RFI actives the first ERTMS section on the “Direttissima” Firenze-Roma

A technological upgrade between Rovezzano and South Arezzo. The total economic investment comes to around 150 million euro.

Florence, 28 December 2020

Amongst the most advanced and technological traffic systems for the “Direttissima” (“Super-direct”) Firenze-Roma line.

On the section between Rovezzano and South Arezzo, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Italiane Group) has installed the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS*) – the most advanced means for monitoring and controlling train distancing – and has activated a new Apparato Centrale Computerizzato Multistazione (ACCM** - Multistation Computerised Central Apparatus). Management of the works was entrusted to Italferr, an engineering company of the FS Italiane Group.

This is the first technological upgrade of a line that high-speed trains passing daily, being strategic for railway mobility as it is one of the busiest sections in Italy, and adds to the 700-plus kilometres of HS line already equipped with ERTMS technology.

In addition to greater performance, ERTMS also saves on running and maintenance costs compared to traditional signalling systems. ERTMS also favours interoperability between railway operators from various countries, based on information exchanged between the subsystem on the ground and on-board. The data and information transmitted allows the train’s speed to be continuously monitored, providing the train operator with all information necessary for its operation, and with the emergency braking system being activated in the event that all parameters are not respected and the train’s speed exceeds the permissible limit.

Using the most innovative technologies, the new systems allow management and supervision of the route from the Posto Centrale (Logistics Hub) of Bologna in the room dedicated to the high-speed lines. Such technological updating will lead to a significant improvement in the service quality and regularity of circulation, ensuring greater infrastructure reliability and management optimisation in the event of any abnormality.

The operations aimed at activation were carried out from 2:00 pm on Sunday, 27 December to 5:00 am on Monday, 28 December and involved some 200 FS Italiane personnel and contractors operating across several shifts, with around 150 people working along the line and 50 remotely.

The total investment amounted to around 150 million euro.

Completing the framework of the operations is the creation of a Sistema Comando e Controllo Multistazione (SCCM*** - Multistation Command and Control System) plus the development of a new interface of bushings and rail temperature sensing systems, upgrading of the diagnostics, telecommunication and power supply systems.

A major technological renewal of the four electricity substations was also carried out along the section in parallel, set to be concluded in the coming weeks.

*ERTMS: the European Rail Traffic Management System that permits interoperability between the national networks.

**ACCM: a system that allows an operator in a remote Logistics Hub to convey commands and receive secure controls on the line and hub systems, allowing better operation in traffic regulation.

***SCCM: a system for regulating railway traffic on the lines and hubs through the control and command of the technological equipment from a remote Logistics Hub.