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New center of exellence for SSI in Sydney

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On December 12, 2002, ALSTOM inaugurated a global
“center of excellence” for the manufacture of
computer-based signaling equipment in the Sydney metropolitan
area. Attending the launch was Carl Scully, transport minister
for the Australian state of New South Wales.

The equipment, commonly known as Solid-State Interlocking, or
SSI, is part of ALSTOM’s SMARTLOCK family and is the only
rail signaling product of its type to be manufactured in

The SMARTLOCK range of interlocking products forms an integral
part of the new Communications-Based Safeworking Systems being
developed, in line with European Rail Traffic Management System
standards, by ALSTOM for Australian conditions. These products
allow infrastructure operators to manage their businesses more
safely and effectively, and at lower cost.

The site in the Sydney suburb of Milperra was selected after
an exhaustive global search evaluated it as the best location,
based on a track record of quality and efficiency of

Since nearly all of the high-tech signaling equipment used in
Australia is imported, achievement demonstrates that Australian
manufacturing is capable of competing in the global market for
high-quality, medium-size-batch production.

Another major benefit for Australia arising from the
localization of ALSTOM’s SSI production is the transfer of
knowledge and expertise in solid-state interlocking manufacture
from ALSTOM’s plants in Europe to Milperra.

SSI products will be exported from the Milperra site to a
number of countries, including Great Britain, Belgium, France,
Hong Kong and the United States. The new production facility will
produce 1,800 modules per year, more than ten times current
production level.

The initiative will result in an estimated 30 direct jobs in
Australia within ALSTOM and its suppliers. As more Australian
sources are developed to replace overseas supply of components
used in the assembly of SSI equipment, it is also expected that a
further 100 indirect jobs and opportunities for training and
skills development will be created.

Photo top, opening of the SSI center: Standing, from left to right: Alan Ashton,
representative for East Hills in the New South Wales
Parliament; Sandy Elliot, president and managing
director of ALSTOM Australia; Carl Scully, transport minister for
New South Wales; Terry Chapman, director of projects
administration and management services for ALSTOM
Australia; Phil Terry, general manager for Transport
business development and transit, ALSTOM Australia.

With more than 35 product lines and a presence in over 60
countries, ALSTOM's Transport Sector offers cutting-edge
products and services to four distinct types of customers:
urban transit authorities and operators; intercity passenger
rail operators and rolling stock owners; rail freight
operators; and intercity railway infrastructure owners.
ALSTOM's Transport Sector, with 4.4 billion euros in sales in
2001, is among the world's leading suppliers to the railway

Press information:

Helen Connolly

Tel. +33 (0)1 41 66 91 43