Thales wins CSS contract in the Netherlands

ERTMS Central Safety SystemThe Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail awarded Thales a EUR 420 million long-term contract for the implementation of the ERTMS Central Safety System (CSS).

The 37-year CSS contract covers the development, delivery and maintenance of the ERTMS Level 2 Baseline 3.

The CSS is software-driven and enables Thales to move away from analogue and towards digital. The CSS controls the railway’s security centrally from ProRail’s Data Centres. Today this activity is still carried out via signals along the track but moving to a digital solution will drastically improve the railway network maintainability and scalability. The system will be continuously improved during the implementation in order to continue to meet the changing market requirements and to take advantage of new possibilities.

The ERTMS Central Safety System tender was launched almost two years ago and Siemens also submitted its offer which has the opportunity to object to the decision in the next 20 days, ProRail says. As long as the objection period is not over, ProRail cannot make any substantive announcements about the contract awarding.

The Dutch railways are equipped with Automatic Train Protection (ATB) safety system which  system helps drivers to observe signals along the track. The signals and relay boxes in the infrastructure are part of the current train protection system. ATB dates back to the 1950s and needs to be replaced and modernised with the ERTMS that now is the new standard for train safety in Europe.

In the Netherlands, ProRail’s work covers 7,000 km of track, building and managing train stations and regulating train traffic with 1.4 million journeys every working day. In the Netherlands, the Betuweroute, HSL, Hanzelijn and the track between Amsterdam and Utrecht are already equipped with earlier versions of ERTMS. In the future, ERTMS will be the digital platform for the Dutch railway network which is decisive for further innovations and also increases reliability, punctuality and safety.


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