Thales has been selected by the East Japan Railway Company, known as JR East, to design a CBTC (communications-based train control) system for the Joban line, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
JR East’s objective is to replace its current conventional automatic train control system and acquire a state-of-the art system with an optimised life cycle cost, in order to improve transportation systems in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. This 30km long line runs from Ayase to Toride with 14 stations and 70 trains.
For JR East "developing railway systems free of track circuits, offering cost advantages with high reliability" is a principal aim. Since the 1980s, Thales has been a pioneer in CBTC technology, which was originally developed without the need for track circuits or secondary detection.
One of the key benefits of this technology is therefore that it requires less equipment and optimises the line’s maintenance accordingly, which will meet JR East’s goal.
Jean-Louis Moraud, country director of Thales in Japan, said: “With this contract Thales becomes the first non-Japanese company to enter the Japanese signalling market, via the city of Tokyo, home to the world's busiest railway network. Thales is pleased to bring its latest signalling technology and experience in urban rail systems modernisation to a country that already benefits from great advances in the transport sector. ”
Thales said its CBTC system has been proven worldwide on over 55 projects to date and operates on more than 1,300 km of track in major urban centres around the world, carrying an estimated 3 billion passengers annually.