Following a competitive tender process, a consortium comprising CAF and Thales has been awarded a US $451.9 million contract by Santiago’s metro operator, to respectively supply trains and a CBTC (communication-based train control) signalling solution to Lines 3 and 6 of the Metro in Chile’s capital city. The contract also includes a 20-year maintenance agreement.
By supplying a train control system that is designed to provide an operational headway of 90 seconds, Thales’s fully-automatic Seltrac CBTC solution makes it possible to increase the frequency of train services and therefore passenger capacity.
This effect is boosted by CAF’s new energy efficient cars, which offer an increased capacity of 260 passengers per car. The combined delivered system (CAF trains with Thales train control), will ultimately provide a passenger throughput capability of greater than 50,000 passengers/hour each day.
This greater capacity combined with CBTC’s energy-saving mechanism helps to optimise operating costs. Specifically, Thales’s Seltrac CBTC solution provides a number of energy savings functions, such as coasting, synchronized traction and braking, deferred start and restricted runs.
José Antonio Pellegrini, Thales country director in Chile explained: “This is Thales’s first CBTC project in Chile that will operate in full UTO (unattended train operation) mode. We are very pleased that Metro de Santiago, with whom we have kept a long-term relationship, has relied on our solution for the implementation of these two new lines, in which the latest technology has been considered to provide a better service to users and with high levels of security.”
Ramón Cañas, general manager, Metro de Santiago, said: “The construction of Lines 3 and 6 was the greatest challenge that we have undertaken as a company, not only because we are building them simultaneously, but also because we are adopting world-class best practice. The bid put forward by CAF and Thales fully meets the scale of this challenge.”
Thales’s CBTC Seltrac system has been used worldwide on over 55 projects to date and operates on more than 1,300km of track in major urban centres around the world, carrying an estimated 3 billion passengers annually.