CPTM: Projects, Upgrades and Key Challenges

CPTM: Projects, Upgrades and Key Challenges

Antonio Accurso, Head of Projects and System Integration, and Willy Kurt, Deputy Director of Engineering and Works, provide a details insight into system upgrades and developments at CPTM, São Paulo’s major commuter rail network.

Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) was formed to manage and operate the lines that ran into the São Paulo metropolitan area. The lines had been developed independently by a number of companies, before these routes were unified and acquired by the Brazilian state organization Rede Ferroviária Federal (RFFSA) in 1957. These lines were then operated by Ferrovias Paulistas S.A. (FEPASA) in 1971 before CPTM assumed control in 1992.

Passenger numbers have risen steadily in the 20 years since. The total number of journeys per day has increased from 247,321,544 in 1998 to a projected total of 835,610,933 in 2013. The busiest day in this period saw over 2.8 passengers use the system, making CPTM one of the busiest commuter railways in the world.

CPTM are currently working towards a significant increase in this already substantial number. By the end of 2014 Willy Kurt projects that the company will look to transport aroun 3.5 million passengers per day, following the completion of the networks seventh line. This will mean CPTM will service a total of 23 cities with 96 stations and over 276 km of track.

CPTM are currently working on the completion of a number of line extensions. Studies began in July 2013 for extensions to Sorocaba, Pinda, Santos, Jundiai and Campinas, with work expected to begin next year on the 3 year project. Express routes are also being developed to Barueri and Pinheiros, with a further metropolitan connection from the ABC Express line to Guarulhos.

In addition to substantial upgrades to infrastructure, CPTM are looking to also working hard to upgrade technical and operational aspects, to reduce headways and minimize delays.

CPTM will deploy a combination of ATO ‘Automatic Train Operation’ and CBTC train operating systems across its network. The ATO system will provide controlled speeds, programmed stopping, system regulation, door control, reliable performance levels and automated dispatch.

Mr Accurso explained that CPTM will operate an ATO system on Lines 7, 9, 12 and 13, while CBTC is currently being installed on Lines 8, 10 and 11.

A further important project underway, is the integration of telecommunications networks, with the aim of improving service and reducing cost. Over the next 15 months, CPTM will look to implement a long term telecommunications solution which can provide an integrated solution to the transfer of voice, data and images. An important balance between cost and quality must be struck, and the solution must remain viable and effective for at least 5 to 10 years.

Given that many of the routes CPTM now operate were developed over a long period of time by different companies, systems integration is a key challenge and one which, when fully resolved, will provide significant improvements.

CPTM have noted the following, as the key obstacles they have faced as they look to enhance system performance:

1. The potential for Technology obsolescence
2. A lack of system integration and greater centralization
3. Greater standardization of systems is required, in areas such as signalling and CCTV
4. There is no consistent policy in regards to future technology developments looking 5 to 10 into the future
5. Limited prospects for new business opportunities
6. Technical specifications are not standardized
7. Technology providers have failed to customize of optimize the solutions they provide

CPTM is hoping that through integration with existing metropolitan transportation routes, Enhanced telecommunications system integration, infrastructure upgrades and operation developments, passenger capacity should increase significantly across the network.

Current Line capacity per hour is as follows: Line 7, 20,000; Line 8, 20,000; Line 9, 30,000; Line 10, 20,000; Line 11, 30,000; Line 12, 24,000. By 2020 CPTM expect to increase these numbers to: Line 7, 40,000; Line 8, 80,000; Line 9, 30,000; Line 10, 80,000; Line 11, 80,000; Line 12, 40,000.

Through a combination of infrastructure upgrades, technical enhancements and strategic organization, CPTM are confident of substantially increasing both the capacity and reach of the network over the next 5 to 10 years.