Alstom will test automatic shunting with Lineas and ProRail
This year and next year, Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail together with Belgian rail freight operator Lineas will test the automatic shunting of freight trains. Alstom has been selected as a supplier of knowledge and technology.
Several parties submitted a proposal for the trial this year, and Alstom was ultimately selected based on the established criteria. The test will take place at a yet to be determined NCBG area (non-centrally operated area), such as a stabling point or shunting area.
The aim of ProRail is to learn as much as possible from this test together with market parties and to share this knowledge with all parties involved, in order to boost innovation around the ATO (Automatic Train Operation). The results of the test are widely shared with both market parties and European fellow railway infrastructure managers. In this way, according to ProRail, a level playing field for the ATO is maintained despite the fact that the contract was not put out to tender.
Alstom will equip an HLR77 diesel-hydraulic shunting locomotive of Lineas with the technology for automatic shunting. “A very innovative project that is fully in line with our strategy and ambition to bring driving automation on the main lines to the level of GoA4 (Grade of Automation level 4). I am really looking forward to starting the tests together with the Lineas and ProRail teams,” Sebastiaan van der Zee from Alstom writes on his Linkedin page.
In 2018, Alstom was also involved in an ATO test with a locomotive of Rotterdam Rail Feeding on the Betuweroute. At that time, driving was under Grade of Automation level 2 (GoA2). The vehicle took over certain driving tasks from the driver, but the driver was present in the cab and supervised. The locomotive then travelled a distance of 100 kilometres in both directions, testing various functionalities of the system.