Since it opened in 1998, Hong Kong International Airport has experienced strong growth and is now one of the world’s busiest airports in terms of both passenger traffic and freight volumes. To meet the long-term air traffic demand which is expected to reach over 100 million passengers by 2030, the airport is about to expand into a three-runway system, including a new third runway and a new concourse to support the growth. This will mean modifying the existing transport infrastructure and rethinking mobility systems in and around the airport.
Thales has won two rail signalling contracts as part of this programme. The first contract involves resignalling the existing APM line to accommodate configuration changes and the relocation of the depot. This complex project will take seven years to complete and involves working on an operational system without interrupting services to users.
The second contract is for new trains that will be equipped with Thales’s SelTrac® CBTC (Communications Based Train Control) solution. Installed on board the trains, SelTrac® is the central nervous system of the signalling solution, controlling train trajectory, speed and headway to ensure safety and maintain communications between the trains and the operations centre.
CBTC is the latest signalling technology for metro systems. It enables operators to control train movements accurately and safely, making it possible to run trains more frequently and at higher speed. Thales’s CBTC solution improves metro line capacity, efficiency, reliability and safety while reducing operating costs.
Thales CBTC signalling solution is in operation on 86 metro lines in 40 of the world’s largest cities and safely transports more than 3 billion passengers per year.
“These new contracts consolidate Thales’s position as preferred provider of signalling systems in Hong Kong, where we have already provided signalling solutions for a dozen metro lines. The Group also has valuable experience on complex resignalling projects that need to be carried out on extremely busy lines in operation without disrupting passenger services,” said Henry Cheung, CEO of Thales in Hong Kong.