With over three million inhabitants, Algiers is the country's largest city and, at the same time, Algeria's most important transport hub. Expanding the railway network is designed to shift traffic from road to rail, thus reducing the daily congestion in the greater Algiers area and improving the mobility of the city's inhabitants. Network commissioning is planned for the end of 2019. The railway network includes 18 stations and is designed for both goods and passenger transport. It is to be equipped with signaling, safety and control systems, as well as shunting and telecommunications technology. Siemens is supplying the first expansion stage of the ETCS European Train Control System. This permits speeds of up to 160 km/h and enables trains to travel at shorter intervals, thus increasing so-called throughput. Siemens is supplying automated shunting equipment for the freight line which will optimize goods handling with modern cargo technology. In addition, the Algerian rail operator personnel will receive training in how to operate and maintain the new system.
The Algerian government is investing in the country's infrastructure as part of a five-year economic stimulus package. One focus is on the expansion and construction of the public transportation system. In recent years, Siemens has already provided ETCS signaling systems for the mainline railway links from from Boughezoul to M'Sila and to Tissemsilt, Mecheria to El Bayadh, Djelfa to Laghouat, and Beni Mansour to Bejaia, as well as for Algeria's all-important rail freight line between Senia and the Port of Arzew.