The Signalling Business Unit

In 2010 the Unit’s new orders were EUR 890,205 thousand, a fall of 28% from 2009 (EUR 1,243,016 thousand). At 31 December 2010 the order backlog was EUR 2,090,584 thousand, 6% more than the end 2009 backlog of EUR 1,190,191.

Principal Orders
Country Project Principal Value (EUR million)
Libya Sirti Bengazi line RDZ 201.8
Australia ARTC various projects ARTC 83.7
Kazakhstan Korgas-Zhetygen (300 km) KDZ 45.6
USA UP CAD-X OTP (Settlement) Union Pacific 44.7
Italy ACC Nodo di Genova RFI 43.7
Italy On Board HSL Zephiro Train Ansaldo Breda 29.5
Italy ATC Wayside + On Board - variation RFI 20.3
USA WMATA Blue / Orange Line WMATA 20.0
Brazil Vale Switch Machines Vale 18.0
Italy HSL - variation orders RFI 13.8
USA WMATA 7000 CAB Series WMATA 12.8
China Chengdu Line 2 Insigma 11.6
China 380 ATP C3 (1st lot for 120 OBU) Hollysis 8.1
USA WMATA Red Line rehab WMATA 8.0
Korea Rotem 56 electric loco Hyundai Rotem 7.1
Italy ACC variation orders RFI 6.7
Australia Rio Tinto various projects (n.6 orders) Rio Tinto 6.3
Italy ATC Wayside: reconfig. Verona, Firenze RFI 5.1
India KfW variation orders KfW 3.9
Australia FMG - various orders FMG 3.7
USA Components, Service & Maintenance Various 62.8
Italy Components, Service & Maintenance Various 33.9
France Components, Service & Maintenance Various 32.4
Australia Components, Service & Maintenance Various 9.7

The main events of 2010 occurred under three headings:

  1. results of the projects based on new technologies,
  2. orders for the key business and
  3. strategic alliances for future prospects.


The use of the new Mass-Transit technology CBTC (Radio Communication-Based Train Control), a completely integrated system which provides highspeed two-way radio communication between land and train on-board equipment.
Its strengths include a large capacity increase in terms of the higher number of trains in circulation thanks to the reduction of distancing between trains; shorter stopping times in stations; fewer signals along the line resulting in lower supply costs as well as lower maintenance and spare parts costs later.
The possibility of superimposing this technology on existing systems, also means that:

  • existing infrastructure can be kept in use while the various installations and tests of the new product are carried out (both along the lines and in the vehicles);
  • mixed traffic (i.e. parallel running of trains already equipped with CBTC and others not yet fitted with it) may be run simultaneously; and
  • all trains can be updated at different stages, avoiding a complete standstill until the upgrade is completed.

CBTC Applications in 2010:

  • the superimposed system on line 3 of the Paris Metro, which was commissioned in March 2010 for operation with CBTC through gradual modernisation of the trains, enabling mixed traffic to be run for a certain period of time until the new technology has been fully adopted.
  • the superimposed system on the Alifana line of the Naples Metro;
  • a subcontract to supply the CBTC platform and the main hardware components for line 1 of Chengdu which runs underground for 18.5 km with 16 metro stations and 17 trains (34 cabin sets), which opened to the public in September 2010 (CBTC should be fully operational by the end of the first half of 2011);
  • the Shenjang Line 1 is 27.9 km long, with a 23-vehicle capacity (46 cabin sets) for which Ansaldo STS USA is subcontractor of Insigma and supplies the basic CBTC platform and hardware components.

These lines will be completed in 2011 with ATO (Automatic Train Operation) equipment enabling full application of the CBTC system.

The use of ERTMS (European Railway Traffic Management System), an advanced interoperable signalling system, based on specifications that are now recognised and accepted throughout the world, which combines automatic control and train protection functions with the possibility of achieving higher network capacity through more efficient traffic management.
A train properly equipped with ERTMS may therefore travel on any network equipped with a similar system, regardless of the signalling system in use, the country and the legislation the infrastructure manager is required to comply with.
The main advantages are the system’s suitability for networks running at speeds of up to 500kph, (˜300 mph); rail network interoperability; increased rail traffic safety and efficiency; augmented network capacity and performance and reduced production and management costs.
The Signalling Unit operates with its systems based on this technology in over 50% of all the high-speed networks constructed throughout the world (except Japan) and is therefore the undisputed leader in level 2 ERTMS, the most advanced railway control system ever produced.

ERMTS Applications in 2010:

  • the Zhengxi for the new Zhengzhou-Xi’an passenger line: on-board and wayside equipment (Radio Block Center);
  • the passenger service of a 40 km stretch from Pwllheli ad Harlech on the Cambrian line from the Mackgulleth Signalling Centre (Wales).

Other Technology Applications for High-Speed Trains:

  • the high-speed Daegu-Busan line passenger service in South Korea;
  • coming into service of the high-speed KTXII train produced by the Hyundai-Rotem Company on the Seoul-Daegu line in South Korea.

New interchange system Applications based on computerised technology:

  • the Vill Station Tunis, the largest in Tunisia with 111 railway sections and 55 movements;
  • introduction of the new interchange system at Etaples of Réseau Ferré de France (RFF).



Ansaldo STS was awarded four contracts for the WMATA Washington’s subway, to:

  • restore the orange and blue lines;
  • complete stages 2-4 of the red line; and
  • supply cabin sets.

Through its subsidiary Ansaldo STS USA, Ansaldo STS signed a contract for the implementation of a new CBTC system as part of its strategic alliance agreement with Zhejiang Zheda Insigma Group Company Ltd. (Insigma), which is based in Hangzhou, PRC.
This new contract is for the realisation of a CBTC system for the Hangzhou Metro Line 1 project, this is one of the largest cities in the Yangtze River delta, and the metro is the first to be built in the capital of Zhejiang Province. The new transit line will be 53.6 km long and will have 34 stations and 48 trains.
The opening is expected for June 2012.
The Hangzhou will also be the first to implement the new CPU Microlok® II with 2 on 2 architecture by Ansaldo STS USA with a hardware diversity safety structure.
This contract is Ansaldo STS USA’s seventh metro project in the PRC the fifth within the strategic alliance with Insigma.
In June 2008, Ansaldo STS had already been awarded the contract for the extension of line 2 in Shanghai which is the link between Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport. The agreement is for the supply of the proven Automatic Train Control (ATC) signalling and train control system, which includes the Automatic Train Protection, Automatic Train Operation and Automatic Train Supervision functions.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A. awarded works worth EUR 43.7 million to Ansaldo STS for the technological upgrading of the Genoa railway network.
These works include innovative safety and signalling equipment, a multi-station computerised connection (ACC) and telecommunication between Genova Voltri and Genova Brignole stations. The latter will have a control centre for multi-station operations at Genova Teglia, already the site of centralised traffic control (CTC) which has been in service since 2003 (the last section of the line was opened in 2006), developed and supplied exclusively by Ansaldo STS.

A consortium between Ansaldo STS and SELEX Communications, both Finmeccanica companies, has signed a contract worth some EUR 247 million with Zarubezhstroytechnology, which is controlled by Russian Railways JSC RZD, for the supply of signalling, automation, telecommunications, energy supply, safety and ticketing systems for the Sirte-Bengazi line in Libya.
Ansaldo STS leads the consortium with an 81.8% share, i.e. some EUR 202 million. The contract was awarded in a tender involving the main international competitors made by Russian Railways in its capacity ass main contractor for Libyan Railways in respect of all the works (civil works, fit-out and technologies) on the 550 km (342 miles) Sirte-Bengasi line.
The work assigned to Ansaldo STS and SELEX Communications will require three years to complete.
Specifically, Ansaldo STS will be responsible for the interoperable European system known as European Rail Traffic  Management System (ERTMS) / European Train Control System (ETCS).
This contract originated after a EUR 541 million agreement which Ansaldo STS signed directly with the Libyan Railways in July 2009 for the supply of signalling, telecommunications and energy supply for the coastal line from Ras Ajdir to Sirth and the inland line from Al-Hisha to Sabha, totalling 1,450 km (900 miles).

Contract for the Zhetygen - Korgas line in Kazakhstan
The joint venture “Kazakhstan TZ - Ansaldo STS Italia Srl” awarded Ansaldo STS a EUR 45.6 million contract for the design, supply, installation and bringing into service of signalling and telecommunication equipment for the Zhetygen-Korgas line (300 km - 186 miles - in the south east of the country). The agreement was announced in June. It is especially important in that it puts Ansaldo STS in a good position for the massive investment programme planned for the next ten years to upgrade the country’s rail network.


Ansaldo STS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Railways (RZD) with a view to setting up a joint-venture between Ansaldo STS (with 49%) and NIIAS (49%) and SM (2%), two subsidiaries of RZD, to develop initiatives in the fields of railway signalling, telecomunications, automation and health and safety.
Specifically the agreement envisages the supply of 100 stations, 100 vehicles and 50 railway lines by the end of 2020, to a value of up to EUR 1.5 billion.
With this new agreement Ansaldo STS strengthens its position in the Russian signalling market, thus entering the station deployment segment.

The activities of planning, transport, installation, testing and bringing into service under the EUR 7.4 million contract signed at end 2009 between Ansaldo STS and NIIAS (a subsidiary of the Russian Railways JSC RZD) to experiment - on a test site near Sochi - the innovative railway signalling system known as ITARUS-ATC continue.
This system is based on the interoperability of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) / European Train Control System (ETCS), and required the implementation of the most advanced Italian and Russian technological solutions. Conceived as a state-of-the-art system, ITARUS-ATC offers an effective cost ratio, can be adapted to railways with low-, medium- and high-volume traffic, including high-speed lines, and it can increase the safety and capacity of the lines. This contract is of great strategic importance and lays the foundations for further undertakings in the future on Russia’s railways (e.g., new high-speed lines, Eurasian corridors or transport systems for the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014).

The world railway market
The long-term outlook is excellent: a growth rate of 3% in all segments, which has lasted for six years and will continue until 2019-2021. Starting from such a high initial level, the growth rate sill gradually fall towards an average of 1%-2%.

Substantial demand for railway control products is expected, mainly in Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
Western Europe should remain the most important accessible market up to 2020, after which its growth prospects are limited, since the most important orders for replacement basic rolling stock will have been filled and in light of the financial restrictions.

The Asia-Pacific area has now become the largest railway market in the world, having as much as doubled its value over the last four years and retaining potential for continuous growth.

Growth rates are higher in the urban segment, mainly driven by demand for metro systems in the megalopolises of the Asia-Pacific region and the Rest of America, while the high-speed market is declining.
Light metropolitan railways are the segment showing the fastest growth, but it is still the smallest and therefore has the potential to become the next main growth driver.


The competitiveness of one’s product portfolio is crucial, especially in the emerging economies’ railway market and the US, while European railway operators (particularly in Germany, France and the UK) take the view that ERTMS is costly and has limited performance:
they are therefore looking for optimal alternative combinations.

The adoption of a “system” rather than “product” approach is necessary to be able to manage external products in one’s portfolio in the telecomunications field (Scada, CCTV, PI, energy sourcing, HLS and signalling components).

To achieve competitiveness by becoming more efficient, in the near future Ansaldo STS will have to:

  • limit the development of sites around the world that require a complete organisation (personnel and operations) and therefore are burdened with high general expenses and indirect costs (for training, IT and travel);
  • redefine the value of “closeness to the client”, in order to exploit a more limited number of competency centres;
  • utilise standard, more simply engineered platforms, in order to optimise R&D resources;
  • take care to avoid duplications between the Business Units in their engineering capacity (Scada, Telecomunications, HLS and signalling);
  • exploit the marketing operation of the Transportation Solutions Business Unit in the mass-transit field and, reciprocally, those of the Signalling Business Unit in the railway sector; and
  • be more selective in choice of markets, avoiding overly competitive markets, but rather using partnerships (alliances and joint-ventures).