Alstom Signalling Teams in Spain (Photo: Alstom)

Alstom to implement Adif innovation on ERTMS for low density lines

Alstom Signalling Teams in Spain (Photo: Alstom)

Spanish railway infrastructure manager Adif has granted Alstom a contract worth 13.7 million euros, to execute a railway safety innovation project in Madrid, Spain. This project centres on creating a new application for the European Traffic Management System (ERTMS) that is tailored to low-density lines.

The project sets itself apart by utilising technologies such as sensor hybridisation (which includes satellite sensors) for positioning purposes, in place of GSM-R networks. The system as envisioned by Adif and Alstom also reduces the need for on-track equipment without compromising on safety, the companies say. It will provide equivalent safety capabilities to those found in high-speed line systems. Less on-track equipment also means that the solution is more cost-effective.

To date, ERTMS has been limited to mainline adoption due to high costs and compatibility issues. However, the new system being developed in the innovation project is cost-effective and interoperable, matching ERTMS safety standards for secondary lines. The contract includes the installation and testing on a pilot line of the General Interest Railway Network (on the La Asunción Universidad-Guardo section, which is part of the León-Aranguren metric gauge line).

“It is a great satisfaction to once again develop a pioneering project with Adif. We were already the first to implement a level 2 ERTMS system without the support of level 1 on the high-speed network, to develop the first fully automatic train in operation in Spain, to implement ERTMS technology for suburban networks and to promote the monitoring of passenger flows in urban networks through Big Data,” said Leopoldo Maestu, President of Alstom Spain and Portugal.

Alstom has been involved in signalling projects in Spain for around 20 years. These include deploying the first ATP on the Mediterranean Corridor, implementing the first driverless railway system at Madrid airport, and installing the first ERTMS level 2 without level 1 support on the Albacete-Alicante high-speed line.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at and

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