DUTCH infrastructure manager ProRail has awarded Thales a contract to develop, supply and maintain ERTMS Level 2 Baseline 3 on the Dutch network.

The contract will run for up to 37 years and is worth up to €420m. It was awarded following an open tender and is subject to a 20-day holding period during which Siemens, which was unsuccessful after progressing to the final stage of the two-year long tender process, is able to appeal the award. ProRail says Thales’ bid offered the best value for money.

The contract covers the rollout of ETCS software, which will operate alongside GSM-R, as well as the Radio Block Centre, and will be developed by Thales to meet the Eulynx specifications.

In December ProRail awarded Thales a contract to deliver the GAST-ERTMS axle counter system for around 600km of railway by 2032. The €100m contract includes 25 years’ maintenance.

Four lines in the Netherlands are already equipped with ETCS: the HSL-South high-speed line; the Betuweroute freight line between the port of Rotterdam and the German border near Emmerich; the Hanze line between Lelystad and Zwolle; and Amsterdam Bijlmer - Utrecht line which is equipped with both ETCS and the legacy Dutch signalling system.

The line between the Kijfhoek freight yard and Belgian border will be the first to be equipped with ETCS under the Dutch national ETCS implementation plan, to be followed by six pilot lines ahead of a full national rollout. The Dutch government has allocated €2.5bn for the implementation plan.