A radio communication control system for a lead unit and a plurality of remote units is disclosed. The system has a protocol for establishing a communication link between the lead unit and the one or more remote units in the system which prevents any of the units in that system from processing messages or commands from other units in other train systems or processing messages or commands originating from units within a train system which are addressed to other units within the system. The communication system also includes a communications channel contention system for minimizing the probability of multiple units transmitting on the common communication channel at the same time and for insuring that the highest priority communications in each train are transmitted first in time measured from the end of the latest transmission on the radio communications channel. The invention also includes apparatus for verifying the establishment of the communications link by signaling through the mechanical coupling in the train and monitoring the radio response. The invention further includes an improved flow rate sensor for use in a remote unit for determining when significant air flows occur into the brake pipe of the remote unit. The invention further includes an air pressure regulation system which prevents the fluctuation of the air pressure in the equalizing reservoir of the lead and remote units consequent from either leakage or change in the ambient temperature.