Alstom signs a signalling system contract worth €17 million

11th Jun 2012
Alstom signs a signalling system contract worth €17 million

Alstom has signed a signalling contract with WSW mobil GmbH to install the ERTMS1-based train command and control system ATLASTM400 on the whole Wuppertaler Schwebebahn line (13.3 km, 20 stations with 2 depots) and on 31 vehicles as well as on the historical “Kaiserwagen” which is over a century old. This new signalling system is based on ETCS Level 2+2 technology including trackside and trainborne sub-systems. The contract is worth €17 million.

The Wuppertaler Schwebebahn project is the first signalling solution contract for Alstom in Germany covering all aspects of railway signalling from route setting, interlocking, train protection to train control with an interface to the existing intermodal transport control system (ITCS) combined to a complete integrated signalling system. The high maturity of Alstom ATLASTM products and solutions will guarantee a smooth execution of the project. The project is also one of the first commercial applications of ETCS Level 2 technology in Germany, if not the first one. At the end of this project, WSW will operate its vehicles under ETCS Level 2 supervision, without lineside signals.

“We are proud that WSW has chosen Alstom for the implementation” said Dr. Martin Lange, Managing Director of Alstom Deutschland AG. “This project allows us to make a big step towards the introduction of ETCS technology in Germany”.

Alstom will replace the traditional axle counters by a new train detection system to ensure reliable operations. Vehicles will communicate their positions to the central computer (Radio Block Center - RBC), replacing the information of the track occupancy usually delivered by the axle counters or by track circuits. In difference to the ordinary standard ETCS Level 2 implementation for railways, the communication between the central computer (RBC) and the computer on-board (European Vital Computer - EVC) will be based on Tetra radio instead of GSM-R.

The system for WSW will developed at Alstom’s ETCS centre of excellence in Charleroi (Belgium). The system components will be produced at Alstom’s sites in Villeurbanne (France) and Bologna (Italy). The systems will be integrated and commissioned by Alstom experts from Charleroi, Salzgitter and Berlin in Wuppertal (Germany).


The signalling contract is linked to WSW’s plan to replace their aging fleet by 31 new vehicles. The new vehicles with the ATLASTM signalling system will be in operation in 2015.

(1) ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) is a system for the management and control of the rail traffic on the lines of the Trans-European Networks.

(2) Similar to ETCS Level 3, the train is performing its localization and consequently is replacing the trackside train detection devices. However, the technology remains with fixed bloc sections. No moving block technology will be implemented.



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