Alstom chosen to provide Smartlock Interlocking and ETCS for Irish Rail’s Cork Area commuter rail


  • ETCS will be implemented along 62km of the rail network from Mallow to Cork, Cobh and Midleton
  • The new system will bring a reliable, higher frequency unified through-running suburban rail service for citizens within the Cork metropolitan area

Alstom, the global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has been awarded a groundbreaking contract by Irish Rail (Iarnrd ireann) to revolutionise rail travel and mobility on the Cork Area Commuter Rail (CACR) network. The project, set to enhance the rail service within the Cork metropolitan area, will feature Alstoms cutting-edge signalling technologies – Smartlock Computer-Based Interlocking (CBI) system and European Train Control System (ETCS).

The CACR project aims to modernise and upgrade 62km of the rail network, stretching from Mallow to Cork, Cobh, and Midleton, creating a seamless, high-frequency unified suburban rail service for the people of Cork.

Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with Irish Rail, stating, “We are excited to embark on this journey, bringing cutting-edge technology to the Cork Area Commuter Rail network.With Smartlock and ETCS, we are confident that this project will set new standards in safety, efficiency, and passenger experience, providing a strong foundation for sustainable mobility in the region.

Jim Meade, Iarnrd ireann Chief Executive said I commend our Cork Area Commuter Rail team in ensuring that all three elements of the CACR Programme are progressing so swiftly. New signalling, our new platform, and twin-tracking of Glounthaune to Midleton are set to transform the capacity of our Cork Commuter rail network, and position us well to move forward with other rail projects under the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, including the critical delivery of new stations.

Alstoms Smartlock Interlocking System: A Foundation for Safety and Efficiency

At the core of this transformative initiative is Alstoms Smartlock CBI system. This state-of-the-art technology will serve as the projects primary foundation, offering a safe, simplified, and maintenance-friendly solution. By directly interfacing with axle counters and trackside objects through SmartIO, the Smartlock system eliminates the need for intermediate relays, ensuring a robust, efficient, and streamlined operation.

ETCS: Ensuring Continuous Train Protection and Efficiency

In addition to Smartlock interlocking, the project will also feature the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1 trackside technology. ETCS is a train protection system that guarantees enhanced safety, efficiency, and reliability throughout the Greater Cork area. The implementation of ETCS further strengthens the commitment to safety and ensures a smooth, secure, and eco-friendly rail network.

Revolutionising Passenger Journeys and Sustainable Transport Solutions

The combined power of Smartlock and ETCS will pave the way for a remarkable transformation of passenger journeys on key commuter routes within the Cork area and is able to be expanded across the entire rail network. Alstom remains committed to delivering sustainable transport solutions and contributing positively to Ireland, its people, and the communities served. Emphasising sustainability and the environment, the CACR project aligns with Alstoms vision for a cleaner and more sustainable tomorrow.

Further information

Alstom has also won a ten-year framework agreement with Irish Rail for up to 750 new Xtrapolis commuter rail cars for Irelands DART network, with firm orders for 37 five-car Xtrapolis trains including a 15-year support services contract. 31 of the ordered trains are battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs) while six are electric multiple units. The new trains will deliver more capacity and decarbonisation benefits to the local community of Greater Dublin.

DART+ is the transformative programme that will ensure train travel is at the heart of Irelands sustainable transport network. Funded under the National Development Plan by the National Transport Authority, DART+ is an investment that will double the capacity and treble the electrification of the Greater Dublin Area network, facilitating sustainable mobility and development to enhance quality of life in the capital and its surrounding counties.

A new infrastructure contract with Alstom will provide a state-of-the-art charging facility to be installed by the end of 2024 to enable the BEMU trains that will operate between Drogheda, Dublin City Centre and beyond, to operate.

Alstom is a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility solutions, providing innovative and eco-friendly transportation solutions to communities worldwide. With a deep commitment to delivering excellence, Alstom remains at the forefront of driving a more connected, efficient, and cleaner transportation future.

Alstom, Smartlock and Xtrapolis are protected trademarks of the Alstom Group.

Alstom launches community initiatives to benefit over 3,000 women & youth of Madhepura, Bihar


Madhepura is Indias eloco capital as it is home to our world-class electric locomotive manufacturing facility.

  • Partners with three NGOs to deploy healthcare, education, and skill development programs.
  • Effective from July 2023, these programs will benefit seven villages near Madhepura.

Alstom, a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has launched three key initiatives to provide education, support skill development and improve awareness about healthcare practices, to local children, youth and women residing in and around Madhepura, Bihar. Effective July 2023, these projects are being executed in partnership with The American India Foundation Trust (AIF), SEEDS Impact and Learning Links Foundation (LLF). It is set to impact the lives of more than 3,300 women and youth from the rural communities across seven villages.

Commenting on Alstoms focus on impacting communities in Madhepura, Olivier Loison, Managing Director, Alstom India said, Madhepura is Indias eloco capital as it is home to our world-class electric locomotive manufacturing facility. We understand the community needs in not just Madhepura but the towns and villages surrounding it as well, given our consistent CSR contribution over the last few years. This year, our projects will further positively impact the lives of the people as we have initiated concerted efforts towards improving healthcare, education, and skill development. We are not only building a brighter future for the beneficiaries, but also laying the foundation for a stronger and more sustainable society.

Madhepura is Indias eloco capital as it is home to our world-class electric locomotive manufacturing facility. We understand the community needs in not just Madhepura but the towns and villages surrounding it as well, given our consistent CSR contribution over the last few years”

Olivier Loison

Managing Director, Alstom India

Imparting best practices in womens health and hygiene to young adolescent girls

Anemia and poor menstrual hygiene practices have considerably impacted young adolescent girls in rural India. Through the partnership with The American India Foundation Trust (AIF), special efforts will be undertaken to impart menstrual hygiene practices to over 2500 girls. This intervention will include sensitization and orientation of adolescent girls, distribution of reusable sanitary napkins and a lucky iron leaf, which is developed specifically to infuse iron while cooking meals. This will help in reducing cases of anemia while improving mental and physical capacity, thereby enhancing work and educational performance.

Providing industry endorsed vocational trainings to upskill youth

Over the years, industry ready skill development has emerged as a key need in Madhepura and the surrounding villages. SEEDS Impact will impart industry endorsed vocational trainings to minimally educated youth on trades such as Sewing Machine Operation, Solar PV installation & electrician. This will be followed by formal certification and employment, thereby mainstreaming their career, and empowering them socially and economically. With a target of around 270 rural youth, SEEDS will aim to achieve employability offering to minimum 70% of certified youth.

Implementing STEAM Shakti program in Govt schools to encourage innovation mindset among students

STEM education, which is a curriculum that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, has a huge potential in India. Alstom is working with Learning Links Foundation (LLF) to implement STEAM Shakti program in Govt schools at Madhepura to benefit over 600 students. This project will promote an innovation mindset, scientific temperament and inculcate 21st century life-skills for holistic development of rural students while building capabilities of teachers for integrating STEAM practices in pedagogical approaches.

Alstom is committed to extending its philanthropic support by promoting and funding initiatives that improve the living conditions and economic possibilities of communities around Alstoms facilities. Through consistent efforts, Alstom has played an instrumental role in providing better infrastructural amenities to schools, training programs for children and spreading awareness on sanitation and hygiene. These initiatives are carried out in close collaboration with local or international NGOs who have a track record of successfully implementing initiatives on the ground.

The impact of Alstom in India

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Alstom reinforces its organisation in Portugal

Alstom, a global leader in sustainable and smart mobility, has just appointed David Torres as the new Managing Director for Alstom in Portugal, being responsible for leading the company in this new era of increased investment and development of the national railway sector. This appointment comes in line with Alstom’s renewed strategy for Portugal, where the company is reinforcing its position as a leader in mobility solutions that provide sustainable foundations for the future of transportation.

In line with the reinforcement of Alstom’s commitment to the Portuguese market, the company is also appointing João Xavier as the new Digital and Information Services (D&IS) responsible for the Portuguese market and Armando Morais in charge of the Services activities in the country.  Both Joao and Armando have been linked to Portuguese railway market for over two decades, with different positions within Bombardier Transportation. 

With over 30 years of presence in the Portuguese market, Alstom has been responsible for the production of two thirds of the trains running in Portugal, including high speed trains, regional trains, metros and tramways. The Portuguese Convel ATP signalling solution was developed by Alstom too and the company has also been in charge of the signalling system for Metro do Porto as well as the 102 trains that are serving this network.

“Alstom wants to contribute to a new chapter in terms of mobility in Portugal, cooperating with local institutions and operators. This planned transition towards a more sustainable mobility will be an opportunity to modernize the sector, benefit the economy and create more jobs. We are proud to work together with our stakeholders to reinvent mobility and make transport easier and more intuitive, promoting local footprint, quality employment, innovation, responsible business.”, said David Torres, Managing Director, Alstom Portugal.