Stadler is taking over German company BBR Verkehrstechnik GmbH (BBR) and its group companies in order to expand its signalling expertise.
Stadler’s strategic goal is to become a stronger provider of modern signalling equipment and be driving force behind digitalising the rail industry. Last month, Stadler acquired Swiss company BÄR Bahnsicherung AG. On 1 January 2022 Stadler will concentrate its entire signalling portfolio in a new division.
Up until now, Stadler has focused its signalling activities on the on-board equipment of rail vehicles. Then it entered the Swiss interlocking market with BÄR Bahnsicherung. BBR, it says, is an ‘established international company that can contribute the necessary experience and knowledge to jointly drive forward the digitalisation of the global railway infrastructure’.
BBR signalling equipment is in use in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, other western and northern European countries, Asia and the United States. It manufactures infrastructure signalling products such as electronic interlockings, train detection systems and points operating equipment. However, it also manufactures on-board equipment for rolling stock manufacturers and development work, especially in the areas of interlockings, train protection and component retrofits.
BBR employs 270 people and Stadler will keep on the current staff, doubling the number of employees Stadler has in the signalling field.
“To ensure our independence, we have steadily built up our own Signalling activities since 2016. We are very pleased gain long-standing signalling know-how and experienced specialists for Stadler by taking on the BBR team. The merger of our two companies forms an excellent basis for offering our customers innovative signalling solutions from a single source – both on the vehicle and on the infrastructure side. BBR products win over customers all over the world – especially in the field of urban mobility. We are convinced that together we can play a decisive role in shaping the digitalisation of the railway industry as innovation leaders.”
The BBR founders said that Stadler, being a Swiss company, meant it had a similar corporate culture to that of BBR and that was an important aspect in the decision.
Stadler entered the signalling market in 2016 to free itself from dependence on direct competitors. To achieve this, Stadler established an engineering facility at its Wallisellen site, which became an independent company within the Stadler Group in early 2020.
Stadler’s GUARDIA automatic train protection system – a European Train Control System – developed as part of a JV, received generic approval in 2019 and is now in use in a number of European countries. It has been fitted on BLS’s new FLIRT trains in Switzerland.
Stadler has also developed its on communications-based train control system, which has also been in implementation in Switzerland since 2019. However, it is also used in the United States where it features a customised component developed by BBR.
Once Stadler’s new signalling division becomes active on 1 January 2022, Marc Trippel, formerly Chief of Staff of the Stadler Group, will take over the management of the new division. This new role will also place him on Stadler’s Group Executive Board.
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