Thales has signed a contract with Hungarian infrastructure company NIF to equip the 70km long Gyoma-Békéscsaba-Lokösháza route with modern interlocking and electronic train control technology.
The project, Thales’s largest so far in the Hungarian market, will be implemented in cooperation with a local partner, Dunántuli Kft. The contract has a total value of €80 million, 85% of which is financed by the EU.
The order includes the design, delivery, installation and commissioning of ELEKTRA electronic interlockings for four railway stations on the twin-track Gyoma-Békéscsaba section, as well as an ETCS Level 2 centre at Békéscsaba railway station. The single-track Békéscsaba-Lokösháza section will be equipped with ETCS Level 1 technology.
The route is part of the trans-European transport networks, which consists of the continent's main axes. Corridor IV extends from Dresden via Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Sofia all the way to Istanbul.
Thales has deployed ETCS solutions extensively both in Europe and elsewhere in the world, having equipped 27% of the world’s railway tracks.
Günther Trummer, Thales vice president Central Europe & Balkans, said: "The ETCS technology is being deployed on an increasing number of routes throughout Europe. This project brings Hungary a step closer to achieving its goal of increased safety and capacity as the keys to faster, more efficient and more attractive rail transport. I am particularly delighted that the strong Austrian-Hungarian cooperation has made it possible for us to establish state-of-the-art solutions in Hungary."
Immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain – more than 20 years ago – Thales was a pioneer when it came to introducing modern interlocking technology in Hungary. The first contracts with MÁV (electronic interlockings for Hegyeshalom and Almásfüzito) were signed back in 1995.