Hitachi to supply RBC Argos equipment for modernization of French railways

Hitachi to supply RBC Argos equipment for modernization of French railways

SNCF Réseau has selected Hitachi Rail for the development and deployment of a new generation of wayside ERTMS Radio Block Centers if France.

RBC Argos is an important component of the European Rail Traffic Management System ERTMS. The deployment of this equipment, which is a key element of the digitization of the national rail network, will be implemented in France over the next few years. Hitachi Rail’s RBC Argos technology will help to increase the capacity of SNCF’s rail network and improve the regularity of trains while ensuring the highest level of safety.

“This new contract builds on an historical partnership with SNCF, based on mutual trust and on the innovation capability of the Hitachi Rail group to support SNCF’s ambitions towards delivering a smarter and more sustainable mobility. With this contract Hitachi Rail, supplier of wayside ERTMS for the High Speed Lines, becomes supplier of wayside ERTMS for the overall national rail network, for the coming years,” commented Gilles Pascault, CEO of Hitachi Rail STS France.

First tests with the deployment of RBC Argos are scheduled for mid-2025 on a pilot line of about 16 km between Cannes and Grasse, in the south of France. It will then be gradually deployed on the Marseille-Vintimille route, with the first section coming into service at the end of 2027.

SNCF Réseau has long been implementing various components to improve its operational efficiency. A centralized command system and ERTMS are two major components of this development. By gradually moving from lateral signaling to cab signaling associated with continuous speed control, ERTMS meets the demand for interoperability in Europe and also allows better integration of new traffic management tools.

"With this new contract, we are implementing an essential brick of the new generation of ground-based ERTMS. It is therefore a fundamental step in our roadmap towards a new digital signalling system, a major challenge for SNCF Réseau with a view to developing a modern, reliable and robust service for the benefit of our customers", said Olivier Bancel, Deputy Director General of Projects, Maintenance and Operations at SNCF Réseau.

This project supports the European Union's mid-term objective to deploy the ERTMS technology over more than 6 000km of rail in France and to accelerate the digitalization program across the entire rail network.

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