Thales introduces SelTrac™ G7 to North America at Next-Gen Train Control

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Thales Marketing and Communications Director-Urban Rail Signaling Arnaud Besse at the Railway Age/Parsons Next-Gen Train Control Conference in Philadelphia.

Thales Canada Transport Solutions introduced SelTrac™G7, the 7th generation of its CBTC (communications-based train control) system, to the North American market on Oct. 19 at the Railway Age/Parsons Next-Generation Train Control Conference in Philadelphia.

SelTrac™G7, which traces it roots to the first SelTrac™system introduced by predecessor company Alcatel in Canada in the 1980s, was developed in North America at the Thales Global Centre of Competence in Toronto. It “incorporates the latest computing technologies along with enhanced train operation features that will help railway operators achieve their big ambitions and give passengers a better experience,” Thales said.

Among these features is the ability to provide 60-second headways, depending upon the application—a 50% improvement over the 90 seconds generally regarded as state-of-the-art for current CBTC technology, according to Thales Marketing and Communications Director-Urban Rail Signaling Arnaud Besse.

SelTrac™G7 “includes a set of advanced functions that allow public transport operators to manage network growth, extensions and fleet expansions, as well as prepare for the future and control operations,” Thales noted. “The user interface for the centralized command-and-control system uses Web technologies to enable users to customize their own workstations. The equipment installed on the trains is also 20% more compact than previous generations, freeing up additional space for passengers.

“Among other improvements, SelTrac™ G7 is designed to operate with any type of telecommunication system, including new-generation LTE (Long Term Evolution), making the overall solution even more robust. Like all previous generations of CBTC systems, SelTrac™ G7 can be deployed and operated without needing to install a secondary detection system, dramatically reducing the initial outlay as well as recurrent maintenance costs. In addition, thanks to the bidirectional line management capability of SelTrac™ G7, operators can reconfigure the entire network to reduce or eliminate any impact on travelers if a train is blocked in a station.”

In terms of passenger safety, SelTrac™ G7 is “cybersecured by design, adding another layer to ensure the safety and continuity of mass transit operations in an environment with growing cyber threats,” Thales explained.

“Transport operators in the United States and Canada have big ambitions to get passengers from point A to point B more efficiently and economically in growing metropolitan regions,” said Duncan Lewis, CEO of Thales’s ground transportation business in the U.S. “Thales is introducing SelTrac™ G7, our forward-thinking and flexible, state-of-the-art train control technology solution, to the North American market, where it was developed. With our experience in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, London, Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Singapore, Seoul, and Hong Kong, Thales is ready to take on these 21st century transit challenges with SelTrac™ G7.”

“Since the first system was introduced more than 30 years ago, SelTrac™ has become a global benchmark in urban rail signaling,” said Thales General Manager Urban Rail Signaling Dominique Gaiardo. “It has been installed on 86 metro lines in 40 cities around the world, helping to transport more than three billion passengers every year. With this generation of the SelTrac™ system, Thales is supporting the digital transformation of urban rail operators by proposing a solution that incorporates the latest technologies and paves the way for the autonomous train operations of the next 30 years and beyond.”

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