Alstom secures new high speed operation in Germany with its onboard signalling control systems for ICEs

Alstom has been equipping for Deutsche Bahn the complete ICE high speed fleet, intended for the German Unity Transport Project VDE 8, with its Atlas 200 onboard control systems (ETCS/ERTMS[1] level 2 baseline 3). On 10 December 2017, the high speed section between the cities of Erfurt (Thuringia) and Ebensfeld (Bavaria) will start its operation. This line is connecting Berlin with Munich over Erfurt and Nuremberg.

Alstom equipped 70 ICE T, 66 ICE 3 and 40 ICE 1 high speed trains with its proven solution Atlas 200 for Deutsche Bahn. This Baseline 3[2] is the latest technological ETCS standard and secures the smooth and safe operation of high speed traffic.[i]

Currently, VDE 8 is the biggest infrastructure project in Germany. The project started in 1991 to improve the rail connection between East and West as well as North and South for passenger and freight transportation. The high-speed section between Berlin and Munich is a closure in the German high-speed network and at the same time an important section of the Trans European Network (TEN).

“We are proud to open together with Deutsche Bahn a new chapter in the European rail transport and to make it more secure for passengers. To travel by train from Berlin to Munich in less than four hours is a great success offering a competitive and environmentally friendly alternative to roadways and airplanes. We have been the first company to put this kind of ETCS into practice. It demonstrates the wide range of our portfolio in the mobility sector”, said Gian-Luca Erbacci, Senior Vice President Alstom Europe.

ERTMS has several objectives: facilitate border crossings, open up the rail signalling market, increase commercial speeds, reduce intervals between two trains, decrease maintenance costs and guaranteeing maximum safety.

The project was realized under the direction of the Alstom ERTMS competence centre of Charleroi, Belgium (development and adaptation of the software) in close cooperation with the project office in Berlin, Germany, Villeurbanne, France (Hardware) and the German sites in Salzgitter and Braunschweig (vehicle integration and installation).

[1] European Train Control System (ETCS) / European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)

[2] Baseline 3 Maintenance Release 1

[i] With the opening of Berlin-Munich and associated a travel time reduction of 2 hours 20 min, it will make the 4th ICE ETCS retro-fitment contract that Alstom is delivering on-time to DB. In June 2009, the ICE3-M/BR406 started commercial service with ETCS on Frankfurt-Brussels, reducing the travel time by 25 minutes. In December 2012, the ICE-T/BR411 started commercial service with ETCS on Frankfurt-Wien, reducing the travel time by 20 minutes. In December 2015, ICE-T/BR411 & ICE-3/BR403 started commercial operation with ETCS on VDE8.1 route (1st section of the VDE 8 project).
Today, nearly all 206 DB ICE-1, ICE-T and ICE-3 trains have been retro-fitted with Alstom ATLAS ETCS allowing DB to connect faster and safer main German and European cities.

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