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SBB replaces railway radio technology – Platform J

SBB replaces railway radio technology – Platform J

Between Bern and Thun | April 15, 2024

Just like rails, power lines or signaling systems, railways also need a railway radio network. The SBB has reached the end of its service life and needs to be replaced. First, the route between Bern and Thun will be equipped with the new system based on the 5G standard.

With the introduction of the new railway radio system, SBB also wants to improve the mobile phone network for employees and customers.Photo: Keystone

In order for Europe's railways to be able to operate across borders, they rely on a new, unified standard, which is abbreviated as FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communications System). Regulatory requirements require SBB to introduce this system, the company wrote in a statement on Monday.

In order to be able to use railway radio in the future, SBB will have to convert some existing antenna locations on the railway corridor between Bern and Thun. New antenna locations are also needed. According to SBB, the antennas required for rail radio supply the rail corridor specifically and not the entire surrounding area like traditional commercial mobile radio antennas.

Mobile communications should also improve

As part of the upgrade to the future railway radio standard, SBB and mobile service providers are also testing the collaboration. In addition to railway radio, mobile communications coverage for customers should also be improved.

According to SBB, residents and communities along the route have already been informed. The company confirms that it adheres to the legal requirements and applicable radiation limits.

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For the route between Bern and Thun, from spring 2024, the SBB will undergo two regular planning approval processes with the Federal Transport Office as the approval authority. The first action of the segment between Rubygen and Thon was presented at the end of 2023 and will be open to the public from April 15 to May 14. The second procedure for the section between Bern and Almendingen will take place this spring.