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Thales and Vodafone conduct driverless trial using 5G

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Κινητό δίκτυο 5G

Thales and Vodafone are claiming a world first by operating a driverless train controlled remotely via a 5G mobile network. The driverless trials are being carried out at the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus in Erzgebirge, Germany, using Thales’ Lucy laboratory train, while Vodafone has installed one of the first 5G base stations in the Erzgebirge region of Saxony, Germany.

To enable Lucy to be controlled remotely, Vodafone uses the 5G technology Network Slicing, which helps different virtual networks share a physical network structure, but provides a separate 5G network for railway trials. This means that remote-controlled mobile radio capacities are always available to control the train remotely, even if numerous users in the immediate vicinity also surf the internet.

In addition, the data is processed directly on-site in a small data centre in the immediate vicinity of the mobile base station via a Mobile Edge Cloud (MEC). Because the data does not have to travel long distances, it can be processed without delay. The 5G technology enables bandwidths greater than 500MB/second on the test track and reduces the latency, or data delay, to less than 10 milliseconds.

Thales has provided the control and safety systems for the 5G project in the Erzgebirge. This includes the installation of the test environment and sensors, along with a remote control system for the train in cooperation with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Railergy.

“We’re putting 5G on the tracks for the first time,” says Mr Alexander Saul, managing director corporate customers with Vodafone Germany. “Together with our industrial partners, we are examining which new applications will be possible with 5G.”

“5G opens up a whole world of new possibilities,” says Mr Yves Joannic, managing director of Thales Germany and responsible for the company’s Transportation division. “Up to and including 4G, consumers were the first to benefit from every new generation of wireless technologies.

By contrast, 5G’s main interest lies in B2B markets. This next generation of mobile technology will be the foundation for the digital transformation of B2B and, in the broadest sense, will be the backbone of industrial operations, which will benefit the rail sector in particular.”

Support

The project is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s Change Through Innovation programme.

The Smart Rail Connectivity Campus is a joint project of more than 100 partners from industry and research, led by the Technical University of Chemnitz, the city of Annaberg-Buchholz, with the participation of Erzgebirge Railway, the Fraunhofer Institute, ENAS and IWU.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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First Citadis LRV for Paris T9 inaugurated

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Alstom Tram Citadis

The first Citadis LRV designed and built by Alstom for the Paris light rail Line T9 was inaugurated in Orly on December 3. The vehicle was launched by Ms Valérie Pécresse, president of the Île-de-France region and president of Île-de-France Mobilités, Mr Christian Favier, president of the Departmental Council of Val-de-Marne, Ms Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, and Mr Michel Lepêtre, president of the Grand-Orly Seine Bièvre EPT (Public Territorial Establishment).

Île-de-France Mobilités awarded Alstom a €70m contract in November 2016 to supply 22 Citadis X05 LRVs, which are due to enter service in December 2020 on Line T9 which connects Porte de Choisy to the suburb of Orly. Delivery began in November and will be completed in October 2020.

The 45m-long vehicles can carry up to 314 passengers. The design was created in partnership between Alstom’s design and styling teams and the Design Saguez & Partners agency.

The Citadis LRV has eight double doors on each side along with an enlarged, interior that facilitates movement and speeds up boarding and alighting by 20%. It features 45% glass surfaces, 100% LED lighting, eight multimedia screens displaying a dynamic route map, USB sockets and bench seats.

Alstom says the LRV is also more energy efficient than the previous Citadis LRVs with improved energy consumption linked to the traction and auxiliaries. The overall cost of preventative maintenance has been reduced by 18%, and the materials used are 99% recyclable.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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Athens Metro Line 4: Signing of the «golden» contract approaches

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Μετροπόντικας κατά την εκσκαφή

A major step regarding the tender for Athens Metro Line 4 is expected in the following days as, according to well-informed sources, Attiko Metro’s BoD will reach a decision for the continuation of the process.

This means that the tender will resume and, for a period of 10 days, the 2 remaining consortia will be able to scrutinize each other’s technical dossiers.

Then, if they wish, they will be able to file appeals against each other for a period of about 30 days, that -once again- could go as high as the Council of State.

This will be the next crucial point for the completion of the tender. Market sources are quite sure that both parties will try in a legal way to disqualify their opponent in order to continue alone in the 1.8bn-euro (incl. VAT) «golden» bids.

«The contract is that big, giving so much business and financial strength to the winner for the next decade, that it will take a battle that may be judged on the most unlikely deficiencies that could be observed in the technical offers», the same sources told ypodomes.com.

A turning point for the tender

In Attiko Metro, however, they do not hide their optimism that, in any case, after a «difficult» 2019 with multiple judicial hurdles, we are finally at the end of the process.

A major goal is for the contract to be signed in 2020, allowing the beginning of the construction phase. For now, there are not any guesses on when exactly we will reach the «point zero» of the tender, which is the day when the bids are going to open.

In the event that both AKTOR-ANSALDOBREDA-HITACHI consortium and AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM consortium are still in the race, we will have to wait in order to find out who will become the contractor for the construction of Athens’ new Metro Line 4.

The absolute criterion will be the discount rate. Officials close to the tender believe there won’t be any very big discounts due to the very high budget that increases dramatically the risk.

The «golden» contract will have an initial duration of 96 months, that is, 8 years. The funding of the project will be secured by NSRF 2014-2020 and EIB.

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Battery trains to be tested in Denmark

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Τραίνο που κινείται με μπαταρίες

Suppliers are to be invited to test battery-powered trains on regional lines in late 2020 and early 2021, ahead of a potential order which could see battery trains enter passenger service from 2025.

Under an agreement between the Ministry of Transport & Housing and the Sjælland, Midtjylland and Capital Region authorities, trials are to be undertaken on HL’s Helsingør – Hillerød line north of København and on the Lemvigbanen linking Vemb, Lemvig and Thyborøn in Jylland.

The agreement announced on November 29 follows a study into options for battery operation in northwest Sjælland which was undertaken by the ministry, national operator DSB and Movia.

This analysis found that the Holbæk – Nykøbing Sjælland local line would be suitable for battery operation, with the need to replace the current diesel trains in around 2025 providing an economically sensible time to switch. Battery trains could also be used on the Kalundborg – København route, with co-ordination allowing the provision of though services between Nykøbing Sjælland and København.

‘A test of battery trains in Denmark will provide the parties with useful experience from practical operation before we potentially place an order’, explained Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht. ‘At the same time, it will allow passengers to try battery trains in everyday life. My hope is that from the mid-2020s we will see battery trains in daily operation.’

Source: railwaygazette.com

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