • ATMS provides authorities to trains via data communications and a train driver’s display
  • Increased driver path visibility
    • Visibility of all activities up to 10km ahead including limit of authority, speed restrictions, track layout, gradient, other trains and track occupancy.


  • Ability to fleet trains on single track sections
    • Greater compression for trains travelling in the same direction
    • ATMS precisely tracks trains, meaning the existing track can be utilised to a greater and more efficient extent
  • Tighter separation limits
    • The ability to more accurately manage train operating boundaries
  • Ability of faster trains to close in on traffic
    • Providing greater flexibility with dynamic resequencing of traffic


  • Reduced infrastructure and operational costs
    • ATMS equipped trains can travel closer together and do not have to be restricted to long section separation, meaning train crosses and passes will happen more quickly
    • Improve network capacity and flexibility i.e. more trains on the same track section
    • Reduced infrastructure and operational costs
    • Increased reliability through reduced infrastructure
  • Platform for future enhancements
    • Designed to enable ease of future enhancements and interfaces

How ATMS works

  • Remote Control of Switches: Points combining two ATMS controlled tracks will be remotely controlled from the Network Control Centre (NCC). ATMS will support setting of the points by the Network Controller or automatically align points based on the authority requests. If points move out of alignment to the authority (e.g. manually switched) or ATMS is no longer able to verify the alignment of points, the train will not be allowed to proceed past the points without visual confirmation by the train driver that it is safe to proceed.  The train driver will relay the status to the NCC.
  • Management of Equipped and Unequipped Trains: ATMS support management of both Equipped Trains (ATMS Trainborne equipment fitted) an Unequipped Trains (no ATMS Trainborne equipment fitted). Equipped Trains automatically receive and display movement authorities (including Track Worker Authorities etc.) allowing the driver to see real time track occupancy.  For unequipped trains, movement authorities are managed electronically in the Network Control Centre and issued to trains via voice communication between the Network Controller and Train Crew.
  • Electronic Movement Authorities: ATMS will issue authorities in the form of Electronic Movement Authorities, which are uni-directional or bi-directional authorities granted to ATMS Equipped Trains over a set of Electronic Blocks. Authority forms are not required for Electronic Train Orders.
  • Authority Enforcement: ATMS will ensure that equipped trains do not exceed the limits of their Electronic Movement Authorities by warning the train driver if the train is approaching the end of the train’s authority. If the train driver does not bring the train to a stop after receiving the warning, ATMS will apply the brakes to bring the train to a stop. ATMS will also enforce an equipped train, which attempts to move against the direction of its authority.
  • Overspeed Enforcement: ATMS will ensure that equipped trains do not exceed the safe civil speed by warning the Train Driver when the train is accelerating over the civil speed limit or is approaching a lower civil speed limit at too high of a speed. If the Train Driver does not act to slow the train after receiving the warning, ATMS will apply the brakes to bring the train to a full stop.
  • Bi-Directional Double Track: ATMS will provide the ability for trains to run in either direction on double track.
  • Electronic Blocks: ATMS territory is be partitioned not by physical blocks, but by 200m electronic blocks defined in a track database. Authorities will still be granted to control points, but these smaller electronic blocks will allow fleeting trains to travel much closer to each other, increasing capacity.
  • Paperless Cab: ATMS will provide trackside worker protection by notifying equipped trains of track worker possessions and preventing equipped trains from encroaching upon their limits unless confirmed safe to do so. Temporary speed restrictions will be created and maintained; equipped trains will be enforced to the most restrictive speed of the temporary speed restrictions and civil speed. ATMS will provide the ability for trains to close-up for rescue and/or fit multiple trains in a loop.
  • Train Integrity: ATMS will provide a monitor of train integrity, by providing precise location of trains both front and rear. The train completeness will be continuously monitored by using an end-of-train device. If ATMS trainborne cannot confirm train completeness, automatic rollup of the train’s authority will be suspended, warnings will be provided to the train driver, and alerts will be provided to the responsible Network Controller.
  • Entry/Exit from ATMS Territory: ATMS allows equipped trains to enter ATMS territory at track speed and provides for their exit from ATMS territory.

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