"Our aim is to make railway management effective, safe and automated… we expect to achieve significant savings."
Estonia’s state rail company is to become the latest European operator to upgrade signalling infrastructure with the signing of a £14.6 million (€16.5 million) deal for a new traffic management system across 50 miles (80 kilometres) of track. Installing the system on Eesti Raudtee’s Lääne–Harju section of track to the west of Tallinn is Mipro, a Finnish company that will undergo its first rail contract in neighbouring Estonia.
Promising safety improvements on the Eesti Raudtee network as a result of the signalling overhaul, Mipro said its work will also help to ensure a more streamlined, efficient service that will be able to cope with predicted rises in passenger numbers. The project will begin immediately and is scheduled for completion in late 2021.
The managing Director of Eesti Raudtee, Erik Laidvee, said the installation of new signalling on the network – much of which requires upgrades to bring it in line with modern standards – would boost safety, efficiency while also cutting costs.
“Our aim is to make railway management effective, safe and automated. As a result of this contract we expect to achieve significant savings which we will invest in additional railway infrastructure projects,” said Laidvee.
The company carrying out the work in Estonia, Mipro, has been working on rail-related infrastructure since 1980 and specialises in traffic safety. In its homeland, the company’s interlocking systems are used to control and supervise more than half of all rail traffic routes in Finland, such as Länsimetro – the extension to Helsinki’s Metro that was completed in 2017.
SmartRail World reported this year of fellow Northern European country, Norway, which is investing a significant amount of resources to overhaul its rail network to make it compliant with the latest communication-based signalling systems. The state operator there, Bane Nor, signed a multi-company agreement in the first quarter of 2018 that includes Thales and Siemens – the latter company’s largest rail infrastructure deal in its history – to introduce a European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). Due for completion in 2034, Siemens’ system will run alongside its IP-based network safety system, Sinet, and will include a 25-year service contract.
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