A joint venture of Algerian Railways (SNTF) and Siemens, Estel Rail Automation (Estel RA), has won a contract to supply signalling, safety and control systems for the 140km-long rail network in the Algiers metropolitan area.

SNTF is the operator of the Algiers commuter railway network, which includes 18 stations and is designed for both freight and passenger transport.

In addition to the signalling, safety and control systems, the railway network will also be equipped with shunting and telecommunications technology.

"As rail automation market leaders, we are supplying state-of-the-art technology to Algeria."

The railway network is being expanded in order to shift traffic from road to rail, in order to reduce the daily congestion in the greater Algiers area.

Siemens’ share of the contract is €340m, which the company says is its largest ever order for rail automation.

As part of the deal, network commissioning is planned for the end of 2019.

The deal will see Siemens supply the first expansion stage of the European Train Control System (ETCS), which will permit speeds of up to 160km/h and allows trains to travel at shorter intervals.

Siemens mobility division CEO Jochen Eickholt said: "As rail automation market leaders, we are supplying state-of-the-art technology to Algeria: cross-border rail services at up to 160 km/h for passengers and freight, shorter headways and greater line utilisation."

Under the deal, Siemens will also deliver automated shunting equipment for the freight line, which will optimise goods handling with modern cargo technology.

The company will also provide training for Algerian rail operator personnel in how to operate and maintain the new system.

Last December, Estel won a contract from Algerian railway agency Anesrif to deliver signalling and operations control equipment to modernise the line between Beni Mansour and Bejaia, Algeria, for double-track operation.

Siemens supplied its Trainguard 100 train protection system for ETCS Level 1 operation and Vicos automatic operations control system.

The company was also responsible for offering nine Simis W-type electronic interlockings, global system for mobile communication railways (GSM-R) digital mobile radio technology and the RailCom Manager (RCM) communications management system.