Third railway operator will test ATO in Netherlands

Dutch national railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) intends to test Automatic Train Operation (ATO) by the year’s end. It will become the third company to perform the ATO trials in the Netherlands. Two other operators, Rotterdam Rail Feeding and Arriva, have already done it earlier.

NS will examine the second grade of the ATO technology, also known as GoA2. It requires the presence of a train driver in a cabin and its intervention in case of disruption. At the same time, the train departure, stopping and journey will be carried out automatically. To this end, the railway company will use its electric train of the Sprinter New Generation (SNG) type. The latter will run on the line between Lelystad and Zwolle without passengers. NS will test the ATO technology in a partnership with the rail infrastructure manager ProRail and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.

Dutch experiments

It was December 2018 when the first ATO tests were performed in the Netherlands. They were carried out on the Betuweroute, the freight dedicated line that runs from the border with Germany to port of Rotterdam. To examine the technology, the locomotive of the Dutch rail freight operator Rotterdam Rail Feeding was used. The Betuweroute tests were also dedicated to GoA2 and were carried together with ProRail and Alstom.

This year the ATO experiments in the Netherlands were extended to the passenger segment. In March the pilot journey of the Arriva’s Flirt train equipped with GoA2 was performed on the Groningen – Zuidhorn line in the province of Groningen. The project was carried out by Arriva together with ProRail, Stadler Rail (manufacturer of the examined train) and the local authorities. It was the first phase of the trials. All the participant intend to test ATO  once more in the coming period on the line between Groningen and Buitenpost, also in the province of Groningen.

Are you interested in the Automatic Train Operation? It will be one of the key themes to discuss at the Intelligent Rail Summit 2019 that will take place on 19-21 November in Paris, France. To know more about the event, follow the link.

Banner Intelligent Rail Summit 2019

Also read:


Railway operators examine autonomous shuttles for last mile

Automatic Train Operation, more common as ATO, is becoming more and more familiar to the railway companies across Europe. Just in the Netherlands, two railway operators have already tested the technology and the third one plans to do this by the year’s end. Not only the autonomous trains attract the railway undertakings, they are also… Read more ›

SCNF, DB Cargo and KLM complete programme of Intelligent Rail Summit

With the addition of DB Cargo, SNCF and KLM/Air France, the programme of the Intelligent Rail Summit 2019 has been completed. During the rail conference that takes place from 19 to 21 November at the UIC headquarters in Paris, various experts will share their views on Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and the Digital Railway. Earlier… Read more ›

Digital rail will be top of mind during Intelligent Rail Summit 2019 in Paris

In November, Paris will be immersed in the world of digital rail when the three-day Intelligent Rail Summit 2019 takes place at the UIC headquarters. This high-level conference that will be held on 19, 20 and 21 November will address the topics Automatic Train Operation and the Digital Railway. The conference will kick off on… Read more ›