ENGIE Solutions deploys an innovative and agile signalling system on Avignon’s first tram line

An innovative signalling system from ENGIE Solutions, the RAIL-MAP distributed interlocking system for signalling, has been deployed on Avignon’s first tram line. It ensures transport safety and flow and facilitates tramway operations. With this modular solution, ENGIE Solutions is positioning itself as a key designer and supplier of complex systems in the field of digital railway signalling.

 

Transport infrastructure is key to increasing the attractiveness of cities and regions, and also to offering every citizen the opportunity to take concrete action in favour of the environment. To facilitate travel for residents on a large scale, the Greater Avignon urban area commissioned the first tram line in its public transport network. This project is fully in line with the ambitions of ENGIE Solutions, which wishes to support its customers in their zero carbon transition by providing them with tailor-made and turnkey solutions, to making it possible to reinvent these living environments.

 

A fluid, fast and safe new tram line

In launching the first 5-kilometre tram line in the heart of the city centre (between Saint Roch and Saint Chamand), Greater Avignon had a simple objective: ten stations and a 15-minute journey time to provide passengers with a smooth and regular service, including at rush hour and in the city centre where traffic is heavy.

Coordinated by EDEIS (project management) and TECELYS (delegated contracting authority), work started in October 2017 and the line came into service on 19 October 2019. Designed both to equip new lines and modernise existing rail transport infrastructure, ENGIE Solutions’ RAIL-MAP guarantees a high level of safety* for tram traffic in the most sensitive areas, namely where the tram passes over a set of points. An operation that is crucial to the flow and frequency of the trams.

 

An agile and modular system that is easy to install, deploy and maintain

Designed entirely by ENGIE Solutions, RAIL-MAP offers numerous advantages to future tramway operators. Consisting of generic units, completely independent of trains and railway infrastructure, it can be adapted to a wide range of track layouts and is compatible with the specific requirements of a tram line.

“Existing signalling systems are no longer adapted to the needs of operators and users: centralisation, cost, laying kilometres of cable, the need to check the entire system after the slightest modification,” explains Paul-Louis Vuldy, R&D manager at ENGIE Solutions Transport Market. “RAIL-MAP provides decentralised signalling and involves only two types of equipment, which are easy to install and replace.”

This flexible system, which has received funding from the State’s Future Investments Programme operated by the environment and energy management agency (ADEME), minimises cable laying and facilitates both upgrades and maintenance.

 

*The highest existing level of safety in the railway sector.