The MESA®26 train radio system has been in use in one particularly sustainable setting since 2020 – Austrian railway operator ÖBB’s Cityjet eco, a variant of its Desiro Mainline (ML) multiple units, which is fitted with hybrid battery equipment and thus allows for easy retrofitting with a battery system.

Train radio plays a vital role in railway operations, because it ensures communication between mobile and stationary infrastructure. This is the specialist field of Funkwerk Systems GmbH. ‘We are experts in voice and data communication using analogue and digital mobile networks in rail transport,’ said Kerstin Schreiber, CEO of Funkwerk AG. Funkwerk has been developing and manufacturing train radio technology for railway operators all over the world for 40 years, both for installation in rolling stock and as portable equipment. Integrating pioneering technologies in the development process and taking the latest standards into account produces radio systems with modular designs that allow for changing expectations in the future and thus give our customers the certainty they need before they can deem an investment worthwhile.


Train radio systems featuring innovative software

Certified according to the latest standards, train radio is breaking new ground thanks to the MESA®26 radio system. Two aspects in particular set the system apart: firstly, the use of a radio module with an integrated filter that shields against interference from other radio networks, and secondly, its modular structure. This is why MESA®26 is already in use with many European railway companies.

GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway), the dedicated radio system for railways in Europe, is the standard in rail transport across the continent. Funkwerk can be proud of its status as a leading provider of mobile GSM-R train radio systems. Not only that, but Funkwerk also has its sights set very much on the future with the FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System) train radio standard and its already working on migration strategies.


MESA®26 in use in a sustainable setting

The trains fitted with the hybrid battery equipment are designed to be solve the problem of how to run carbon-neutral trains on non-electrified sections of track. The battery system, which is fitted to the roof of the ÖBB Cityjet eco, charges with environmentally friendly electric power via its pantograph on electrified sections. The trains can then be operated sustainably even on non-electrified parts of their routes without any need to use alternative drive systems.

The ÖBB Cityjet eco has already saved 140 tonnes of CO2 in its 15 or so months of trial operation running passenger services. ‘However, battery-powered trains are not the only ones to use the MESA®26 train radio system – there are also 200 Desiro ML multiple units fitted with Funkwerk’s system,’ said Schreiber.