Dutch largest marshalling yard on the way to automation

2021/05/24 at 5:28 PM

The Kijfhoek marshalling yard, which is the largest facility of this kind in the Netherlands, will get a new digital solution to enhance its operations in the coming years. By the end of 2024, the freight station will be equipped by Siemens Mobility with a fully automated yard management system. The German company will also deliver maintenance services for a 15-year period.

ProRail, the Dutch rail infrastructure manager, is highly focused on implementing the digital and automated technologies on the country’s network. Three years ago it successfully tested the unmanned locomotive on the freight-dedicated line towards the Port of Rotterdam. Now, it is the turn to automatise the largest marshalling yard in the Netherlands with an area of 50 hectares.

Kijfhoek marshalling yard, source: ProRail

To this end, ProRail has selected Siemens Mobility as a supplier of a state-of-the-art fully automated system to manage yard operations and 15 years of maintenance services. The project costs 110 million euros and will be implemented at the Dutch essential freight station in three years. Kijfhoek will continue to operate at least 50 per cent of capacity during this work. With the help of the digital solution, ProRail will boost freight traffic towards or from the Port of Rotterdam as well as it will improve efficiency, reliability, and safety.

Automation solution

Siemens Mobility will install its Trackguard Cargo MSR32 automation solution at the Kijfhoek yard It is is a proven system specifically designed to efficiently manage and organize the movement of rail cars in freight yards. It allows for the rationalisation of operational sequences at all levels, from train arrival to train departure, and provides the maximum possible automation of all work cycles and humping operations. This includes the route and speed control units for all points, retarders, and propelling systems, as well as the radio-based integration of the humping locomotive to closely manage the humping speed.

This project, as well as the 15-year customer services on the already longstanding relationship between Siemens Mobility and ProRail. Siemens Mobility has previously partnered with ProRail to deliver class B signalling systems, rail electrification, track outdoor elements, passenger counting systems, and station displays. Siemens Mobility is also one of the finalists for a running tender to implement ETCS nationally across the Netherlands.

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