Innovative solutions to fight climate change

Each year, metro and urban rail networks transport over 40 billion passengers worldwide, with less of an environmental impact than cars.
Adjusting traffic to meet passenger needs
Thales’s Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology for metro lines reduces the time and headway between trains, allowing operators to vary traffic levels according to user needs and making urban rail systems more efficient. The capacity of the London Underground’s Jubilee line, for example, was increased by 20% to accommodate visitors during the 2012 Olympic Games. The CBTC system was also deployed in Mecca for the 2010 pilgrimage, transporting up to 72,000 passengers an hour when demand was the highest. The ability to transport large umbers of passengers during peak times is key to meeting the mobility needs of densely populated cities.
Thales Group - ECO transport
Reducing Energy Consumption By Up To 15%
Reducing energy consumption is a top priority for metro operators. Thales’s Seltrac© CBTC solution reduces metro network energy consumption by up to 15%. It uses sophisticated algorithms to limit energy-intensive stop/start cycles and switch off power at pre-determined locations so that trains can coast on their own accumulated power whenever possible. This solution protects the environment while reducing operating costs. For an average metro line, the solution cuts CO2 emissions by around 14,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 6,000 cars off the road.
Reducing Traction Energy
Traction energy consumption can be significantly reduced over an entire network by controlling train speeds (slowing trains down when scheduling permits) and optimising timetables in real time to match the number of trains to the level of passenger traffic. By synchronising train departures and arrivals at stations, the braking energy from an arriving train can help a departing train to accelerate.
Optimising Energy Consumption In Stations
Thales’s metro command and control systems help optimise electricity consumption in stations through the real-time management of services like lighting, elevators and escalators, which can be turned off or put into sleep mode depending on user needs.
Eco-Driving On Mainline Networks
Optimising electricity consumption is a critical issue for mainline transport networks. Thales’s train traffic management systems reduce electricity consumption by up to 10% by smoothing out wasteful braking and acceleration cycles. For example, through better anticipation and management of train traffic, a train that needs to let another train pass when approaching a signal box will be able to slow down rather than  stopping completely. The driver’s instrument panel is constantly updated with messages about traffic optimisation, and algorithms take rolling stock and track geometry data into account to adjust the train’s speed and maximise energy savings.
More Rail Traffic And Faster Trains Throughout Europe
Getting more passengers to choose trains over cars is a key environmental goal that can be met by increasing network capacity, reducing travel time and making European networks more interoperable.
Given the high financial and environmental costs of building a new rail network, adding capacity will mainly involve renovating existing networks and using them more efficiently. Europe’s answer to these challenges is the European Train Control System (ETCS), which also ensures the interoperability of rail networks across national borders.
Thales’s AlTrac ETCS system optimises train power through real-time movement authorisations. Each train follows an individual speed profile that is constantly updated throughout its journey. In Austria, for example, the solution has reduced travel times on the Salzburg-Vienna by 23 minutes, allowing 30% more trains to operate each day.