The Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT) has approved the use of Bombardier Traxx locomotives in the Gotthard Base rail traffic tunnel following installation of a European Train Control System (ETCS) software update.
Bombardier Traxx locomotives are upgraded with the new automatic train protection software and the authorisation milestone was achieved in cooperation between the FOT, SBB Infra, BLS Cargo and Bombardier.
Designed to increase traffic capacity and safety on mainline operations, the EBI Cab 2000 onboard train protection software allows higher speeds and shorter headways.
Information between the wayside and onboard equipment is transmitted through radio and continuous supervision of the train’s speed.
Bombardier Transportation product line locomotives head Albert Bastius said: "We thank the FOT, SBB Infra and BLS Cargo for the constructive teamwork that will enable our Traxx locomotives to operate reliably and efficiently in the Gotthard Base Tunnel.
"We are now continuing to see that the implementation of our latest software progresses well on the many locomotives in operation, so that our customers benefit from this updated version."
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the first low-level route through the Alps and establishes a new direct route for high-speed rail and heavy freight trains to increase the capacity of the existing mountain route.
With the new software version, the Traxx MS and AC locomotives will be able to run on all sections of the tunnel's track, including those using the ETCS in Level 2 operation.
Locomotives not yet retrofitted are still capable of running on all other lines in Switzerland, including those that are equipped with ETCS.
They can be operational even on the Gotthard Axis.
Image: Bombardier Traxx locomotives approved for operation in the Gotthard Base tunnel. Photo: courtesy of Marketwired.