Zhejiang company provides control system for Ethiopia-Djibouti railway

(ezhejiang.gov.cn) Updated : 2016-11-02


Chinese-backed train on the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway. [Photo/Xinhua] 

A Zhejiang company provides a core control system for the Chinese-backed electrified railway that joins Ethiopia and Djibouti in Africa. 

Zhejiang United Science & Technology Co., Ltd (United S&T), affiliated to Insigma Group, is the developer of the BiLOCK interlocking control system applied in the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway. "The main function of this system is to ensure the safe operation of trains," said Ling Zhujun, chief engineer of the company. 

When a train draws into a station, it needs to move to the correct track, a procedure automatically completed by the core control system. To ensure accuracy, signaling machines along the railway work ceaselessly, collecting computational data every half second. Only if the results are satisfactory will the train be directed to change tracks. 

Ling said, "If there’s an unusual datum, the system will stop the train immediately." With this excellent core technology, United S&T's BiLOOK has earned high praise from the COO of world famous technical inspection association TÜV, which noted that "Such an excellent platform was rarely seen in our past safety assessments." When bidding for the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, BiLOOK represented the highest standard in the world, according to Ling. 

The company started developing the computer-based interlocking system by extensive integration and innovation five years ago. In 2014, research and development expenditure had reached 109 million yuan ($16.09 million). In 2015, research and development staff accounted for 33 percent of total employees. 

"Our efforts take Chinese advanced technology to the world and bring benefits to African people," said Ling, adding "Zhejiang will be the vanguard of the exportation of Chinese standards." 

Besides the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, United S&T contributes to the daily life of Hangzhou residents by providing the signaling system for the Hangzhou metro. The system is also used in the metros and tramcars of cities like Ningbo, Nanjing and Dalian in different ways. 

Technological innovation has been the constant power behind Zhejiang high-tech companies' forward movement, and United S&T is constantly moving: its next goal is unmanned driving.