A multiloop communications system and a method of routing data between stations is disclosed. The communications system has a plurality of interconnected communications loops, each of the loops including a ring-connected set of nodes providing data flow unidirectionally from one node to the next, each of the nodes being capable of passing data through itself along its loop, extracting data from its loop or injecting data into its loop. A first subset of each loop's set of nodes are local nodes which interface a station to its respective loop. A second subset of each loop's set of nodes are gateway nodes which interface to a gateway node of another of the loops. Each of the stations has a logical address unique within the system and each of the nodes has a functional address unique within each node's respective loop. A first station transmits data to a second station via the first station's local node, the local node forming a packet including the functional address of a node providing a route to the second station and further including the logical address of the second station. If the path to the second station includes a transfer to another loop, the gateway node on the transmitting loop transfers the logical address of the second station to the gateway node of the receiving loop. The gateway node of the receiving loop forms a new packet of data utilizing the logical address of the second station and a table which specifies the functional address of the route to be taken to second station. The system and method additionally provides for alternate routing in the case when the most direct path between the transmitting and receiving stations is inoperative.