Thales and Siemens selected for next fase Dutch ERTMS-tender

Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail has selected suppliers Thales and Siemens for the dialogue phase of the tender for the Central Safety System (CSS) ERTMS, the new digital rail security system. The contract will run for more than thirty years and has a scope of 300 to 400 million euros. After assessment on the basis of predetermined criteria, these parties were the best according to the infrastructure manager.

A “waiting room arrangement” comes into effect for Alstom. “This means that Alstom can still qualify for the dialogue phase if one of the two chosen system suppliers leaves the dialogue prematurely,” says ProRail. That means Hitachi is out of the running. Bombardier Transportation had also entered the tender, but this company is in the process of being acquired by Alstom.


The CSS tender will result in a contract for the central ERTMS security system in the infrastructure in approximately one year. It is a framework contract with a term of twelve years. In addition, maintenance may be carried out for a longer period of time. The system will initially be rolled out for at least the seven track sections that are scheduled to be rolled out before 2030. It concerns the roll-out of ERTMS Baseline 3, Release 2 (B3R2). The supplier who receives the contract is also responsible for management and future development.

The CSS has a central part (Radio Block Centers, interlockings) that will be placed in data centers of ProRail and a decentralized part (object controllers, Lineside Electronic Units, balises) that will be placed in or near the railway. In between is the signaling network for Level 2 Baseline 3, which will not be provided by the contractor.


The supplier who wins the contract is also asked to prepare the system for an open architecture. This is in line with the European initiative EULYNX, which is working on standardization of rail security systems. This ensures that (parts of) security systems from different suppliers can be connected to each other and that clients are able to work with multiple suppliers.

ERTMS is an advanced security system and is located both in the train and in the track. In the Netherlands, the freight corridor Betuweroute, high speed corridor HSL Zuid, the Hanzelijn and the railway track between Amsterdam and Utrecht are already equipped with ERTMS. Over the next ten years, ERTMS will be installed on several track sections, starting between shunting yard Kijfhoek near Rotterdam and the Belgian border.

Author: Paul van den Bogaard

Paul van den Bogaard is editor of SpoorPro, a sister title of RailTech

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