Thales wins axle counter contract in the Netherlands

axle counter system ProRail, the Dutch rail infrastructure manager, awarded Thales an eight-year contract to deliver the generic axle counter system for ERTMS-equipped railway lines.

EUR 100 million is the value of the contract under which Thales will deliver the axle counters until 2032, followed by 25 years of maintenance services.

“Until recently, ERTMS was a dot on the horizon. I’m glad we’re moving forward now. Preparations for the introduction are now in full swing. At ProRail, we are happy to work for this together with and for the rail sector. With the contract for the axle counting system, we are taking another great step on the path to tomorrow,” John Voppen, the CEO of ProRail said.

It is expected that within the contract period, Thales will deliver the axle counting systems for more than 600 km of track which will be equipped with the ERTMS.

ProRail will replace the current ATB train protection system with the digital signalling system ERTMS which requires the installation of a new axle counter system, which is a modern form of train detection. The system counts the number of wheel axles of trains entering and leaving a section and thus determines whether a section is free of trains or occupied.

The replacement of the ATB system with ERTMS on the Dutch rail network will take place until 2030. The ERTMS has been already deployed on the Amsterdam-Utrecht, Hanzelijn and Betuweroute sections.

For the rollout, it was decided to introduce ERTMS Baseline 3, Release 2 and the Level 2. The ERTMS deployment  starts with a test on the Hanzelijn route in combination with the Lelystad railway yard. Following the successful tests, ProRail will deploy the ERTMS on seven routes:

  • Kijfhoek-Roosendaal-Belgian border
  • Hoofddorp-Duivendrecht
  • Roosendaal-‘s Hertogenbosch, including Zevenbergschen Hoek-Breda and Tilburg-Boxtel
  • OV SAAL east; Lelystad-Weesp-Duivendrecht and Amsterdam-Weesp-Hilversum, building Amsterdam CS railway yard
  • Utrecht (excluding Utrecht CS)-Meteren
  • Meteren-Eindhoven
  • Eindhoven-Venlo-German border

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