The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has awarded a contract to Thales to design a communications-based train control system (CBTC) for Tokyo’s 30km-long Joban suburban line.
The new CBTC system will be installed on the line that connects Ayase with Toride. The line has 14 stations, an operating fleet of 70 trains, and currently uses a conventional automatic train control system.
Intended to replace the existing system, JR East expects the new CBTC technology to improve transportation systems in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, while optimising life cycle cost.
JR East aims to develop railway systems free of track circuits, offering cost advantages with high reliability.
The CBTC technology requires less equipment and optimises the line’s maintenance accordingly, which will meet JR East’s goal.
Thales Japan country director Jean-Louis Moraud said: "With this contract Thales becomes the first non-Japanese company to enter the Japanese signalling market, via the city of Tokyo, home to the world’s busiest railway network.
"Thales is pleased to bring its latest signalling technology and experience in urban rail systems modernisation to a country that already benefits from great advances in the transport sector."
More than 55 projects across the globe have successfully implemented Thales’s CBTC system. To date, the system operates on more than 1,300km of track in major urban centres worldwide, carrying an estimated three billion passengers each year.