On 24 February, Ansaldo STS launched ERSAT and ERSAT EAV, the first satellite technology in Europe to be applied to railway traffic management. The first test in Europe was carried out in Sardinia in collaboration with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Trenitalia, with a trial journey from Cagliari to Decimomannu.
The project, coordinated by Ansaldo STS, is part of the European research project Horizon 2020 and aims to define and develop the evolution of the ERTMS signalling system thanks to train geo-positioning using satellite technology. The satellite technology used has been designed to safely control and manage rail traffic on conventional secondary, local and regional lines.
Andy Barr, Managing Director of Ansaldo STS, commented: “The rail signalling market, which represents the core business of Ansaldo STS, demands increasingly innovative, reliable and competitive solutions in terms of cost, time and energy efficiency, as well as high standards of safety and environmental sustainability. We are particularly proud to test this innovative technology today, which has already generated significant interest among infrastructure and rail operators in Italy and Europe thanks to the numerous advantages offered by the system”.
The technology uses the results of the previous 3InSat project funded by the European Space Agency and supported by the Italian Space Agency. ERSAT EAV uses satellite technology to geo-position trains and interfaces with the system used to supervise rail traffic (ERTMS). This exchange of data and information has been made possible through special devices installed on the trains and the radio receivers located on the wayside along the railway line. The information points used by the current signalling system - the coils along the line - will be replaced with virtual coils managed by the satellite receiver which are integrated into the ERTMS signalling system. The latest-generation ERSAT signalling project interfaces and supplements - for the first time in Europe - the European Traffic Management System (ERTMT) with Galileo satellite navigation and positioning technology.
The trial at the site in Sardinia also represents the conclusion of the Roy Hill Iron Ore project in Australia, the first rail signalling system in the world to use this type of technology for freight transportation. In fact, Roy Hill has recently developed a proprietary project to extract iron minerals and transport 55 million tonnes of material by rail from the mine to the port each year, with a total of 350 km of railway line.
In June, Ansaldo STS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company Metroselskabet to develop a “Proof of Concept” (prototype) for the new Dynamic Headway Solution developed using Hitachi technology for the Copenhagen Metro M1/M2. The Dynamic Headway Solution will be developed using the railway control systems designed by Ansaldo STS and Hitachi IoT (Internet of Things) technologies; able to analyse, through sensors, passenger flows on platforms, it will automatically optimize the number of available trains, responding dynamically to sudden changes in the number of service users.
This technology is particularly useful in cases where the demand for transport increases during the normal operation of the Metro. It is a dynamic solution that helps to resolve possible congestion before it affects passengers’ experience, thus increasing the level of customer satisfaction. For the operator, this highly reactive solution adapts the number of trains to effective demand in real time and offers the possibility of reducing energy and operating expenses with a consequent improvement in service performance.
HSE Award in Riyadh: Ansaldo STS sees off the competition to win the award for safety
Ansaldo STS has won the “Best line HSE” (Health, Safety and Environment) award for its current construction works on Metro Line 3. The 3D3 station received the award, while the 3A2 station was named as the safest place to work of all the sites along the six lines under construction.
The competition concerned the six lines which are currently being constructed by three consortia (BACS, FAST and ANM, of which Ansaldo STS is a member), involving the construction of 85 stations along a 176 kilometre route. Recognised for their professionalism and expertise, Ansaldo STS employees were named the best team compared to their peers belonging to other leading companies in the global civil railway sector.
In July, Hitachi Ansaldo Baltimore Rail Partners LLC, a company formed of Hitachi Rail Italy S.p.A. and Ansaldo STS USA Inc. (the United States subsidiary of Ansaldo STS S.p.A.) signed a contract worth USD 400.5 million for the Baltimore Metro operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) for the supply of new trains and Communication and Control systems (Communication-Based Train Control - CBTC) for the Baltimore Metro Subway Link. The project to replace the current signalling system with the innovative CBTC solution developed by Ansaldo STS is worth approximately USD 148 million.
At the end of December, the CIPE approved the definitive project for the section of high-speed line between Verona-bivio Vicenza and authorised the construction of the first production batch of the AV/AC Verona-Padua track. Ansaldo STS is contributing to the project through its participation in the consortium Iricav Due (composed of Astaldi 37.49%; Salini Impregilo 34.10%, Ansaldo STS 17.05%, Società Italiana per Condotte d'Acqua 11.35%, Fintecna 0.01%), which holds the concession. The value of the contribution by Ansaldo STS is approximately EUR 336 million.
3 For more details on the History of Ansaldo STS, visit http://www.ansaldo-sts.com/en/about-us/history