On Thursday, October 31st, Bane NOR opened its new test and competence centre for the digitalisation of the railway. Over 5,000 employees throughout the entire rail sector will be going back to school.
The railroad is on the track toward a new future. From being mechanical and manually driven, it is now on its way to being highly technological and digital. Over the course of the next decade, this will change the rail sector completely.
On October 31st, 2019, Bane NOR officially opened Campus Nyland: a new competence and test centre for the development and inauguration of the new digital signalling system, European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). Vy’s (previously NSB) former offices at Grorud has now been renovated, and new technology, first-rate developers and engaging instructors have moved in.
“The fact that Bane NOR is using Campus Nyland to test the various technological solutions shows that they are taking their mission very seriously. At the end of the day, this is exactly what the Railway Reform is about: developing the Norwegian railway to be a competitive form of transportation that makes people want to take the train as commuters and travelers, as well as succeeding to increase freight traffic on the rails,” said the Norwegian Minister of Transportation, Jon Georg Dale.
5,000 employees to be retrained
The railway will now have a competence centre in the intersection between history, daily operations, maintenance, development, and innovation. Over 5,000 employees throughout the entire rail sector – Bane NOR, rail companies, maintenance companies, and contractors - will now go back to school. Campus Nyland will make these existing working groups able to handle new technology and navigate the new routines ERTMS will introduce. The Norwegian Railway Academy has already held a week-long course for dispatchers and is planning additional courses in the near future. Siemens, one of the three supplies to the ERTMS programme, has also completed its first basic course in ERTMS.
The Test Lab comes equipped with actual technical components from all the central systems delivered through the ERTMS programme. This includes both signalling and safety installations, traffic management system, and the components to be installed in the trains. In addition to Bane NOR, suppliers Alstom, Siemens, and Thales will use the centre for testing of the digital signalling system.
“Campus Nyland will power the digitalisation of the railway in Norway and is central in the development of a future-oriented infrastructure that is more punctual, reliable, environmentally-friendly, and more cost-effective to maintain,” says Sverre Kjenne, Executive Vice President of Digitalisation and Technology.
A combined learning and exhibition area will make up another part of Campus Nyland. Here, bane NOR will employ new technologies, for example virtual reality, to visualise how the train lines will be upgraded with ERTMS, as well as the train and traffic control centres layouts.