Railway Signalling and Telecommunications

Our Approach

CANARAIL’s Signalling and Telecommunications teams are experienced at providing technical solutions that are specifically adapted to the needs of railway operators, taking into account users, operating plan, commercial speed and the types of available power supply. Throughout a project, from the initial design phase to commissioning and operation, CANARAIL’s experts strive to provide cost effective solutions to the operator.

CANARAIL is a member of the SYSTRA group, a world leader in the engineering of rail and urban transport. Close collaboration between CANARAIL’s experts and other members of the Group facilitates the development of quality solutions adapted to clients' needs in the areas of both bulk freight and passenger railway transportation.


CANARAIL’s expertise covers signalling systems ranging from semi-manual systems (train movements controlled from a computerized control centre without track side or on board signalling), to conventional systems using track-side equipment and wayside signals, and advanced systems (PCT, ERTMS) that provide secure train control with both track-side and in-cab equipment.


CANARAIL provides a team of highly qualified engineers with extensive experience in the fields of fiber optics, VHF transmission (train moves controlled and authorized by block signals) and GSM-R (in conjunction with ERTMS signalling systems), which are the main telecommunication systems used by railways. The design of these systems is usually done in concert with the signalling system design.

The high transmission rates achievable with fiber optics allow a railway operator to attract public or private investment in the system. The operator may lease a portion of the available transmission bandwidth to third parties while maintaining the same capacity and quality of service for railway communications.

Engineering Services for Signalling and Telecommunications

CANARAIL's signalling and telecommunications experts provide a large range of engineering and project services, predominantly to freight and mineral railways, including:

  • Feasibility studies, analysis of  signalling and telecommunications requirements
  • Traffic and safety studies, audit and evaluation of the performance of existing systems, and definition of functional requirements in relation to other railway disciplines
  • Design studies and implementation schedules to install new systems or replace and upgrade existing ones
  • Functional and technical specifications of systems and equipment, preparation of tender specifications and evaluation of bids
  • Project and contract management
  • Approval of execution studies, supervision of installation and commissioning of systems
  • Approval of the security management plan during the development of a signalling system
  • Development of operations and maintenance plans, evaluation of resources and training
  • Operations and maintenance audits of systems in commercial service