Thales Awarded Implementation of ERTMS Central Safety System in Netherlands

  • ProRail has awarded Thales implementation of its European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Central Safety System (CSS) into the Dutch railway network. ​
  • In the Netherlands, ProRail’s work covers 7,000 kilometres of track, building and managing train stations and regulating trains traffic (1.4 million journeys every working day).
  • The contract has a maximum duration of 37 years with a value of 420 million euros with a significant part being dedicated to innovation.

After the successful contract award of the Axle Counter in 2021, in which Thales supplies the axle counting systems for new ERTMS track sections, ProRail continues to show its trust to Thales by awarding the ERTMS contract. This entails replacing the current system with a new Central Safety System on the Dutch railway network. The contract has a maximum duration of 37 years with a value of 420 million euros. A significant part is dedicated to innovation, in order to achieve an even safer and more sustainable railway traffic network for the Netherlands.

ERTMS is a common European signalling and speed control system that ensures interoperability of the national railway systems, reducing the purchasing and maintenance costs of the signalling systems as well as increasing the speed of trains, the capacity of infrastructure and the level of safety in rail transport.

The Central Safety System is software-driven and enables rail safety to move away from analogue and towards digital. The CSS controls the railway’s security centrally from ProRail’s Data Centres. Today this activity is still carried out via signals along the track, but moving to a digital solution will drastically improve the railway network maintainability and scalability. The system will be continuously improved during the implementation in order to continue to meet the changing market requirements and to take advantage of new possibilities.

The collaboration in this project is unique. Thales will provide the central safety system and a set of digital tools to the engineering companies in the Netherlands. They are responsible for configuring the system with the site–specific data. ProRail’s contractors install the ‘object controllers’ that controls elements such as signal and points in the control cabinets along the track and perform maintenance throughout the duration of the project.

The contract is designed around the different phases of the system life cycle. The first one is the design and development phase, which consist of the development of the CSS and the realisation of the CSS integration plus training lab. The second phase is the project rollout phase, which consist of deployment and approval of the pilot line and the corridor 1, knowledge transfer to engineering companies and of course the material and services delivery for all lines. The final phase is 25 years maintenance after the last corridor is put into operation.

The CSS plays a central role in carrying out the objectives of ERTMS. Consequently, the new CSS will increase the safety and capacity of trains in order to accommodate future growth of freight and passengers transport. Travelling within Europe by train will become a lot easier, and therefore more attractive.

“Contributing to a safer world is at the heart of our business. We are therefore proud that our Central Safety System helps achieve safer and more sustainable train transport. Being a part of Thales, we are doing similar projects across Europe and it is great to work together to build a European rail network for freight and passengers.” – Gerben Edelijn, CEO Thales Nederland

“We are very happy and proud to become ProRail’s long term trusted partner by supporting them in the execution of their clear vision to build an efficient and more sustainable railway network. All of that will be boosted by our advanced digital technology portfolio and highly experienced people” – Dr. Yves Joannic, Managing Director of Thales Main Line Signalling


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