December 11, 2014

Betuweroute ERTMS rollout completed

Written by  Quintus Vosman
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Betuweroute ERTMS rollout completed Quintus Vosman

THE installation of ERTMS on the Betuweroute dedicated freight line between the port of Rotterdam and the German border was finally completed on December 8, when the section between Zevenaar, Netherlands, and Emmerich, Germany, switched to ETCS from the legacy Dutch ATB train protection system.

Following the migration of Kijfhoek yard near Rotterdam to ETCS in October, the Zevenaar – Emmerich line was the only remaining 'island' of ATB for freight trains between Rotterdam and the German border. This makes the Netherlands the first country on the Rotterdam/Zeebrugge – Mannheim – Basel – Genoa corridor to fully implement ERTMS on its section of the route.

The conversion of the cross border link involved the installation of 600 signalling points and the Dutch ERTMS extends 1.3km into Germany, which required close cooperation with German infrastructure manager DB Networks.

The work was carried out by Strukton using Alstom ERTMS equipment.

Further infrastructure enhancements are planned on the Zevenaar – Emmerich to improve cross-border freight operations. Electrification will be converted from the standard Dutch 1.5kV dc system to 25kV ac, which is used on the Betuweroute. Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail also plans to convert lines in the Kijfhoek area to enable through operation under 25kV ac from the German border to Rotterdam.

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