Following the successful award of the axle counter contract in 2021, where Thales will supply the axle counting systems for new ERTMS lines, ProRail is once again showing its confidence in Thales with this contract for ERTMS. Thales can replace the current system with a new central safety system (CSS) on the Dutch railway network. The contract has a maximum duration of 37 years and a value of 420 million euros. An important part goes to innovation to achieve an even safer and more sustainable railway network for the Netherlands.
ERTMS is a common European signaling and speed limitation system that ensures the interoperability of national rail systems, reduces the acquisition and maintenance costs of signaling systems and increases train speed, infrastructure capacity and the level of safety of rail transport.
“We are very pleased and proud to be ProRail’s trusted long-term partner by supporting them in implementing their clear vision of building an efficient and more sustainable railway network. All of this will be driven by our advanced digital technology portfolio and highly experienced people. ” dr. Yves Joannic, CEO of Thales Main Line Signaling.
From analog to digital
CSS is software-driven and enables the transition from analog to digital. This regulates railway safety centrally from ProRail’s data centers. At the moment it is still happening via signals along the track. The switch to a digital solution will drastically improve the maintenance and scalability of the railway network. The system will be continuously improved during implementation to keep up with the changing requirements of the market. It is also still possible to take advantage of new opportunities.
Ans Rietstra, COO ProRail: “CSS is the digital heart of our train safety with software as a foundation. In the coming years, we will therefore go from operations technology to information technology. This digital transition is not only special in the history of the railway, but certainly also for ProRail. In this process, we want to use Thales’ innovative power. I am really looking forward to the collaboration. ”
The collaboration within this project is very unique. Thales provides the central security system and a set of digital tools to engineering companies in the Netherlands. They are responsible for configuring the system through which the location-specific data enters the system.
ProRail’s contractors install the ‘object controls’ (which control the elements as signals and points) in the control cabinets next to the track and take care of the maintenance for the entire duration of the project.
Mirjam van Velthuizen-Lorman’s CFO at ProRail: ERTMS is the basis for more capacity, speed and reliability. Travelers and carriers will enjoy this a lot.
The contract is built around the different phases of the system’s life cycle. The first phase is the design and development phase, which consists of the development of the CSS and the realization of the CSS integration and training laboratory. The second phase is the project roll-out phase, which consists of expansion and approval of pilot line and corridor 1, knowledge transfer to engineering offices and, of course, delivery of materials and services to all sections. The last phase is 25 years of maintenance, after the last time it has been used.
“Contributing to a safer world is at the heart of our business. We are therefore proud that we achieve a safer and more sustainable train transport with our Central Safety System. Like Thales, we do similar projects across Europe, and it’s great to build a European rail network for freight and passengers together. “Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Holland
The future of train travel
CSS plays a key role in achieving the goals of ERTMS. Most importantly, to increase safety and capacity – this will accommodate future growth in freight and passenger transport. Traveling by train within Europe is therefore much easier and more attractive.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technology investing in digital and deep technology innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust. This is essential for the development of our society. Therefore, the company offers solutions, services and products that help its customers, in the form of companies, organizations and states. These cover several key markets, including defense, aerospace, aerospace, transportation and digital identity and security, enabling them to fulfill their key missions by putting people at the center of the decision-making process.
Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021, the group had a turnover of € 16.2 billion.