ViRM’s 176 double-deck railcars will be equipped with the latest ETCS onboard technology, reports Railway Supply magazine, citing Global Railway Review.

ViRM ETCS
Picture: Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract by NS Group N.V to upgrade 176 ViRM trains with the latest Level 2 European Train Control System (ETCS) technology. With the Level 2 ETCS upgrade, the fleet will be able to operate at a greater degree of efficiency for the remainder of their service life, and will also comply with the latest European rail compatibility standards. Siemens Mobility will provide on-board equipment and support for the ETCS installation, as well as seven years of system maintenance. The converted cars will be delivered between 2023 and 2027.

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“Across Europe, rail operators are looking for new solutions to increase capacity and reduce energy consumption and infrastructure costs,” said André Rodenbeck, CEO of Siemens Mobility Rail Infrastructure. “Our sophisticated onboard ETCS technology will help the Dutch railways achieve their modernization and productivity goals. This important project is another step in transforming the more than 20 different national rail traffic control and safety systems currently in use in Europe into a harmonized and interoperable system that safely paves the way for cross-border rail transport.”

This is the first major contract for the modernization of ETCS rolling stock in the Netherlands and is part of a comprehensive Dutch program to modernize the existing fleet of rolling stock with the latest train control technology. NS and Siemens Mobility see this initial project as a long-term and collaborative partnership that will ensure a smooth transition from the existing train control system to ETCS. The new system will also facilitate future upgrades to future versions of ETCS in accordance with TSI standards.

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By choosing to opt for ETCS, Europe has paved the way for future cross-border rail connectivity. With the support of political leaders and with the assistance of railway operators and leading providers such as Siemens, a network of ETCS-equipped lines is being built in Europe and beyond. In parallel with new construction projects, many railway companies are retrofitting their rail vehicles and fleets with ETCS onboard solutions. As one of the pioneers of ETCS, Siemens Mobility has already completed modernization projects in several countries, including Switzerland, the UK, Spain and Belgium.

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