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Czech engineering group Skoda Transportation has announced a new partnership with Speno International to integrate the European Train Control System (ETCS) and expand into the Swiss market.

This collaboration will concentrate on system integration engineering on 15 of Speno’s yellow fleet cars, as well as obtaining permission services from 16 nations in order to install the ETCS.

According to the group, this partnership will feature the first expansion into the Swiss rail market.

Skoda stated that the ETCS, a railway safety, reliability and efficiency system, will be implemented into four cars over the next two years, with plans for an additional 11 vehicles in the future.

Jan Christoph Harder, president of Region West and North Skoda Group, emphasised the company’s success in bringing the ETCS system to the Swiss market.

Harder said: “Our collaboration with Speno International marks a milestone in the European market. ETCS plays a crucial role in the modernisation of railway networks and the enhancement of overall safety.

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“This technology optimises rail operations by reducing accident risks, increasing network capacity and promoting cross-border compatibility. With the recent acquisition of The Signalling Company earlier this year, we have expanded our portfolio to include ETCS technology and the expertise required for seamless integration into the vehicles.”

The technology is set to be integrated into five of Speno’s distinct types of locomotives.

However, the manufacturer stated that there are difficulties in obtaining authorisation in 16 separate nations, each with their own set of National Technical Rules (NNTR).

As a result, the project will begin with a full needs assessment and NNTR analysis for each nation.