Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R)

Ensure interoperable and standardised communication on the national rail network and beyond.


  • Start date : 2010
  • End date : 2018
  • Location : Whole network


  • 86_Projet-Digitalisation
  • 88_Projet-Reseau-gare
  • 87_Projet-Securite

Since 9th December, 2018, all analogue rail radio communication systems on the Luxembourg rail network have been replaced by a new system called GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications -Railways).

All voice and data transmissions about the management of the national rail network, are now made via this wireless communication system. It is technologically based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), that has been extended and adapted to the needs of the railway field.


The most important features that are added to the standard GSM technology known to the general public are:

REC - Railway Emergency Calls

These calls make it possible to alert all trains in proximity of potential danger.

Addressing by functional number

This allows to call a train driver based on the train number. A “phone book” is no longer necessary.

Addressing by location

It allows, at least in Luxembourg, to reach the head of traffic, responsible for the place from where the call is made.

Voice Broadcast Service

In this GSM-R mode, only one user can address the network. During this time, the other users of the GSM-R have to listen to the broadcast.

Voice Group Call Service

Push-to-talk: users take their turn in speaking

In addition to standardising the communication method at national and European level, the GSM-R system greatly facilitates, through its multiple functionalities, the daily operations on the Luxembourg rail network.