SNCF selected three consortia for development next generation interlockings

SNCF Réseau has selected three consortia for the development of its next generation signal interlockings. The three consortia are Thales/Engie Solutions/Vossloh, Hitachi Rail STS/Eiffage Énergie Systèmes/Systra and Alstom.

In 2018 the ARGOS innovation partnership was launched by SNCF Réseau to develop and rollout a new generation of computer-controlled signal interlockings. For 18 months, teams of industrial and SNCF Réseau engineers have conducted research on a technical solution for SNCF Réseau. For the development phase SNCF Réseau has now selected three consortia.

Computer-controlled interlockings

Computer-controlled interlockings are crucial to ensuring the safety of moving trains by controlling point and signal operations in their catchment area. Many existing interlocking boxes are old or their technologies obsolete and are therefore due for replacement. The ARGOS computer-controlled interlockings under development will enable these electro-mechanical, electrical or purely mechanical systems to be converted and upgraded to digital technology.

The ARGOS project targets high levels of technical and economic performance. By transmitting information in real time, incident response are expected to be swifter, reducing the impact of failures and maintenance and improving traffic flows. The solutions developed will reduce the volume of ground-based infrastructure and cables and driving down installation and maintenance costs.

Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor-in-chief of, and, online magazines for railway professionals.

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