ESTEL RA, a joint venture of the Algerian national company for rail transport SNTF (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires) and Siemens has been awarded an order to deliver rail signaling and operations control equipment for upgrading the line between Beni Mansour and Bejaia for double-track operation. For Siemens, the order is worth about EUR 95 million. The customer is the Algerian railway agency ANESRIF (Agence nationale d’études et de suivi de la réalisation des investissements ferroviaires).
Siemens will equip a line section that runs 90 kilometers through the Atlas mountains and serves nine stations with its Trainguard 100 train protection system for ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 1 operation, its Vicos automatic operations control system, as well as with nine Simis W-type electronic interlockings, GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communication Railways) digital mobile radio technology, and the RailCom Manager (RCM) communications management system. The contract also includes equipment for an operations control center in Bejaia and programs for training personnel how to use this new technology.
The Algerian railway network covers a total of about 3,800 track kilometers. As part of the nation’s five-year plan, a further 6,600 kilometers are to be added to the existing network by 2015 and another 500 kilometers upgraded for double-track operation. This double-track upgrade will enable the overall maximum speed to be raised to 160 km/h. In addition to cutting journey time between the two cities, the upgrade will also increase the frequency of trains on this commuter route.
Siemens has already provided ETCS signaling systems for the mainline railway links from Djelfa to Laghouat, from Boughezoul to M’Sila and to Tissemsilt, and from Mecheria to El Bayadh, as well as for Algeria’s all-important rail freight line between Senia and the Port of Arzew.