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Western Sydney Metro deploys mission-critical communications for driverless transport

Nokiar teams with industrial partner to provide IP/MPLS backbone communications network and security solution for new Metro line connecting Australia’s largest city to airport

The new Sydney Metro–Western Sydney Airport line is intended to become the transport spine for Greater Western Sydney, connecting communities and travellers with the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and the growing region. Nokia has been appointed to deliver an IP/MPLS backbone communications network and cyber security solution for the link.

The city-shaping project, from the St Marys part of the city through to the new airport and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, has been designed to provide a major economic stimulus for western Sydney, supporting more than 14,000 jobs during construction for the New South Wales (NSW) and national economies. The 23-kilometre railway will link residential areas with job hubs including the Aerotropolis, and connect travellers from the airport to the rest of Sydney’s public transport system.

The Australian and NSW governments have awarded all three major contracts for the Sydney Metro–Western Sydney Airport project. The tunnelling contract was awarded in December 2021 to CPB Contractors, and Ghella Joint Venture to build the new twin metro rail tunnels. In March 2022, the contract to deliver approximately 10.6 kilometres of elevated viaduct, earthworks for track formation, a rail bridge over the new M12 motorway, a rail bridge within the airport and associated works was awarded to CPB Contractors and United Infrastructure Joint Venture.

In December 2022, the largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract in NSW was awarded to Parklife Metro for the stations, systems, trains, operations and maintenance (SSTOM) work package. The SSTOM project will deliver six new stations between St Marys and the new Aerotropolis, 12 new metro trains, core rail systems, and the stabling and maintenance facility to be built at Orchard Hills. Parklife Metro will also operate and maintain the Sydney Metro–Western Sydney Airport line for 15 years after it becomes operational.

Working with industrial partner Siemens Mobility, Nokia will install a mission-critical communication network including an IP/MPLS backbone network and datacentre fabric in conjunction with Nokia NetGuard Cybersecurity solution; support robust secure applications such as CCTV for passenger safety; train-to-ground communications backhaul for in-station, on-board and trackside applications; along with the associated datacentre and cloud networking.

Nokia assures that the complex security, performance and reliability requirements of new digital and legacy rail and passenger communications services will be served by the IP/MPLS network, comprising a comprehensive suite of routers and switches.

The NetGuard Cybersecurity solution will use the latest  industry standards and technology innovations to ensure sensitive systems and data are protected from emerging threats, through capabilities such as multifactor authentication, automated endpoint detection and response, real-time alerts, and device authentication.

“We are pleased to work again with Nokia as we deliver a safe, sustainable transport solution for residents and visitors to Sydney,” said Vijay Singh, Siemens Mobility project director. “The new data communications and cyber security solution will be vital to support both legacy and new digital passenger and rail communications services.”

Stuart Hendry, head of enterprise and partner sales for Asia Pacific, network infrastructure at Nokia, added: “This exciting project further strengthens a longstanding partnership with Siemens in Australia and around the world. As the threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure continues to grow around the globe, it is vital that communications networks benefit from the highest level of data security.

“As such we are pleased to be able to apply both our local knowledge as well as our expertise in delivering secure mission-critical IP/MPLS and datacentre fabric solutions to provide leading-edge mission-critical network for rail, and NetGuard Cybersecurity package that will support reliable operations and the safety of passengers. Working with Siemens Mobility, we can replicate this for other metro rail programs.”

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