BELGIAN infrastructure manager Infrabel has signed a €80m contract with Alstom for train detection equipment. Alstom will supply around 10,000 sets of the Jade 3 track circuit equipment over the next 10 years.

The new hardware will be manufactured at Alstom’s signalling and train protection production facility in Charleroi, in southern Belgium.

The Belgian rail network currently has around 12,500 track circuits installed. Failure of this equipment is having a major impact on punctuality. Infrabel says that 750 trains were cancelled in 2023 (up from 600 the previous year) and delays totalling 50,000 minutes (down from 60,000) were due to train detection faults.

Infrabel expects the new Jade 3 equipment to be more reliable and perform better, with fewer failures. It can be monitored remotely, incorporates a self-diagnostic function and can be pre-programmed to simplify lineside installation.

Infrabel plans to replace 8000 existing Jade units which are reaching the end of their working life with the new Jade 3 track circuits, after which it will install the remaining Jade 3 units on other parts of the network, including the high-speed line between Halle, south of Brussels, and the French border.

“We are introducing innovative rail technology which continuously guarantees the safety and punctuality of train traffic,” says Infrabel CEO, Mr Benoit Gilson. “At the same time, we are directly and indirectly investing in the Belgian economy and providing employment. It is a win-win situation for all involved.”

For detailed data on rail contracts from across the globe, subscribe to IRJ Pro.