ALTPRO is a specialized signaling company which provides safety critical signaling systems used on railway infrastructure and in railway vehicles. The company offers a wide range of train detection systems, level crossing protection and INDUSI based automatic train protection (ATP – i60 and PZB90). Over 25 years of experience in research, development and production in railway sector have made ALTPRO one of the key factors in the global market with solutions in nearly 50 countries on 6 continents. As a flexible and customer oriented company, ALTPRO is able to take on customer specific, small scale projects as well as act as a system integrator in big (re)construction projects.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

ALTPRO: ALTPRO has two production programs – signal safety systems for railway infrastructure and safety systems (ATP) for railway vehicles.

ALTPRO produces a variety of signalling systems, including 2 flagship products – Level Crossing Protection System RLC23 and BO23 series Axle Counting Systems. These products have certain roles in the development and management of railway traffic. Beside standard tasks which these systems fulfill, there is a lot more how ALTPRO can accustom its signalling systems to be a basis for safe and reliable railway process.

INDUSI based automatic train protection systems RAS8385 (i60 principle) and RAS90 (PZB90 principle) are designed to increase the overall safety of railway traffic. These systems encompass a variety of complementary systems like dead man’s system, event recording, wheel lubrication, etc. A lot of custom options which are needed by our Customers are something ALTPRO has a lot of experience with.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

ALTPRO: In 2021, ALTPRO will present 2 new flagship products in both train detection and train protection niche.

New axle counter from ALTPRO will conceptually be a completely new generation of modular, scalable and network based axle counting system for railway, tram and metro applications. It comes with a range of future-proof features like self tuning, diagnostics monitoring via cloud based solution, exceptional immunity to different kinds of outside influences.

On the other hand, new INDUSI based train protection solution will enable train operators a modern dimension in flexibility and cost effectiveness while preserving the „spirit“ of the well-established INDUSI ATPs around the world. Numerous modern updates (distributed system, CAN comm, cloud based diagnostic) are making this system an ATP for many years to come.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

ALTPRO: ALTPRO has a very wide range of products and has developed  over 900 different systems and devices. The main niches are:

Signalling systems for railway infrastructure are basis for safe, fast and simple operation of railway traffic and transport. ALTPRO signalling systems are based on inductive wheel sensing technology.

  • Level crossing protection
  • Axle counting
  • Train detection systems

Safety systems for rolling stock provide an additional level of protection for passengers and cargo in railway vehicles, as well as other participants in traffic. Safety systems are designed around the principle of checking the driver’s alertness and initiating automatic activities in case the driver’s reaction is missing.

  • INDUSI systems
  • SIFA
  • Event recording
  • Testing devices

ALTPRO central diagnostics system CENDIS is a software application for reliable archiving of diagnostic data from various distributed systems/devices in order to assure centralised multi-system monitoring of variable size and complexity level.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

ALTPRO: From its beginnings, ALTPRO has been an export oriented company. The Company’s product portfolio has always been designed according to the global needs and market potential. This enabled ALTPRO of today to be present in nearly 50 countries of the world and that number is continually growing. The main markets are  Southeast Europe, other European countries like Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Greece and Southeast Asia (China, India, Indonesia).

We can say that the global situation on the railway as a mode of transport is satisfactory, with positive progress. There are several reasons for this. The Covid 19 pandemic has contributed to a reduction in air travel, resulting in an increase in rail transport as a safer and more reliable mean of transport. The European Union, which has declared 2021 the year of railways, is also contributing to the popularization of railways in Europe. The aim is to increase the number of passengers and promote the railway as a safe, sustainable and affordable mode of transport. Railways, as the means of transport that least pollutes the environment, certainly have its place in the future of transport. Southeast Asia is a specific market with great potential: India, a country where rail is the most important means of transport with 23 million passengers every day, and China, a country with modern monorail solutions and big railway projects.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

ALTPRO: Like most industries in recent years, rail transport is experiencing a wave of digital transformation. The continual development of railway signaling systems and the incorporation of groundbreaking technologies in the railway world will allow the sector to evolve towards new business models and a new “smart train” concept. Artificial Intelligence, sensors installed in trains and along the tracks, Big Data techniques and smart technologies will also provide revolutionary solutions to meet the sector’s needs. And the digital transformation of the railway sector is only just beginning.

Beside of digitalisation, the second biggest trend in the rail market generally is sustainable development. Rail is a low carbon transport mode, and railway operators are working hard to continually improve their environmental performance. The focus of railway suppliers is on energy efficiency of rail transport systems; use of clean, recyclable, and natural materials; reduction of noise and vibrations; reduction of air emissions; and end-of-life management of products, particularly in maintenance activities.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

ALTPRO: One of the most innovative ALTPRO products is the new „M“ sensor. „M“ sensor for monorail trains is a special detection unit which provides safe and reliable detection of monorail train on track. The sensor is situated along the track and it senses the presence of the train by detecting its undercarriage. The current solution is a unique innovation in the world for the market of non standard modes of transportation which is gaining popularity.

This innovative product is meant for operation inside vital safety systems for control and management of mass transit trains in urban areas. It is currently used in countries like China, Japan and USA. Taking into account the growing popularity of this mode of transport, it is expected that this product will be seen in operation worldwide.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

ALTPRO: ALTPRO ended 2020 successfully, with an increase in revenue. This year, the growth of projects and revenues is expected, as well as the strengthening of the position in the existing markets and opening some of the new markets. With the digitalization of production, faster realization of projects is expected, while new products will open new markets.