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Control of railway and air travel

Trains were originally controlled exclusively using optical and acoustic signals. In recent decades, train control based on radio systems has prevailed. In 1970, Kapsch received its first order from the Austrian Federal Railways to equip railway routes with train radio systems. All mainline tracks were provided with train radio systems until the 1990s. Kapsch first exported its know-how to Central and Eastern Europe, and then to the rest of the world. Kapsch has also been active in air traffic control for many decades.

Air Traffic Control System

1979, Photograph

The breakthrough in air traffic control came in the 1970s with the medium-range radar system located on the Koralpe. Kapsch delivered and installed the antenna technology, constructed the radar dome (the closed protective casing for the antennas) and handled facilities engineering. Transport of the panels up the 2,000 meters high Koralpe was an adventure; the materials had to be hauled up the mountain using military tanks.

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Radar System

1988, Photograph

In 1988, Kapsch installed its first radar system on foreign soil in Montevideo – and simultaneously delivered consoles to Buenos Aires; Irish airports and the airport in Athens also received Kapsch consoles.

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Tower Consoles

1992, Photograph

Kapsch began modernizing the radar system at the Vienna-Schwechat Airport in 1972; this marked the start of a series of air traffic control projects. In the early 1990s the infrastructure of the control tower was modernized again.

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Train Radio 70


The Tauernbahn was the first route in Austria to be equipped with train radio technology during the 1970s and was quickly followed by the Arlberg route. Characteristic of both routes was the constant risk of landslides and avalanches – tight curves along the tracks resulted in an inability to detect these obstacles early on. Train radio continued to prove itself here and the first control devices used by Kapsch were manufactured by AEG.

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Train Radio System 2000

1988, Photograph

Together with ÖBB Kapsch developed a new generation of devices in the 1980s called ‘Zugfunk 2000‘. The first device of this type entered into use in 1988 – and was also the first to come from in-house production.

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Control Panel for the Train Relay Radio

around 1995, Photograph

Train relay radio is a cost-efficient alternative to train radio for secondary lines with low traffic volumes. Up to this point, every train station had its own control room that handed over trains from section to section. With the train relay system, a single traffic controller could be given responsibility for the entire route.

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'Zugfunk 2000' in ICE

1995, Photograph

‘Zugfunk 2000‘ offered various communication options – voice as well as data transmission between train drivers, conductors and train stations.

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Train, GSM-R


In 2010, Kapsch CarrierCom took over the GSM/GSM-R division from Nortel, making Kapsch the global market leader in the GSM-R segment.
GSM-R projects kept running in 23 countries: from the connection between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia with planned travel speeds of up to 320 km/h to the equipping of the complete Deutsche Bahn rail network – the world’s largest GSM-R network at around 27,000 km.