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Badge readers to equip CAF-manufactured SNCF Intercités trains

Badge readers to equip SNCF Intercités trains
SNCF Intercités train. ©_SNCF

[Centralp] Centralp (Vénissieux) will supply CAF, the Spanish rail transport manufacturer, with its latest generation of K-Access badge readers to equip SNCF Intercités trains.

CAF has ordered almost 200 latest-generation K-Access electronic badge readers from Centralp. This is the Spanish manufacturer’s first order with Centralp, which generates 70% of its activity in the rail sector, and it comes after CAP won a fixed order for Intercités equipment for 28 medium and long-distance multiple units on two SNCF lines.

Emmanuel Bertucat, Centralp CEO, reacted to the news: “We’re delighted with the trust CAF has placed in us. Everyone at Centralp is committed to ensuring that this product, which we’re relying heavily on for the future, is launched successfully. CAF and SNCF will build on our experience and expertise in a market we’ve been working in for over 20 years.”

Centralp’s K-Access system has been developed for trains, trams and subways. It’s an RFID (1) and NFC (2) badge reader with two modules: a central unit and the readers. These devices will have several uses: they will manage access authorisation to the driver’s cab; activate certain functions in the cab; and collect and transmit data to the train system1.

The 168 units ordered are currently manufactured at Centralp headquarters in Vénissieux (in the Lyon metropolitan area). They will fit out SNCF’s AMLD (Medium and Long-Distance Multiple Unit) trains by the end of 2021 after they have been integrated in the CAF sites in Spain (three production units) and France (Bagnères-de-Bigorre).


K-Access badge readers at a glance
The K-Access badge reader consists of two separate devices. On the left, the KER (K-Access Exterior Reader) is a cabin-access reader used to open the train doors. On the right, the KDR (K-Access Desk Reader) is used to identify the driver and activate the driver’s cab.

SNCF’s medium and long-distance Mulitple Unit project
The French government asked SNCF in 2017 to launch a call for tenders for a fixed order for Intercités equipment for 28 medium and long-distance multiple-unit trains for the Paris – Clermont-Ferrand and Paris – Limoges – Toulouse lines, together with a maximum of 75 trains in optional phases, 15 of which could serve the line between Bordeaux and Marseilles. On September 17, 2019, SNCF awarded the contract to CAF. These electric railcars are specifically designed for medium and long distances on the “conventional” lines of the national rail network. They will come into circulation from 2023, when they will gradually replace the Corail trains.

(1) RFID – Radio Frequency Identification – is an ID method that uses radio frequencies via an electronic device. A reader can remotely interrogate the device and identify the object carrying it using radio communication.
(2) NFC refers to Near Field Communication – a passive, magnetic field communication technique.

Centralp has been developing railway solutions that meet the sector’s requirements (ERTMS / ETCS / CBTC, TCMS, CCTV) since 2000 by delivering high-performance, technical and reliable solutions for trains, trams and subway. The company has been supplying on-board electronic and software systems to the railway industry for nearly 50 years, and developed long-standing partnerships with all the key players in the sector by capitalising on vertical production integration at its Lyon sites and mastering every stage of the study process, from designing systems to their final certification. A network of international agents – together with plants in China in Beijing and Tianjin – means that Centralp has become a major global actor in the sector over the years.