Kapsch celebrates rapid ÖBB GSM-R expansion with locomotive christening

Posted: 7 October 2011 | | No comments yet

GSM-R, the digital train radio system is the basis for a new pan-European signaling and train control system…

ÖBB Taurus locomotive in new Kapsch Branding

GSM-R, the digital train radio system is the basis for a new pan-European signaling and train control system. Nearly 1,200 km of the planned railway track are already in operation, which is approximately one third of the total 3,500 km planned to be equipped. Kapsch used this milestone as an opportunity to celebrate the long-standing partnership with ÖBB. Kari Kapsch, CEO of Kapsch CarrierCom and Christian Kern, CEO of ÖBB-Holding AG ceremonially baptized a yellow and black Taurus locomotive as the new “Kapsch” locomotive.

ÖBB Taurus locomotive in new Kapsch Branding

The future of railway communication has already begun in Austria. GSM-R is used on nearly 1,200 km of rail track in Austria and more than 1,400 km already have GSM-R installed. The GSM-R train radio system, together with the ETCS railway control system is the basis for the future single European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). ERTMS simplifies the cross-border implementation of railway tractive units and increases the safety of European railway traffic. In the final stage, ETCS will control the direction of the trains and maximum speed using a permanent data exchange between the routing center and the trains. The railway infrastructure’s capacity and economic efficiency increases due to the shorter distance between trains and higher speeds. GSM-R is operational in an increasing number of countries and experts estimate that 56 countries worldwide will rely on GSM-R by 2016.

ÖBB is one of the world’s first railway companies to use this innovative technology

“ÖBB began very early with the conversion to digital train radio. We were one of the first railways in the world to use R4 technology. ÖBB together, with its long-standing partner Kapsch CarrierCom, once again demonstrate their innovation leadership,” explains Christian Kern, ÖBB-Holding AG’s CEO. “GSM-R improves not only the quality and safety of our railway communication. The migration to the new technology also creates many jobs. Solely for the construction activities and GSM-R network deployment, roughly 100 highly skilled jobs were created in Austria.”

Taurus locomotive branded with Kapsch colors is a visible sign for digital wireless train communication in Austria

Kapsch CarrierCom is responsible both for the delivery of all the technology as well as the radio network planning, implementation and functionality of the GSM-R technology and must demonstrate complete radio coverage of the network under ÖBB’s project leadership. “The Austrian market is of fundamental importance for us. We are pleased that we have been able to support ÖBB in migrating to GSM-R since 2007. We are on schedule and making very good progress and want to celebrate this fact as well as the long-standing good relationship with ÖBB with a small ceremony. With the christening of a state-of-the-art ÖBB Taurus locomotive, we make a very visible statement concerning digital wireless train communication in Austria and Czech Republic where the locomotive will be operational,” explains Kari Kapsch, Kapsch CarrierCom’s CEO. “This branding is also a cross-border message about the Kapsch Group’s global brand.”

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