NETHERLANDS: An ERTMS Knowledge Alliance to roll out ETCS Level 2 between Kijfhoek and the Belgian border has been formed by infrastructure manager ProRail in partnership with engineering firms Arcadis, Movares, Royal HaskoningDHV and Sweco.
ProRail said the deployment of ERTMS would be one of the biggest changes to the railway system since electrification, and would affect the way it co-operates with engineering firms.
The ERTMS Knowledge Alliance is designed to facilitate a long-term relationship with suppliers by enabling all parties to gain experience with deployment. An ‘open engineering’ model will be used, with the suppliers independently carrying out activities from design to commissioning.
‘This is an excellent way of working together’, said Movares CEO Sander Eijgenraam. He said ERTMS was a ‘mega change’ involving many kinds of technical and organisational matters which need to be understood, and ‘few people immediately know their way around in this area, which is why this Knowledge Alliance is a good approach’.
The €28m project is scheduled to run for eight years.
The Betuwe Route, HSL Zuid, the Hanze Line and the route between Amsterdam and Utrecht are already equipped with ERTMS. Further deployments are planned over the next 10 years, starting between Kijfhoek and the Belgian border.
Last month ProRail selected Siemens and Thales to progress to the next stage of negotiations for a major contract to develop, deliver and maintain the ERTMS Central Safety System, including radio block centres, interlockings, object controllers, LEUs and Eurobalises for the roll-out of ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3. The 30 year contract is estimated to be worth €300m to €400m.
Alstom was placed in a ‘waiting room’ and would be able to join the process should one of the other bidders withdraw.