The first locomotive equipped with the ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2 (BL3R2) has begun test runs monitored from infrastructure manager Bane Nor’s Nyland facility near Oslo. Testing will include 10 days of operation on the test line between Roa and Hønefoss, before further testing on a BL3R2-equipped track in Sweden.

The Di8 test locomotive is also compatible with Norway’s ATC-2 legacy signalling.

The upgrades are being carried out by Alstom through a set of framework contracts with a combined worth of NKr 2.35bn ($US 252.46m) awarded by Bane Nor in June 2018 on behalf of 14 Norwegian rail companies.

The contracts cover the installation of ETCS on the country’s entire mainline fleet by 2026, and up to 25 years maintenance, as well as the development, installation and testing of the system, the conversion of Bane Nor’s maintenance equipment for the new system, and the coordination of the installation of the systems with the commissioning of ETCS on individual lines.

Alstom received certification in June from inspection body Belgorail for the implementation of data fusion algorithms into its BL3R2 system. It has also received ISA and NoBo certification.