Alstom ETCS System Enters Service on Wuppertal Suspension Railway

WSW mobil GmbH awarded Alstom a signalling contract in June 2012. Following this, Alstom equipped the entirety of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway (Wuppertaler Schwebebahn) with the Atlas ETCS train control system. The system has now successfully entered service.

The 100-year-old imperial wagon (Kaiserwagen), as well as 31 new vehicles, now feature ETCS equipment, the European standard for train control systems.

Atlas ETCS control system suspended railway
Wuppertal Suspension Railway

The Wuppertal Project

The French transport company has completed its first full train control and signalling contract in Germany. As a result, the entry into service marks a major milestone for Alstom. The €17m contract included line-side equipment and an interface to the computer-aided operation control system.

The Wuppertal project is the first implementation of ERTMS Level 3. The fully radio-based system can record track occupancy using train localisation executed by onboard ETCS equipment. Consequently, Alstom replaced the traditional trackside train detection systems such as axle counters with a digital signalling system.

Jörg Nikutta, Managing Director of Alstom in Germany and Austria, said:

“With the successful implementation of this project, Wuppertal is the first city in Germany to use the European train control system in urban transport. ETCS does not only provide for safer and more efficient train operation but also serves as a basis for many future technologies.”

Alstom Atlas ETCS System

The components used to manufacture Alstom’s ETCS system, Atlas, were produced at Alstom’s sites in Villeurbanne (France) and Bologna (Italy). However, the assembly of the system took place in Charleroi (Belgium). Alstom staff from Charleroi, Salzgitter, and Berlin installed and commissioned the systems in Wuppertal, located in western Germany.

In total, Alstom has equipped 8,200 vehicles, since 2006, with its leading ETCS onboard equipment (3,200 of which are already in operation). Therefore, 18,000 kilometres of line (7,000 in operation) have Alstom’s ETCS equipment installed. Alstom has also supplied a large part of the DB’s ICE fleet with its ETCS technologies on the high-speed line between Berlin and Munich.

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