Dorsalys takes part in developing the Argos innovation partnership with Hitachi Rail STS for rail network SNCF Réseau

Dorsalys takes part in developing the Argos innovation partnership with Hitachi Rail STS for rail network SNCF Réseau

SNCF Réseau has signed a multi-tender innovation partnership (involving 3 consortiums) for new-generation computer signalling facility research, development and deployment. The programme known as Argos will enable obsolete signal boxes to be renewed. Hitachi Rail STS, Systra and Dorsalys in consortium will operate nationally to replace existing devices by computerized switching stations.  

The Argos project was initiated in 2017 by SNCF Réseau and entered its development phase in 2020. It aims to modernize and digitalize existing signal boxes which use electromechanical, electrical and even mechanical technology, replacing them with ARGOS systems which allow trains to run safely in a given area. “Our ambition is to deploy a high-performance, resilient system that is easy to maintain and minimizes the impact on operations during construction and testing” said Anne-Sophie Naboulet-Larcher, Head of Technology Strategy and Project Management at SNCF Réseau. 

To achieve this, the various industrial partners will replace 90 % of the old NS1 interfaces (relay technology) by IT object controllers. Similarly, signal boxes will gradually be replaced by centres located in the countryside, as close as possible to the objects. The new facilities are cheaper and quicker to implement and will also be more efficient and easier to maintain.  

For the time being, our employees are working with consortium leader Hitachi Rail STS on three worksites in the preparatory phase : the first of the regeneration sites on the Réding-Saverne line between the Moselle and Bas-Rhin departments, the COGC (Operational Traffic Management Centre) equipment in Bordeaux and the AFNT (Railway developments north of Toulouse) which will allow traffic to flow more freely on a section close to saturation between Saint-Jory and Toulouse-Matabiau. By 2024, the consortium should have finalized commissioning of the first site before continuing with other national projects, installing new shelters or trackside switchgear centres and deploying railway signalling equipment (signals, switches, track circuits, detectors, beacons, etc.). 

After 3 years’ development (2020-2023), the Argos project’s industrial consortium of which Dorsalys is a stakeholder will embark on a 15-year deployment phase scheduled until 2038.  

© Eiffage Énergie Systèmes