Pistoia, Italy (Urban Transport News): Hitachi Rail has been awarded a contract worth €867 million, as the leader of a consortium, to design and deliver European Rail Transport Management System (ERTMS) digital signalling on a 1,885 km of the Italian rail network.
The new contract covers central and northern Italy - including the lines of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria, Veneto and the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions and it is part of a 2.7 billion euro tender issued by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Group) for the construction of ERTMS throughout the national territory. This is the last piece of the technological projects financed by the PNRR which will involve a total of approx 4,800 km of railway lines.
“We are delighted to receive this award, which will allow us to roll out advanced digital signalling technology across an additional 1,885 km of Italy’s rail network. ERTMS technology will deliver huge benefits to passengers by boosting reliability, punctuality and frequency - and will ultimately enable us to achieve our aim of seamless European rail travel,” said Michele Fracchiolla, Executive Director, Europe & Australia – LoB Rail Control Hitachi Rail.
The contract, awarded by RFI follows the award of a €500 million framework agreement to Hitachi Rail for the design and implementation of ERTMS digital signalling on 700 km of rail lines across Italy in November 2021.
ERTMS is the most advanced system for the digital control of railways, allowing more trains to use the lines while improving speed and reliability. The technology will allow trains from neighbouring European countries to operate on Italian lines without interruption, with the aim of creating one seamless rail system throughout Europe. ERTMS is already in use on Italy’s high-speed rail lines, with the benefits now being extended to regional lines.
The technology includes a radio system enabling communication between the train and the track, as well as automatic activation of emergency brakes in case of danger or if trains exceed the track’s speed limit. By regulating speed, acceleration and braking, the technology enables trains to travel across the network in more efficiently and thereby reduces energy consumptions and reduces the railway’s carbon footprint.
Hitachi Rail is a global industry leader in digital signalling and is the first provider to introduce ERTMS technology in Europe – in the UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and France – and in the highly competitive markets of China and India.