January 08, 2014

JR East selects Thales to design first Japanese CBTC

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THALES has been chosen by JR East to design Japan's first communications-based train control system (CBTC), following a competition between Thales and Alstom.

Thales will design the CBTC system for installation on the Joban suburban line in Tokyo which links Ayase with Toride. The 30km line, which has 14 stations, is operated by a fleet of 70 trains. The line currently has a conventional automatic train control system.

The main objective is to improve reliability and reduce costs by eliminating track circuits and reducing the amount of cabling while enabling bi-directional operation. JR East said when it announced the competition in February 2013 that it wants to "drastically change and improve" its Tokyo suburban network through "innovations that incorporate a conceptual breakthrough and are completely free from conventional ways of thinking."