AlpTransit Gotthard has awarded a €57m signalling contract to Thales for the Ceneri tunnel in Switzerland.
The new tunnel is the final section of the transalpine rail corridor that will connect Zurich to Milan, Italy.
The 15.4km Ceneri Base Tunnel between Bellinzona and Lugano is located 25km south of the Gotthard tunnel and is scheduled to open in 2020.
Ceneri Base consists of two single-track tubes separated by a space of 40m.
Under the latest contract, which is a continuation of the Gotthard tunnel, Thales will provide its European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 technology.
The company will also be completely responsible for project management and integration of train command and control systems.
Thales signalling technology is expected to cut the journey time between Locarno and Lugano.
Part of Switzerland’s far-reaching railway modernisation programme, the Ceneri tunnel will be used by passengers and freight trains daily.
ETCS has been designed to replace the incompatible safety systems that used by each country at present.
Railway signalling can be used to direct railway traffic and keep trains clear of each other at all times.
Signalling technology is safety-critical and determines how fast a train can travel and the number of locomotives that can travel on the same line in a specific time period.