by Tiana May
13 Jul 2022
SNCF Réseau has selected Hitachi Rail to develop and deploy wayside ERTMS radio block centres (RBC) for the French railway network.
RBCs are an essential component of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), as they manage train movements in a defined area by communicating between the train and track. Hitachi Rail’s RBC Argos technology will increase the capacity of SNCF’s rail network and improve the regularity of trains.
This system links to the Argos digital platform within SNCF Réseau’s ERTMS Argos Computer Based Interlocking project.
“This new contract builds on an historical partnership with SNCF, based on mutual trust and on the innovation capability of the Hitachi Rail group to support SNCF’s ambitions towards delivering a smarter and more sustainable mobility. With this contract Hitachi Rail, supplier of wayside ERTMS for the high speed lines, becomes supplier of wayside ERTMS for the overall national rail network, for the coming years.”
The RBCs will be tested by mid-2025 on a 16-kilometre pilot line between Cannes and Grasse. The technology will then be gradually deployed on the Marseille-Vintimille route, with the first section entering service at the end of 2027.
This project advances the European Union’s mid-term objectives to deploy ERTMS technology over more than 6,000 kilometres of French rail network, including on high-speed lines.
“With this new contract, we are implementing an essential brick of the new generation of ground-based ERTMS. It is therefore a fundamental step in our roadmap towards a new digital signalling system, a major challenge for SNCF Réseau with a view to developing a modern, reliable and robust service for the benefit of our customers.”
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