Helsinki, Finland (Urban Transport News): The renewal of the signalling system for Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina line is on one of the most important railway lines in Finland. The Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina railway section in Southern Finland connects the ports of Hamina and Kotka which are important to Finland. Improving this railway network will improve Finland’s export industry competitiveness, providing ecological and economic benefits. Furthermore, this is an important step as this prepares the railway system towards automation as well as improving safety, reliability and punctuality.
Kotka-Kouvola-Hamina will be the first European Train Control System (ETCS) L2 test track in Finland and will launch a nation-wide train control system update to ETCS L2. In this project, FTIA will test the radio networks provided by commercial telecom operators for the transmission of ETCS data in the communication between the RBC and the rolling stock. The test system will be ground-breaking in Europe, and the big goal is to prepare for the introduction of the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) as soon as EU standards allow.
Esa Sirkiä, Division Director of Projects at the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, said:
The Kouvola–Kotka / Hamina railway is a very important route for Finnish freight traffic. We will finally get the safety of the modern signalling system on track. At the same time, we take a leap towards the future by building the ETCS test track.
Finland's goal is to build this test track to support the goal of building a radio network based ETCS covering the entire country. Another key goal of this project is to develop the competence of Finnish signalling system experts at ETCS L2. A key element will be the post-signature specification phase, where the more precise content of the ETCS part will be defined, developed and designed jointly with Thales. The aim is to find a generic ETCS level 2 solution that best supports the project and Finland's future goals.
“Thales is very pleased to have been awarded this contract, thereby contributing to the socioeconomic technological and ecological future of Finland,” said Dr. Yves Joannic, Vice President Main Line Signalling.
Commercial use of the new signalling systems will begin in early 2023.