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High-speed international rail tracks thanks to Ansaldo STS’s Italian technology
European rail tracks will now be high-speed thanks to Italian technology. The credit goes to Ansaldo STS , a group listed in the Italian Stock Exchange operating internationally in the rail and urban transport sector, for which it designs, develops and supplies traffic management, train and signal planning and control systems. Ansaldo Sts produced the first signalling system for high-speed tracks in Europe on the Paris-Lyon TGV track in 1981, as well as the level 2 European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) for the Rome-Naples track: today’s most advanced signalling system for high-speed railways, for the production of which the Italian manufacturer is the unchallenged global leader.
The Italian group boasts an unchallenged global leadership position in the international high-speed rail market, with over 3,000km of operational tracks and a further 1,000km under construction from Europe to Asia (France, Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, South Korea and China) – without forgetting Italy, where Ansaldo STS first applied its new level 2 ERTMS. Ansaldo STS boasts a near-thirty-year-old industrial tradition in this sector, from the 1981 Paris-Lyon track, the first high-speed rail track in the world, to the most recent and significant, launched only last year, such as the TGV East Paris-Strasbourg, and the Paris-London track. As stated in a November 2005 document by UIC (International Union of Railways), Ansaldo STS’s rail signalling systems are used on over 56% of all high-speed rail tracks in the world (Japan excluded).
Among the solutions designed and developed in recent years by Ansaldo STS, we can find the Optimised traffic planner (OTP) – an innovative rail traffic and motion management system capable of redirecting traffic, in real time, in order to increase traffic speed and optimise vehicle movement, by identifying the shortest and most efficient train paths. By significantly increasing the network’s capacity, the OTP system allows to simultaneously cut operational costs.
In terms of security, Ansaldo STS has developed Automatic Train Control systems (ATC) and Automatic Train Protection (ATP), which are both in line with European ERTMS standards. ATC and ATP systems make it possible to control the trains’ movements security on metropolitan and rail lines and ensure a constant tracking of the trains’ positions, and the respect of speed limits. The ATC system also includes an automatic pilot function with various settings.
Systems using ERTMS standards make it possible to move trains on all European tracks without having to change machinery personnel or wheeling materials at the border, thus increasing the security of national and international traffic and improving the management of both passenger and cargo traffic In particular, ERTMS standards are applied by the Ansaldo STS group to high-speed rail traffic signalling systems in Italy, to the TGV East track in France, to the Madrid-Lleida track in Spain, to high-speed rail tracks in China as well as to signalling systems for conventional Italian and international tracks.
In the area of metropolitan transport, the group is developing the so-called Communications-based train control (CBTC), in line with draft international standards. CBTC allows full interoperability on metropolitan tracks, and is essentially a standard similar to ERTMS but designed on a city-transport scale.