Thales and its consortium partner River Engineering have received a contract from Thailand’s State Railway to design, supply and install the ETCS Level 1 Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system on four sections of the Northern, Northeastern, Eastern and Southern lines from Bangkok.

The project is anticipated to complete in two years and will cover 48 stations, from Lop Buri in the north to Nakhon Pathom in the south and Map Kabao in the north-east.

Covering 21 stations, the Hua Mak-Laem Chabang is the longest stretch to be equipped with ETCS Level 1 ATP system. ETCS Level 1 is a European-wide standard that increases capacity and boosts rail network reliability.

This contract is part of State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) strategy to modernise the country’s rail network, with plans to convert railroads within 500km of Bangkok into an electric system.

The first phase of this modernisation programme began with upgrades to the signalling system to ETCS Level 1.

According to Thales, the ETCS Level 1 system will meet ‘the highest safety standards for railway transportation in Thailand’.

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By GlobalData

Initially developed to boost interoperability across European rail networks, the system is being increasingly adopted by rail operators worldwide.

ETCS will calculate a safe maximum speed for each train. Cab signalling is given to the driver and on-board systems take control only if the legal speed is exceeded.

As the ETCS Level 1 technology can be implemented on the current national signalling systems, it ensures minimal disruption. This system is also claimed to increase the existing network capacity by up to 40%.

Thales Thailand country director Massimo Marinzi said: “In mainline signalling, Thales’ high-tech systems cover 17,000km of track in 38 countries and support Thailand’s ‘One Transport for All’ vision, with a shared objective in helping connect the country and enabling commuters to travel with ease.

“As a pioneer in ETCS technology in Thailand, this project further enhances our presence in the transportation sector and positions us as the leading partner to SRT in mainline transportation and signalling. We look forward to working with our partner, River Engineering, to modernise Thailand’s rail network and build it for the future.”