The Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail has awarded ERTMS engineering services contracts to five companies for three ERTMS corridors.
Following the decision, ProRail will create a Knowledge Alliance with Arcadis, Movares, Nexus Rail, Royal HaskoningDHV and Sweco working on the Northern lines (ENL), Hanzelijn – Lelystad (EHL) and Schiphol – Amsterdam – Almere – Lelystad (ESAAL).
The selected companies will be responsible for the entire process from drafting the design to testing and commissioning.
The Knowledge Alliance concept, which was used to deploy the ERTMS on the Kijfhoek – Belgian border section, facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experience between contractors and ProRail. It is also a platform to transfer the knowledge of system supplier Thales. In this way, the selected companies can perform all engineering services independently as quickly as possible. This is an important condition for the rapid realisation of the ERTMS programme and its national roll-out, ProRail says.
This year, the company awarded Thales a EUR 420 million contract to implement the ERTMS Central Safety System (CSS) for a period of 37 years including the installation, commissioning and maintenance services. In addition, in 2021 Thales was awarded a EUR 100 million contract for the supply of generic axle counter system for the rail sections equipped with ERTMS.
The ERTMS system will replace the existing ATB, the current analog protection system, making it easier for the trains to cross the border while increasing the reliability, punctuality and safety.
Due to the required knowledge transfer and the complex planning, a combined tender for the three corridors was chosen. This makes it possible to combine parts of different projects in one plot. As a result, there is a good connection with the existing capacity of the engineering firms and a basis for expanding their capacity.
The contracts for the ERTMS engineering services were awarded on different lots:
- Arcadis will be responsible for Harlingen Haven – Leeuwarden, the Leeuwarden yard and part of the corridor Amsterdam Muiderpoort – Weesp – Hilversum;
- Movares will carry out engineering services on the Almere Oostvaarders – Lelystad stabling yard and Hoofddorp – Schiphol – Diemen sub-corridors;
- Nexus Rail will deliver its services for the Leeuwarden – Stavoren and Leeuwarden – Groningen sub-srridors;
- Royal HaskoningDHV will work on the Lelystad staging area – Hattemerbroek connection and Weesp – Almere Oostvaarders sub-corridor;
- Sweco will be responsible for the Groningen – Roodeschool/Delfzijl, Groningen – Nieuwschans/Veendam sub-corridors and for the Groningen rail yard.
“With the ERTMS we are entering a new phase from thinking to doing. This award to the engineering firms is a major step towards the actual roll-out of digital train protection. The implementation of ERTMS is one of our biggest jobs ever,” Mirjam van Velthuizen-Lormans, CFO of ProRail said.
In all projects, including the Kijfhoek-Belgian border, the latest ERTMS system is being used for the first time in the Netherlands. This system is being developed while the engineering offices are already working on the design of track sections. The close collaboration between the engineering offices and ProRail ensures that ERTMS is applied in the same way in all projects. This prevents different situations for drivers, traffic controllers and maintenance personnel.
The introduction of ERTMS is really imminent, we are going to work on a number of track sections There is a lot to do, so we are rolling up our sleeves with the engineering firms on the three routes,” Riet Schroven, director of Projects at ProRail said.
The company has started its ERTMS programme in 2019 which until 2030 will be deployed on the busiest rail routes.