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Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency selects Thales to improve its railway network in Finland

  • Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) awards contract to Thales for the design, delivery, installation and test of the signalling system and ETCS L2 test system for Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina line. 
  • Thales has already delivered new signalling solutions for Finland and the extension to Kouvla-Kotka-Hamina will improve the railway network in southern parts of Finland.
  • Kotka-Kouvola-Hamina will be the first ETCS L2 test track in Finland and will launch a nation-wide train control system update to ETCS L2.
  • With its proven and secure technology, Thales has established itself as a significant technology supplier for public transportation in Finland. 

The renewal of the signalling system for Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina line is on one of the most important railway lines in Finland. The Kouvola-Kotka-Hamina railway section in Southern Finland connects the ports of Hamina and Kotka which are important to Finland. Improving this railway network will improve Finland’s export industry competitiveness, providing ecological and economic benefits. Furthermore, this is an important step as this prepares the railway system towards automation as well as improving safety, reliability and punctuality.

Kotka-Kouvola-Hamina will be the first European Train Control System (ETCS) L2 test track in Finland and will launch a nation-wide train control system update to ETCS L2. In this project, FTIA will test the radio networks provided by commercial telecom operators for the transmission of ETCS data in the communication between the RBC and the rolling stock. The test system will be ground-breaking in Europe, and the big goal is to prepare for the introduction of Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) as soon as EU standards allow. 

Finland's goal is to build this test track to support the goal of building a radio network based ETCS covering the entire country. Another key goal of this project is to develop the competence of Finnish signalling system experts at ETCS L2. A key element will be the post-signature specification phase, where the more precise content of the ETCS part will be defined, developed and designed jointly with Thales. The aim is to find a generic ETCS level 2 solution that best supports the project and Finland's future goals.

“The Kouvola–Kotka / Hamina railway is very important route for Finnish freight traffic. We will finally get the safety of modern signalling system on the track. At the same time we take a leap towards the future by building the ETCS test track.” - Esa Sirkiä, Division Director of Projects at the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. 

“Finland is a pioneer in the digitalization of railways. With the help of the upcoming test track, we are taking a significant leap towards the modern radio network-based ETCS system that Finland is seeking. The system is based on 5G technology and it aims to be compatible with FRMCS. I’m sure that test results will arouse great interest all over Europe.” - Juha Lehtola, Project Manager of Finnish ERTMS program at the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. 

FTIA’s goals:

•    High quality completion safely on agreed schedule together with all stakeholders 
•    Introducing digitalization and preparing for railway system automation 
•    Improving railway safety, reliability, availability and maintainability 
•    Looking for higher capacity on railways 
•    Ensuring preparedness of transitioning to ERTMS/ETCS 
•    Growing skills and resources in field 

“Thales is very pleased to have been awarded this contract, thereby contributing the socioeconomic technological and ecological future of Finland.” – Dr. Yves Joannic, Vice President Main Line Signalling

Commercial use of the new signalling systems will begin in early 2023. 

Thales offers one of the most reliable and comprehensive portfolios of rail and public ground transportation solutions on the market.  

Countries, cities and public transport operators rely on Thales’ ground transportation solutions to adapt to rapid urbanisation and meet new mobility demands – locally, between cities and across national frontiers. 

Thales’ expertise in mainline railway signalling, urban transport, communications, fare collection and cybersecurity gives people and goods the connected journey they need to move safely and efficiently.

Lynne Scott WALTERS
Chrystelle Dugimont - Media Relations, Ground Transportation
+33625157293 / +33492927406