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A consortium of Finmeccanica companies Ansaldo STS and Selex Communications has received a €247 million contract from Russian Railways subsidiary Zarubezhstroyteknologiya to provide signalling, automation, telecommunications, power supply, security, and ticketing systems for Libya's 551km Surt-Benghazi line. Ansaldo STS leads the consortium with an 81.8% share, which equates to around €202 million, and includes the installation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), interlockings, trackside equipment, the control centre, and power supplies. The work covered by the contract will take around three years to complete. The 551km Surt - Benghazi section is the first phase of a line that will stretch along the length of Libya's Mediterranean coast from Tunisia to Egypt. The line will initially use diesel locomotives operating at up to 160km/h, although it will later switch to electric traction with a maximum operating speed of 250km/h. China Railway Construction is building the adjoining 352km Surt-Misratah-Al Khums section and the 172km western stretch of the line between Tripoli and the Tunisian border at Ras Adjir. Last year Ansaldo STS was awarded the signalling, telecommunications, and power supply contract for both sections, as well as the 992km inland branch from Al Hishah to Waddan and Sabha.
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