Italy awards EUR 500 million ERTMS contract

ERTMS design and implementation Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Hitachi Rail signed a EUR 500 million framework agreement for ERTMS design and implementation on the rail networks of four Italian regions totalling 700 km lines.

The contract will be delivered by a partnership comprising Alstom and Ceit, with Hitachi Rail as the principal provider. Alstom’s share is valued at EUR 124 million and covers the management of the executive design and construction of the latest ERTMS Baseline 3 Level 2 signalling system with GSM-R and ACCM (Multi-station Central Computer Equipment) on the sections under its responsibility, with the support of the company Ceit as a partner for the yard activities. The system proposed by Alstom meets the technical specifications for interoperability required by the European Union and the CENELEC standards for railway safety, guaranteeing the highest and most restrictive safety requirement.

The contract is part of a larger call for tenders for ERTMS deployment on 700 km of rail lines in Sicily, Lazio, Abruzzo and Umbria.

The new technology is the most advanced system for digital control of train operations and will be delivered on 480 km of rail lines in Sicily, on 150 km of former “Ferrovia Centrale Umbra” in Umbria and on 80 km of the Roccasecca – Avezzano rail line in the Lazio and Abruzzo regions.

The introduction of the system will mean that traffic lights are replaced by on-board digital cab signalling, creating a service that can run with more trains on the line, with increased reliability, and at a greater speed. The partnership will install a new, harmonised, automatic train protection system and will install the GSM-R.

The ERTMS digital signalling system also has a major benefit in reducing the energy footprint of the railway by regulating the speed, acceleration and braking of trains across the 700 km of track covered. Moreover, the technology allows the signalling assets installed alongside the track to be reduced, which helps protect the landscapes that the railway crosses.

This ERTMS design and implementation contract is the first step in the technological project financed by Italy’s National Plan for Recovery and Resilience. The ERTMS projects represent 50% of the first objective indicated by the European Union for the implementation of technological projects financed by the PNRR that will equip 1,400 km of railway lines with the ERTMS system by December 2024. In January, RFI launched a EUR 2.77 billion tender for ERTMS deployment on 3,400 km lines by 2026. By the end of 2024 RFI will install the new system on 1,377 km lines with plans for further 2,000 km lines by 2026 when 16,700 km of the rail network will be equipped with the new signalling system.

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