As buses became increasingly popular in the 1960s, they replaced trams, and the lines of Luxembourg City tram gradually closed in 1964. The reactivation of the network is a measure intended to cope with the high volume of professional commuters within the city, which experts estimate will double by 2030. While safety is of paramount importance to the project, system reliability comes a close second with frequent trams and fast journey times required to maximize capacity.
More and more system integrators and railway operators worldwide rely on standardized, open safety systems to meet these requirements for urban transport. The experts from French rail specialist Mobility worked closely together with the German safety expert specialist HIMA on the design of the technology. By using modern COTS controllers, the resulting signaling system meets the high safety requirements.
One of the major benefits of using HIMA controllers is that the signaling system can be monitored centrally. Compared to conventional relays, they make Luxembourg's tram traffic not only safer but much faster. This is because their high performance enables the time intervals between two trams to be considerably shorter. According to the Luxembourg Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, the average number of tram passengers on weekdays during the first two months of operation was some 17,000 – more than twice as many as it had originally forecast (8,400).
Another important aspect to the project was to maintain the city's architectural aesthetic. By using the compact HIMA technology, Luxtram was able to save substantial space in the track area: the new control cabinets were integrated into the architecture of the stops and transfer platforms. At the LuxExpo stop, for instance, the control cabinet is installed directly on the track. This saved the substantial costs and issues often incurred when using conventional technology which would require building of an entire technical room. This poses a major challenge for city planners and so, in densely built-up areas, are often laid underground near the tracks.
“The Luxtram project is the first time we used HIMA safety controllers,” says Stéphane Berthet, Business Unit Manager Light Rail Signaling at Mobility. “We chose them because they comply with the highest safety levels and have already proven themselves in numerous safety-critical applications.”
Luxtram completed the project six months ahead of schedule during its anticipated two-year timeframe. The open, modular COTS components helped reduce lifecycle costs – they were easy to install, and in-service updates ensure they are kept in sync with the latest technology. “Thanks to the good cooperation with HIMA's safety specialists, we were able to complete the project faster than planned and implement a signaling system that‘s future-proof and offers easy handling,” confirms Berthet.
Read the full story here: https://www.hima.com/en/industries-solutions/success-stories/success-stories-detail/after-more-than-a-50-year-break-the-tram-is-running-again-with-mobility-hima/