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SBB steps up ETCS rollout

16 Mar 2012

SWITZERLAND: SBB is on course to commission its first live installation of ETCS Level 1 Limited Supervision in July, as part of its national roll-out strategy which will see ETCS fitted to the entire network by the end of 2017.

Last September SBB awarded a €125m contract to Siemens for supply, installation and maintenance of the Level 1 Limited Supervision equipment, using its Trainguard 100 technology. Work is being undertaken in eight geographical phases, covering approximately 3 000 route-km, and requiring the installation of over 20 000 almost Eurobalises. At the same time a further 850 vehicles belonging to several operators will have to be fitted with ETCS onboard equipment.

The first lineside installation of Level 1 Limited Supervision is due to go live at Wassen, with installation moving south over the Gotthard main line towards canton Ticino. The Swiss sections of European corridors A and C will be fully equipped by 2015, according to ETCS Strategy Manager Jan Richard.

SBB is still working with a draft specification for the Limited Supervision functionality, pending the expected publication of the Baseline 3.0.0 standards by the European Railway Agency at the end of this year.

Richard says SBB will also expand its use of ETCS Level 2, which is currently fitted to 125 km of track; he says 417 track-km should be equipped by 2017. As well as the Gotthard Base Tunnel opening in 2016, Level 2 will be provided in the Ceneri Base Tunnel from 2018 and the short section between the two bores will be dual-fitted. Level 2 will then be rolled out on other sections of the Gotthard route north of Erstfeld.

The next priority for Level 2 is the Simplon main line between Brig and Lausanne, where the work will be phased to coincide with renewal of life-expired interlockings over the next decade. Olten – Zürich and Bern – Lausanne will get Level 2 between 2018 and 2025, whilst most of the major hub stations will be fitted between 2020 and 2030. Richard says SBB’s intention is to migrate completely to Level 2 by 2060.