The rail automation specialist ESTEL RA, a joint venture of the Algerian National Company for Rail Transport SNTF (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires) and Siemens, will equip the line from Mecheria to El Bayadh with signaling and telecommunication systems. The customer is the Algerian railway agency ANESRIF (Agence nationale d’études et de suivi de la réalisation des investissements ferroviaires). "Siemens has in recent years played a significant role in expansion of rail transportation in Algeria. The order to build the new long-distance line in the southwest of the country testifies to the confidence in our high-performing and reliable technology", said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of the Rail Automation Business Unit. The order is worth about 69 million Euros for Siemens. Commissioning is scheduled for the Fall of 2015.
Comprising five stations and 129 kilometers long, the railroad will be equipped by Siemens Mobility and Logistics with Trainguard 100 for ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 1, the auto-matic operations control system Vicos and five electronic interlockings of type Simis W. In addition of the equipment of the control center, the contract includes training of personnel in use of the new technology. After successful commissioning, SNTF plans to run trains on the line at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.
There is considerable scope in Algeria for infrastructure modernization projects. In the context of a five-year economic plan, the Algerian government has announced its intention by the year 2014 to invest around 20 billion US Dollars in expansion of rail transportation. As part of this modernization plan, Siemens has already provided ETCS signaling systems for the rail links from Boughezoul to M'Sila and to Tissemsilt, as well as for the most important goods transportation line between Senia and the port of Arzew.
The automatic train protection system Trainguard for ETCS-Level 1 from Siemens displays the drive and control commands to the driver not by means of signals but by transmitting them elec-tronically to the train computer via Eurobalises. The permissible speed and the status of the signals ahead of him are constantly indicated to the driver via a display panel. If the specified speed is ex-ceeded, the train control system intervenes automatically; ETCS furthermore ensures (via stand-ardized interfaces) interoperability between the train and the track, even when borders are crossed.