04 February 2011

Australia embraces ERTMS

Australian operator RailCorp has awarded several contracts worth $65 million for its new rail signalling system in a major upgrade that focuses on improving safety across Sydney's CityRail network.

Alstom will deliver an Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system tailored specifically to the requirements of the network, based on Level 1 of the proven European Train Control System (ETCS).

The first 50 newly equipped trains will begin service in 2013. One third of CityRail's network will be installed with ETCS technology by 2015. In total, 160 trains will be fitted with the equipment, covering over 600 kilometres of track. Furthermore, a nine-year maintenance contract is part of the agreement.

The system provides an additional layer of security for Sydney's rail network by using radio transceivers placed at regular intervals along the track which communicate directly with compatible trains.

The agreement also includes a pilot line for ETCS level 2 which will be installed on the Cronulla Branch Line. Once installed, it would permit more trains per hour with improved safety and reliability.