For the first time Siemens is to automate mainline routes in Tunisia
25 March 2013 • Author: Siemens
Siemens is to equip Lines D and E of the mass rapid transit system in Metropolitan Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, with train control and operations control systems. As member of a consortium with the French company Colas Rail and the local Somatra construction company, Siemens has received the relevant order from the state project company Réseau Ferroviaire Rapide (RFR). “The contract with RFR is of strategic importance to Siemens. With this order, Siemens has succeeded in breaking into the market of the Tunisian rail industry,” said Jürgen Brandes, CEO of the Siemens Rail Automation Business Unit. Out of a total volume of 145 million euros for the entire consortium. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2016.
The transit system in Metropolitan Tunis is over 20 years old and is currently being upgraded and extended. By 2016, the system should comprise a total of five lines with a total length of 86 kilometers. Siemens will equip the existing Line D, which runs between Tunis and Gobaa, as well as Line E to Sidi Hassine, with the latest train protection technology. To increase passenger capacity and the safety of railway operations, Siemens will install the European Train Control System “Trainguard 100 for ETCS Level 1”, 28 on-board units, three Simis W electronic interlockings, the Vicos operations control system and the UGSK 3 track vacancy detection system. The contract also includes the equipping of the operations control center and the training of personnel in the use of the new technology. The consortium partners are supplying the telecommunication systems and a system for data recording.
The metropolitan area of Tunis has a population of more than two million, making it one of the largest cities in North Africa. According to the UNESCO report of 2012, the population there will increase by more than half a million by the year 2025. As the population grows, so will the demand for mobility and for an extensive transportation system. For this reason, the Tunisian government announced in 2011 that it would be investing about 500 million euros in the expansion of the mobility infrastructure as part of an aid program.