AŽD wins signalling contract in Hungary

Soroksár – Kelebia railwayV4SIL, a company jointly founded by V-Híd (60%) and AŽD Praha (40%) awarded AŽD a contract for the supply of modern signalling technologies and ETCS L2 level for the Soroksár – Kelebia railway line.

The project is divided into two parts. The southern part of the section Fülöpszállás – Kelebia includes a total of 8 train stations and adjacent track sections and is the primary part of the project. The northern section of the line Soroksár – Fülöpszállás including a total of 10 rail stations and adjacent track sections was contracted as an option.

The AŽD company will supply and install digital station interlocking equipment ESA-44, including the integrated line signalling system ITZZ, LED signal lamps, level crossings and also stationary parts of the ETCS L2 system.

The implementation of the signalling systems on the railway line must be completed in 27 months.

The Hungarian company V4SIL will participate in the project in the area of development, production and installation of railway signalling equipment in accordance with local regulations and legislation. The cooperation will include the application of Czech know-how and tools in the production of final equipment in Hungary, as well as the development of software specially adapted to Hungarian needs.

The V4SIL Kft.join venture has been established in December 2022 as the next step in companies’ strategic cooperation. The choice of name symbolises the cooperation between the V-Híd Group and AŽD Praha in the Visegrád region. SIL4 (Safety Integrity Level 4) stands for Safety Integrity Level 4, the highest level of safety. It is the requirement set by the European Union in the CENELEC standard that railway safety equipment must meet; in simple terms, it reflects the level of reliability. The Hungarian majority-owned company will develop the software and hardware components of the equipment meeting MÁV’s (Hungarian Railway Company) specifications, and later manufacture them. The Czech manufacturer will also undertake the technology transfer for its state-of-the-art system to lay the foundations for equipment specialised for the Hungarian market.

The joint venture will carry out the domestic roll-out, support the design of Hungarian railway projects, train and certify domestic suppliers and subcontractors, build the laboratory and simulator centre necessary for the operator’s work, and install the on-board equipment in Hungary.

This is the second, this time a major contract for the Hungarian railway network that the Czech company has contracted.

“We have been striving for this contract for a long time and it is very important for us. In addition, the complexity of the entire project underlines the requirement to link the AŽD systems to the technologies of the Chinese contractor, which is implementing the Serbian section of the line. Our goal is to win more contracts in Hungary,” AŽD CEO Zdeněk Chrdle said.

In December 2014, Hungary and Serbia signed with China a declaration of intent for the modernisation of Soroksár – Kelebia railway and in 2015 the parties signed the cooperation agreement covering the development, construction and financing of the Hungarian section, part of the Budapest – Belgrade line. In addition, Serbian Ministry of Mines signed with China Railway International and China Communications Construction a contract for the modernisation of the Serbian section. In June 2019, the Chinese – Hungarian Railway Nonprofit was awarded the USD 2 billion EPC contract for upgrading the 150 km Soroksár – Kelebia (country border) line. In addition, in 2020, the Hungarian Government and China’s EximBank signed the loan agreement for construction and rehabilitation of country’s section of the corridor linking Budapest and Belgrade.

In Hungary, the rail corridor has a length of 166 km and in Serbia, 184 km and requires an estimated investment of EUR 4 billion. The line is expected to be opened in 2025.

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