Belgian Railways shifts to ETCS

NMBS HLR77 locomotive, source: Wikimedia Commons

Belgian railway undertaking NMBS/SNCB is planning to equip 23 locomotives of HLD77 type with ETCS. To this end, Alstom will supply the new train protection system based on its Atlas platform. The retrofitted vehicles will be also interoperable with TBL1+ train protection system, which is currently used on the Belgian network.

NMBS/SNCB has chosen Alstom as a supplier of the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1 and Level 2 to be installed in 23 HLD77 locomotives (also known as HLR77). The basic contract also provides an option for five more locomotives of the same type. For the implementation of this project, Alstom will use the expertise of its centre of excellence in the Belgian city of Charleroi. The facility will provide the design, production, studies, testing, homologation, commissioning and maintenance at five NMBS’s workshops for five years after the warranty period. At the same time, the installation of the equipment inside the locomotives will be carried out by NMBS/SNCB.

ETCS for Lineas

The mentioned deal is not the first ETCS project in Belgium. Lineas (former NMBS/SNCB Logistics), the largest rail freight operator in the country, started similar works earlier this year. It intends to install the new equipment in its 88 locomotives of the same type (HLD77), which will also be interoperable with TBL1+ system. The project is being carried out by The Signalling Company, a joint venture of Lineas and ERTMS Solutions, a Belgian supplier of railway systems, in a partnership with Transurb, the Brussels-based technology company. Lineas intends to complete the ETCS installation in these vehicles by the end of 2025.

Are you interested to know more about ERTMS? This topic will be discussed during the second edition of the RailTech Infra Forum virtual conference to take place on 30 September and 1 October. To know more, visit the event website and register to participate.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines and

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