Kapsch installs radio technology on Spanish short-line network in Bilbao

16 October 2012 (Last Updated October 16th, 2012 18:30)

Kapsch CarrierCom has completed the installation of new train safety and radio technology on 80km of state railway operator Adif's short-line network in Bilbao, Spain.

Kapsch CarrierCom has completed the installation of new train safety and radio technology on 80km of state railway operator Adif’s short-line network in Bilbao, Spain.

Kapsch’s GSM-R system will allow simple communication between command and control centres and trains on the line.

The new technology will help in providing smooth management of train traffic, improved communication for railway operations in the future and new services for passengers.

The GSM-R system will also provide new functions for safety and maintenance teams and allow fully automatic loudspeaker notifications in the event of a problem.

The new communication system comprises a newly-included fibre-optic cable network and the associated installation of 22 control masts.

Kapsch CarrierCom GSM-R vice president Michel Clement said installation of this equipment on the railway network in Bilbao is a milestone in the modernisation of the Spanish train system.

"Both the railway operator and the passengers will profit in terms of safety and reliability," Clement said.

For a simple transition to the new system Kapsch has developed a new control panel, into which both GSM-R components and the previous analogue channels have been integrated.

The new system is intended to increase capacity for simultaneous communication processes and the integration of the signalling system will allow automatic handling of calls between trains and transport operators.

The train security and communication technology includes GSM-R and the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1, making it ready for installation of ETCS Level 2 / European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Kapsch was responsible for supplying the base station subsystem (BSS) GSM-R system, including network design, network integration and optimisation.

"Kapsch’s GSM-R system will allow simple communication between command and control centres and trains on the line."

The company delivered all site infrastructure for the GSM-R network, as well as everything needed to allow public operators to provide indoor coverage to train passengers.

Work on the project involved related civil and power works, construction of towers and masts, and radio frequency equipment and aerials.

Kapsch installed two base station controllers (BSC) and transcoder units (TCU), 25 GSM-R base transceiver stations (BTS) and 87 optical GSM-R repeaters along the track.

The railway line, which has been in operation since December 2011, links Orense and Santiago and passes through 29km of tunnels along its mountainous route, cutting journey time between the two Spanish cities from 90 to 38 minutes.