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Why are the signalling systems being replaced?

Rail Net Denmark has initiated a programme replacing the current signalling system throughout Denmark. The implementation of this programme will deliver two new signalling systems: the common European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) level 2 on the Main Line along with a Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system on the suburban network in the Greater Copenhagen area (the S-train network)

Sporskifter og signalerPhoto: Tao Lytzen

In most cases, the current signalling systems on the Danish railway network are more than 30 years old and a mixture of different technologies that are not able to function well together.

A condition assessment of the signalling system, conducted by the independent, consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton in 2006, shows that 40 pct. of the large signalling system on the Main Line in Denmark and 2/3 of the signalling system on the S-train network (regional network in the Greater Copenhagen area) have to be replaced by 2020, as the signalling no longer will be steady in operation. The remaining signalling on the Main Line as well as the S-train network, except a few, have to be replaced by 2030.

The condition assessment also unveiled that the number of signalling failures from 2002 to 2005 has increased by 38 pct. In addition, approximately 40 pct. of the train delays, which is attributable to Rail Net Denmark, during the same period of time were due to signal failures. By completely replacing the current signalling systems with modern technology, 80 pct. of delays due to signal failures will not occur in the future.

Moreover, the total replacement is estimated to be less costly than maintenance and replacement of the old signalling systems as their technical service life gradually expires.