Increased train traffic

In the Dutch city of Zwolle, additional railway capacity was required to accommodate the growing volume of train traffic in the area. At Zwolle Central station, trains were due to arrive and depart at the same time, but a bottleneck between the station and the junction at Herfte, prevented them from doing so. 

In addition, there was also a need for additional train parking capacity at the station, as well as a renewed and extended train parking area - increasing the capacity to a factor 4. Furthermore, the current interlocking system at Zwolle was also required to be replaced by a new, modern iVPI installation.

Innovative solutions across all aspects of rail design

Royal HaskoningDHV was brought on board by ProRail to be responsible for all technical consultancy, engineering, testing and commissioning of the train signalling systems. By bringing together cutting-edge technology with tailored strategy and expert implementation, we led across all aspects of rail design and fulfilled the position of lead engineer in the project. Harnessing the vision of our client at ProRail and leveraging the expertise of the alliance, we provided suitable design solutions to ensure that the train signalling matched the new track lay-out and was fully compliant with ProRail standards and regulations. 

One of the main challenges was to minimise possession times. Another was to design, test and validate a new iVPI interlocking system. The new interlocking system consisted of a central iVPI unit which contained all route logic and was connected to the train control centre. As part of this, the central iVPI unit communicates in a network of 11 iVPI I/O units. These units control all aspects of the control centre, including the signals, switches, work zones and train detection.  

Royal HaskoningDHV participated in the planning of the train-free periods and provided detailed designs of the signalling systems for each commissioning step. The final step is planned for the summer of 2021, during a train-free period of 19 days.  

Overall, the total project is set to contain more than 1,200 hours of testing in train free periods. As well as this, the Zwolle interlocking system contains 83 signals, 99 switches, 90 workzones and 158 train detection sections (Axle counters, PSSSL, GRS). 

Successfully reducing disruption for passengers

The project is still in progress but well on track to achieving its aim. Using the latest technology and smart infrastructure design, the Royal HaskoningDHV team were able to successfully manage and test the train signalling systems to expand capacity and bring sustainable train mobility to the city of Zwolle. 

By collaborating with our partners across the alliance, we successfully managed to restart the train service on schedule without any additional disruption for passengers.