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Tenerife’s solution to tram speed control

SIMOVE uses existing vehicle data to monitor speed and positioning to compare against limits for individual line sections.

After several accidents on Spanish tramways and railways where light rail vehicles overturned on curves due to excessive speed, SIMOVE was developed three years ago by Metrotenerife in order to mitigate accidents caused by this particular risk. This safety innovation allows the operator to continuously monitor and control the speed of its vehicles with GPS reporting that compares the position and speed of any railway vehicle with the appropriate speed for any given section of the line. If excess speed is detected, SIMOVE alerts the driver; in the event that he or she does not slow to the speed limit, the system will automatically apply the emergency brake to stop the tram or train.

SIMOVE has been successfully tested on Tenerife’s tramway (Metrotenerife) and was installed across its entire fleet at the beginning of 2016. The system combines data obtained from GPS technology and the vehicle’s odometer, and can therefore can be installed onboard any railway vehicle easily and with minimal cost.

Managing Director of Metrotenerife, Andrés Muñoz de Dios, states that “this system is a support tool for drivers to avoid any accident caused by human error. It is a significant advance in safety for the railway sector, besides being a low investment system that uses a simple technology”.

At the present time, a number of railway operators are interested in implementing SIMOVE on their networks in order to increase the safety of their operations. The system can be installed in operational vehicles at a moderate cost and in a short period of time.

Besides the other obvious advantages, SIMOVE does not interfere with other safety systems like the ‘dead man’s’ device, it is simple to use for drivers and it has a web application, BackOffice, that enables full event logging and driving analysis features.

It is also a powerful tool for the railway operator to monitor aspects such as traffic signal priority, time spent at stops and termini, commercial speed per line section and quality of driving in terms of braking and acceleration consistency etc. Andrés Muñoz de Dios adds that besides Automatic Train Protection (ATP) or the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), SIMOVE is also able to monitor each metre of any line or railway network: “The accident rate of tramways is very low, but we still have to continuously search for safety improvements because in recent years there have been serious train accidents like those in Santiago and Valencia in Spain, or the most recent tragic incident in south London. “We are committed to SIMOVE as it is an additional system that significantly increases transport safety.”

For further information – and a video demonstration – on the SIMOVE system visit:


Article as originally appeared in TAUT 950 (February 2017).