Spain is a technological reference in rail transport

Interview with Ana Romera, Innovation and Development Director, Thales in Spain.

 

 

Interview Ana Romera Transport - Thalesgroup

 

 

A smart and sustainable transport system. This is how Ana Romera, Innovation and development director of Thales Spain defines the train of the future. In her opinion, our country can lead the transformation of the global rail network.

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES ARE FORCING GOVERNMENTS TO RETHINK TRANSPORT MANAGEMENT POLICIES TOWARDS MORE SUSTAINABLE MODELS. WHAT ROLE DOES THE TRAIN HAS IN THESE CHANGES?
 

The train is an integrative shaft of society. Users and governments are getting places for an intermodal transport, which makes from it a headstone. It arrives to the heart of urban cores, a thing that, for example, airports cannot afford. The user value connectivity between long, neighbourhood or urban transport (underground and buses). It has a lot of advantages versus another ways of transport. We are also making an effort in the energetic efficiency, under the catchword of been the green transport of the future. The railway infrastructure represents a cost, but in comparison with another systems could demonstrate it profitability and be a sustainable way. It is actually been. Also, is one of the safeties ones.

WHAT RAILWAY TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS ARE WE WORKING ON AND WHAT IMPACT DO THEY HAVE ON THE MARKET?

I have to highlight the train protection standard that is being deployed throughout the European rail network, the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). Its first objective is focused on railway protection and assistance to the machinist, but also it aims to contribute to the regulation of  this medium and to make it more efficient. In this way, the automatic control of the  train movement of t improves the management of this transport, since it allows to adjust the frequency when knowing the demand on time. We are also working to improve energy consumption and there are pilot projects with alternatives energies, such as solar.

HOW WILL BE THE TRAIN OF THE FUTURE?
 

The train is future; it will need to be smarter. For example, they are making cuts in the infrastructure costs. There are automatic conduction systems that will exterminate the actual ones, for instance, signalling cases or engine driver guide. They are actually working in the underground, but yet not in all of the railway transport system in long distances but we are progressing. Currently, exist developments with a very superior intelligent that support the driver and norms engine, becoming in a most efficient way to travel. On the other hand, industry will has to work to offer more services to the user. I am referring to ancillary services, such as video surveillance, cybersecurity, information to passengers, etc. There are areas in which it will be necessary to continue advancing because the traveler will be more demanding. Operators should also make an effort to improve user support.

WHAT CHALLENGES FACES THE SECTOR FOR CONTINUING ADVANCING IN THE EUROPEAN INTERCONECTIVITY ?

On long journeys, the train will not compete with the plane in passengers. However, the European Commission is making an investment effort and executing the projects of the so-called trans-European good corridors, in which I believe that the long-distance railway will favor the transport of cargo on a continental level. Trains can circulate within European countries without any restriction. Just the operators should achieve that cohesion or those agreements necessary to become a reality.