Norway is a pioneer in digitalized rail transportNorway currently obtains about 93 percent of its electricity from hydropower. The country is a pioneer in the supply of renewable energy to many sectors of society. It’s also making rapid progress in the area of digitalization and will be the first country to control and monitor its approximately 4,200 kilometer railway network and over 350 stations from a central interlocking system. It’s one of the largest digitalization projects in the country.
With this ambitious undertaking, Norway will play a leading role in the use of digital technologies in the rail sector by deploying the most modern signaling system in Europe. Over a period of 17 years, Bane NOR SF – the state-owned company responsible for the Norwegian national railway infrastructure – will invest more than €2 billion in a digitalized and automated signaling system as part of its ERTMS initiative.
In 2018, Bane NOR SF commissioned Siemens Mobility to install the interlocking systems, outdoor facilities, and ETCS L2 (European Train Control System Level 2) throughout the entire Norwegian railway network. The contract is worth around €800 million.
A new era for the railway sector
Some railway lines in Norway, including a large number of single-track sections, are still operated entirely manually. This megaproject is the beginning of a new era for Norway’s railway sector. Bane NOR has created the railway of the future with one of Norway’s largest digitalization projects. The commissioning of all lines will be completed by 2034. The first lines will open in 2022, starting with the approximately 500 kilometer-long northern section of the Nordlandsbanen (to be commissioned in October 2022), when a service contract that ends in 2059 will also come into force.
Siemens offers a leading-edge solution for the Norwegian ERTMS program. Thanks to its superior technological expertise and a proven ability to deliver, Siemens is the ideal partner for us and for this challenging project. We’re thrilled to be working with Siemens to develop a digital rail network.Sverre Kjenne, Chief Operating Officer, Bane NOR
Latest infrastructure technologySiemens Mobility will equip the entire Norwegian railway network of approximately 4,200 track kilometers with the Trainguard ERTMS/ETCS Level 2 in conjunction with the Simis W interlocking and the Sinet IP-based wayside network communication system.
The contract covers the entire signaling system with interlockings, ETCS Level 2, point machines, train detection systems, railroad crossings, and the associated infrastructure along the lines. Installation and commissioning will be performed during ongoing operations. Weather conditions (including temperatures down to -40° Celsius) make installation and operation especially challenging.
The scope of delivery includes more than 5,000 point machines, over 7,000 axle counters, and more than 10,000 Eurobalises. About 430 railroad crossings will be upgraded. Add to this a 37-year maintenance contract that will take effect when the first stretch of track goes into operation in 2022.
The new digital signaling system will improve the safety, punctuality, and capacity of the rail network and will be gradually commissioned in the years leading up to 2034, when there will no longer be a need for physical signals in the digitalized rail infrastructure.
This project is a major milestone in signaling history – a step comparable only to the change from relay to electronic interlockings in the 1980s. Working with Bane NOR, Siemens Mobility will transform the entire Norwegian rail network into a fully digitalized IP-based system – a genuine Internet of Things.Michael Peter, CEO Siemens Mobility
From Norway to Italy with one locomotive
Thanks to the ETCS Level 2 system, Bane NOR will be able to eliminate line-side signals in the future. Another benefit is that Norway will be linked to the Trans European Rail Network. ETCS-controlled trains will then be able to run from Italy to Norway without having to change locomotives en route due to differences in national train control systems. The system is a key component in the integration of rail transportation in Europe and is intended to replace the more than 20 different train control systems currently in use.
The ETCS Level 2 system significantly reduces infrastructure costs while at the same time increasing line capacity, thanks to a more favorable traffic density and reduced travel time. All relevant information is constantly displayed for drivers right in the cab. For users of the Norwegian railway network in both passenger and freight transportation, this means an increase in rail network capacity as well as improved availability and punctuality. That’s because more vehicles can use the existing network at shorter intervals while delays, disruptions, and outages are reduced to a minimum.