"As Thailand develops its transportation infrastructure to support a growing urban population Thales continues to be a committed partner to the country"
Bangkok’s overland commuter rail network is set to boost its capacity by up to 40%, after the South East Asian city committed to installing the European Train Control System (ETCS) on two sections of the yet-to-be-built Red Line. When the signalling system is installed it will become the third such of its kind in the country and will be responsible for a line that will carry an estimated 131,000 commuters on a daily basis.
Thales is the company that has been awarded the contract, and its ETCS technology will underpin the line so badly needed to alleviate the city’s hugely congested rail network, serving metropolitan Bangkok and its surrounding urban areas. The contract has been formulated in agreement with Nippon Signal, the Japanese rail signalling company established in 1928 that today employs around 1,200 people.
Scheduled to be finished in 2020, Thales said its ETCS system will deliver the “highest safety standards” for the 25 new electric multiple unit trains with 53 on-board units controlling 25 miles (41km) of track. The French company added that the signalling system can be easily improved as signalling technology increases and can easily updated from Level-1 to Level-2 configuration as required.
Commenting on the deal, Tommy Ayouty, Thales’ director in Thailand, said: “As Thailand develops its transportation infrastructure to support a growing urban population, Thales continues to be a committed partner to the country, as we’ve done for close to 30 years across various businesses.”
Ayouty added that the company was looking forward to working closely with our partner Nippon Signal to bring the Red Line to fruition, “supporting Thailand’s ambitions in developing a robust urban rail network, and providing systems that ensure the highest level of safety to the State Railway of Thailand's commuters”.
Meanwhile, in related news in the US, it has been reported that Minneapolis’ rail operator BNSF Railway will become the first network in the country to fully implement North America’s signalling system, positive train control (PTC), ahead of the December 2018 deadline set by the Federal Railroad Administration. The Department of Transportation’s rail division will be presumably be encouraged by the progress made by BNSF Railway, after the original deadline had to be pushed back owing to the lack of progress made across the US rail network. However, despite the positive news from Minneapolis, the majority of the remaining 29 operators aren’t expected to hit the deadline that is just over six months away.
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