NEWS member of SNCB Group Corporate Traffic Safety Projects Rail access by qjo17459


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									                    NEWS                                                        member of SNCB Group

       Corporate              Traffic              Safety            Projects        Rail access

                                                               Brussels, Friday 2nd February 2007

                   Inauguration of the new Traffic Control centre:
                         making traffic safe and punctual

With its new Traffic Control centre, Infrabel, the Belgian rail infrastructure
manager, has crossed a significant threshold towards safer and more punctual train
running. This ultra-modern traffic management centre is equipped with high-tech
systems which allow improved coordination of traffic in real time, and allow
optimum communication with its customers on a daily and immediate basis. The
new Traffic Control is an essential link within the Infrabel Network division.

A single, centralised traffic management centre

Traffic Control is based within the new communication centre (CCT) for Belgian rail transport.
Its role is to monitor the development of train traffic across the entire network in real time
and to take the necessary corrective measures in the event of any disruption. Traffic Control
groups together the old national (Brussels) and regional dispatching centres (Ghent,
Antwerp, Namur and Mons). Amalgamation into a single coordination centre - since December
2006 - has improved efficiency in terms of the safety and regularity of rail traffic, Infrabel's
two absolute priorities.

The new Traffic Control centralises information, thereby ensuring coordination and
communication - with foreign networks for example. This function has been adopted by the
info cell, which will continue to carry out its current tasks. Traffic Control also incorporates a
complete signalling station, called Block 12, which manages and controls traffic on high-
speed lines 1 (Hal-French border) and 2 (Leuven-Ans). As Traffic Control is called on to
control traffic across the entire Belgian rail network, an appropriate organisation structure for
the personnel, run by managing traffic coordinators, proved to be essential.

Traffic dispatchers at the centre of Traffic Control

The basic organisation consists of various work stations (11 dispatch tables) divided into four
teams of traffic dispatchers. Each team is responsible for monitoring rail traffic in a specific
area of the Belgian network. There is also a liaison officer on each team, whose role is to
communicate directly with the train attendants in order to provide them with the necessary
information. Traffic Control also has an info cell, consisting of four work stations, run by two
employees from the former national dispatching centre and by two other traffic dispatchers.
They oversee the distribution of quality information to all appropriate members of the SNCB
Group (including to signal boxes and stations).

Additionally, a dedicated team is responsible for the real-time management of the trainpaths
(timetable slots) by monitoring every train so that all the itineraries of the network are known
at all times. This team works closely with Infrabel's Access to the Network division which is

 Spokesperson: Frédéric Petit
 Communication Infrabel - Rue Bara 110 - 1070 Brussels
 Tel.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 52 - GSM:     +32 (0) 476 550 942                                Page 1 / 3
 Fax.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 46 - E-mail:
                    NEWS                                                        member of SNCB Group

       Corporate              Traffic              Safety            Projects        Rail access

responsible for sharing out the rail infrastructure's capacity, determining the fees for trainpath
use, and invoicing for it, and assigning access to the network to all operators with the
required (safety) licence.

An ultra-modern traffic management centre in Europe

Equipped with high-tech systems, Traffic Control is one of the most advanced traffic
management centres in Europe. Take, for example, the graphic display which gives an
overview of all train itineraries, updated automatically on a daily basis. At any time, the traffic
dispatcher can access this overview, covering a period of time ranging from four hours before
to eight hours after the time of consultation. Moreover, it is updated in real time by the
computer system as the train progresses.

The system also has an extensive train database, which can be consulted at any time by
clicking on a train number on the graphic display or on an icon, and each train's schedule can
be consulted. In addition, one can access information on the composition of a train (the type
of goods being carried by a freight train, for example), on the train personnel or on traffic

Traffic dispatchers have modern communications equipment, such as this touch screen control
console, where different call extensions are grouped by category. They use a second console
to communicate with the train drivers.

Ergonomics and functional architecture

Traffic Control is based in the main Infrabel building in the Rue Bara in Brussels, opposite the
Brussels-Midi station. The work was carried out between January 2006 and January 2007. The
total floor area of the communication centre is 3,000m², 600m² of which is devoted to Traffic
Control. Thanks to functional and modern architecture, a workplace adapted to differing
needs was created, yet without neglecting aesthetics. The dispatch tables are arranged
simply, but offer comfort and functionality.

Separate and lockable rooms are available for use in the event of a serious incident. In
addition, the CCT has a meeting room, a small restaurant, a staffroom, toilets and
cloakrooms. On top if this, Infrabel has made the necessary investments to take the working
conditions and ergonomics of the premises into account, to provide personnel with
comfortable seating and highly functional work stations. Close attention has also been paid to
lighting, acoustics and air conditioning.

Infrabel invests 7.5 million euros

Infrabel is investing a total of 7.5 million euros (studies, construction, equipment) in the
traffic management centre. Infrabel's new Traffic Control centre will accommodate 156

 Spokesperson: Frédéric Petit
 Communication Infrabel - Rue Bara 110 - 1070 Brussels
 Tel.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 52 - GSM:     +32 (0) 476 550 942                                Page 2 / 3
 Fax.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 46 - E-mail:
                      NEWS                                                                 member of SNCB Group

        Corporate                Traffic               Safety                Projects              Rail access

Thanks to modern and adapted resources, and by following rigorous safety, information and
communication procedures, the amalgamation of the dispatching centres should result in even
more effective rail traffic management and monitoring in real time, and will ensure a rapid
return to normality in the event of an incident.

At the same time as its amalgamation of the dispatching centres into a single Traffic Control,
as part of its BRIO (Belgian Railway Infrastructure Objectives) strategic plan, Infrabel is
intending to concentrate its 368 signalling stations into 31 ultra-modern signal boxes (plus
11 which can be remotely controlled). All these measures will further enhance rail traffic
safety and regularity, Infrabel's two absolute priorities.

* Infrabel is a limited liability company of public law, responsible for the management, maintenance, renewal and
  development of the Belgian railway network. The company is also in charge of the allocation of the licences and slots
  to all Belgian and foreign operators. The specific structure of the Infrabel shareholders guarantees a total
  independence. Infrabel was established on 1 January 2005, at the splitting up of the Belgian Railways, and is part of
  the SNCB Group. The company now employs some 14,500 people and achieves a turnover of about 1 billion euro

 Spokesperson: Frédéric Petit
 Communication Infrabel - Rue Bara 110 - 1070 Brussels
 Tel.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 52 - GSM:     +32 (0) 476 550 942                                               Page 3 / 3
 Fax.:   + 32 (0) 2 526 37 46 - E-mail:

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