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Hitachi Rail awarded €867 million to deliver digital signalling in central and northern Italy

The new contract covers central and northern Italy - including Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria, Veneto and the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions.

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Italian Railways/ representational Image

ITALY (Metro Rail News): Hitachi Rail has been awarded a Framework Agreement worth €867 million as the leader of a consortium of companies to design and deliver European Rail Transport Management System (ERTMS) digital signalling on 1,885 km of the Italian rail network.

The new contract covers central and northern Italy – including Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria, Veneto and the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions.

The contract, awarded by Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), follows the award of a €500 million framework agreement to Hitachi Rail for the design and implementation of ERTMS digital signalling on 700 km of rail lines across Italy in November 2021.

ERTMS is the most advanced system for the digital control of railways, allowing more trains to use the lines while improving speed and reliability. In addition, the technology will allow trains from neighbouring European countries to operate on Italian lines without interruption, creating one seamless rail system throughout Europe. ERTMS is already used on Italy’s high-speed rail lines, with the benefits extending to regional lines.

The technology includes a radio system enabling communication between the train and the track and automatic activation of emergency brakes in case of danger or if trains exceed the track’s speed limit. By regulating speed, acceleration and braking, the technology enables trains to travel across the network more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and the railway’s carbon footprint.

Hitachi Rail is a global industry leader in digital signalling and is the first provider to introduce ERTMS technology in Europe – in the UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and France – and the highly competitive markets of China and India.

Michele Fracchiolla, Executive Director, Europe & Australia – LoB Rail Control Hitachi Rail, said:

“We are delighted with this contract, which will allow us to implement digital signalling technology on an additional 1,885 km of the Italian railway network. ERTMS technology will bring huge benefits to passengers by enhancing train reliability, punctuality and frequency, with the aim of creating- an integrated European rail network.”

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