Hitachi Rail has started the installation of the ETCS technology to automate elements of Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) fleet, which will enhance the safety and capacity of rail services for passengers in the region.
Under the AUD 107 million (USD 74.48 million) contract Hitachi Rail will install Automatic Train Operation (ATO) over European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 technology on all NGR trains.
The contract will be delivered over a four-year period across the 75-train fleet of six-carriage trains. The first two trains are undergoing technical fit-out and testing. In addition to the ATO over ETCS technology installation, Hitachi has also been awarded an additional contract worth AUD 65 million (USD 45.2 million) for the maintenance of fleet through to 2046.
“We are delighted to begin work on a world-first application of ATO over ETCS technologies that apply the global ETCS standard on Queensland’s NGR fleet. Our work will benefit both passenger and operator, providing a service that will enable more seamless, sustainable mobility,” Roslyn Stuart, Senior Director Australia, said.
By combining ATO, which automatically controls the train’s traction and braking to continuously calculate optimum speed, with ETCS which monitors the train’s movement and the speed limit on the track, the trains will be able to operate safely while running closer together. For passengers, this means that Queensland Rail will be able to run a greater number of services.
The operator will also benefit from the significant energy efficiencies associated with consistently running trains at an optimum speed, helping to reduce costs and electricity usage.
All trains have been manufactured by Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom) and were designed for the future installation of the European Train Control System (ETCS). The 75th train was delivered in December 2019 and in April 2021 the first upgraded NGR train began passenger services in South East Queensland.
In 2024 all 75 NGR trains modified with accessibility upgrades and and back in passenger service.
Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) train fleet will increase the capacity on 11 rail routes in the South East.
In 2021, the government decided to invest USD 4.94 billion to expand the train fleet by acquiring 65 new six-car trains to meet transport demand in South-East.