Train manufacturer Stadler will retrofit 36 of its Flirt trains, operated by Arriva Nederland, with Guardia ETCS (European Train Control System) in-cab signalling and train protection.
This news comes soon after the recent announcement that Guardia, which is manufactured by AngelStar, the joint venture between Mermec and Stadler, has been approved for use in Poland.
Arriva is the first regional carrier in the Netherlands to sign a contract for the installation of ETCS in its trains. It is also the first time for Stadler to win a contract to retrofit trains with its own Guardia system.
Eight of Arriva’s trains are dedicated to cross-border operation on the Liège – Maastricht – Aachen route, so homologation of the system in the countries served by this line (Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) forms part of this contract.
Stadler will carry out the work over the next four years at one of its four service centres in the Netherlands. The first refitted trains will enter service on the cross-border service in 2022.
Anne Hettinga, chairman of Arriva Nederland, said: “With this agreement, Arriva Nederland underlines the importance of values like safety and innovation.
“It is great to be a leader in this national and European program as a provider of regional public transport.”
Fitting Guardia ETCS to a train involves the installation of both hardware – computer controllers and the driver-machine interface (DMI), the screen on the driver’s desk – and software. The train will then communicate with the track and the control centre which will update the driver’s DMI, eliminating the need for trackside signals.
Jürg Gygax, director of Stadler’s service division, commented: “We’re proud that we have been trusted with this project.
“Refitting trains with Guardia and the homologation of our ETCS system in three countries is an important milestone for both our service and signalling business.
“We look forward to the continuation of our long-term partnership with Arriva in the Netherlands.”