Alstom to equip DB Cargo freight locomotive with ETCS

Photo: Frans BerkelaarFrans Berkelaar

Alstom has signed an agreement to equip one of DB Cargo’s freight locomotives with ETCS signaling technology. As part of this project, subsidised by the CEF and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, a DE6400 locomotive will be equipped with Atlas ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2. This new signaling technology will support freight traffic between the Netherlands and Belgium as soon as the new timetable comes into effect (2024/2025 in Belgium and 2026/2027 in the Netherlands).

“We are pleased that DB Cargo is once again entrusting its modifications to us. Alstom is the first company to be fully certified to the latest ETCS on board and runway standards. In addition, our advanced signaling solutions can be tailored to the requirements of any environment, ensuring safe, trans-European freight traffic of the highest level, ”said Bernard Belvaux, Managing Director at Alstom for the Benelux.

More reliable and more punctual

The existing ATB-EG and ATB-NG systems in the Netherlands and the national system in Belgium, TBL1 +, will be integrated into the ETCS system under this agreement. ETCS is one of the most efficient train control systems in the world, and the switch to this modern signaling technology will make freight traffic between the Netherlands and Belgium safer, more reliable and more punctual. The new control system also leads to lower maintenance costs.

The engineering part of the project is carried out by the teams of the Alstom signaling center of excellence in Charleroi (Belgium), in collaboration with the signaling project team in Utrecht (Netherlands). The modification of the first prototype will be done by Shunter, an expert in freight locomotive maintenance and acquired by Alstom in March 2021.

Earlier agreement

The modification of this prototype locomotive is the most recent step in Alstom’s strategy to expand its position in the market for onboard signaling for European freight traffic. Alstom and DB Cargo announced in January 2020 that a total of 13 EG3100 freight locomotives, intended for freight traffic between Germany, Denmark and Sweden, would be equipped with ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2, the latest standard in signaling technology.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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