Czech Railways has awarded Nortel partner Kapsch CarrierCom AG an order for developing the GSM-R system along the International Corridor IV rail route running from the Czech Republic through Slovakia and Hungary to destinations in Greece, Turkey and Romania. This will enhance the train to track communications and improve the speed and efficiency of railway travel.
This new portion of the International Corridor IV GSM-R project covers the distance from the towns of Kolin, east of Prague, to Kuty on the Slovakia border and on to Hohenau on the Austrian border. Construction begins in November 2007 and the projected completion date is the end of 2008.
As general contractor, Kapsch CarrierCom will deliver a new digital European standard GSM-R system to connect staff on board Czech Railways trains to ground-based staff. The system enables European Train Control System Level 2 digital radio-based signal and train protection for displaying movement authority and other signals in the train driver's cab.
Nortel is supplying the GSM-R infrastructure (an application of the GSM standard for mobile communications) including the train radio system for supporting the electronic exchange of train and operating data. This allows cross-border trains to be processed quickly and passed to the rail operators in neighbouring countries saving journey time and increasing the competitiveness and environmental advantage of rail transport compared to road or aviation which have greater carbon footprints.
Kapsch CarrierCom was awarded the project after conducting a pilot scheme project along 200 kilometres of track between Prague and Kolin in the Czech Republic. Nortel supplied the GSM-R infrastructure for the pilot scheme and is the sole GSM-R infrastructure equipment provider for the latest project.
"This contract award underscores our competence in implementing the European digital train radio system and we are pleased that a successful pilot scheme has resulted in a substantial order, "said Thomas Schopf, CEO Kapsch CarrierCom. "Our extensive expertise and experience in GSM-R systems is helping to make eastern European rail travel more efficient, simpler, convenient and safe and will benefit the entire region."
"By enhancing track train communications and helping make rail services more competitive, Nortel is making it more attractive for people and businesses to choose railways over less environmentally friendly forms of transport such as road transport and short-haul aviation," said Wim te Niet, president Central Europe, Nortel. "As world leader in GSM-R, Nortel is continuing its successful partnership with Kapsch CarrierCom on a key project at the rail crossroads of Europe. This latest project emphasizes Nortel's continued commitment to GSM and its application to GSM-R."
The extension to the Czech digital train radio system involves adding 67 new base stations at intervals along the track and installing an additional Base Station Controller to deliver packet data functionality. Kapsch CarrierCom will supply the necessary transmission equipment (optical cables, dispatcher equipment, and communication recording systems) and infrastructure including masts, antennas, handsets, and power supplies. Nortel will provide design and supply of GSM-R network technology (base stations, base station controllers) and packet data functionality GPRS.