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New Thales digital signalling system rolled out in Denmark

  • The successful commissioning of the line between Langå, Struer and Holsterbro marks the third railway line to be opened in commercial service in Western part of Denmark, equipped with the new Thales ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) signalling system.
  • This new IT-based signalling system will help reduce the amount of signal errors, deliver a more stable train operation, secure more on-time trains, increasing customer satisfaction, as well as improving the overall carbon footprint.
  • Together, Banedanmark and Thales are the first in the world to nation-wide put the second generation, Baseline 3 ERTMS L2 into commercial operation.

As the first country in Europe, Denmark has decided to replace all analogue signalling systems with a digital IT system. A complete upgrade of the railway's signal systems, this is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in Europe.

The use of analogue signalling systems is now history. Trains will use Europe’s most modern signalling system to ensure that passengers (and freight) between the cities of Langå, Struer and Holstebro in Denmark will benefit from a state of the art, signalling system.
On this railway line, the infrastructure manager Banedanmark has finished the installation of the new IT-based signalling system, ERTMS L2. The system which is developed by Thales will reduce signal errors and secure more trains on time.

“With the new signalling system, it will – when fully completed - be possible to attain increased stable train operation with fewer signalling errors. It will also be possible to introduce a train operation schedule with higher frequency, as it will be possible to supervise the trains with greater accuracy. Therefore, there are many benefits to replacing the old signalling system with a new digital one,” says Janus Steen Møller, Director of Signalling Systems, Banedanmark.

Later this year, Banedanmark will take the new signalling system into use on two more rail lines between Køge and Næstved and between Mogenstrup and Rødby.

Writing history with 100 years of technological advancement

The new signalling system is planned to be rolled out on all long-distance rail lines in Denmark. Thus, it will replace all the old signalling systems which date back to the 1950s and in some cases to 1912. As such, the replacement of the old signalling systems provides insight into more than a century of technological advancement within the rail sector. It underpins that Thales is at the forefront when it comes to the digitalisation of rail.

“Thales is proud to collaborate with Banedanmark on this historical upgrade of the national signalling system paving the way for further digitalization of the rail sector. Together, we are the first in the world to have put the second generation of ERTMS L2 Baseline 3 into commercial operation. Moreover, we also support Banedanmark in their ambition to create a safe, smooth, more reliable and punctual travel experience with our Traffic Management System ARAMIS“ - Tommy Ayouty, CEO Thales Danmark.

The Traffic Management System ARAMIS is used to operate more than 55.000 trains worldwide on a daily basis.


Lynne Scott WALTERS