Stadler acquires the company BÄR Bahnsicherung from Fehraltorf and thereby continues to develop in-house expertise in the field of signalling technology and digitalisation. The two companies are convinced that by joining forces, they will become an even stronger provider of state-of-the-art signalling solutions for their customers and that together, they will be even more successful in driving forward the digitalisation of the railway industry
Bär Bahnsicherung and Stadler complement each other perfectly: Bär promotes the digitalisation of the railway infrastructure with its products, while Stadler’s in-house signalling has so far concentrated in particular on equipping rail-bound vehicles with signalling technology. The sustainable digitalisation of the rail industry requires interaction between these two areas: intelligent railway lines can only reach their full potential if digitally equipped vehicles travel on them.
Benefit for the Swiss railway industry
For customers, the takeover will create a contact partner who can offer infrastructure and vehicle signalling from a single source. Both Stadler and Bär see this as a clear win for the Swiss rail industry, which will also open up growth opportunities abroad.
Bär Bahnsicherung AG in Fehraltorf has been Switzerland’s largest independent service provider for railway safety for more than 30 years. Around 130 employees provide a full range of services in the field of infrastructure-related railway safety – from planning, development, engineering and construction of equipment to commissioning and safety tests, including safety reports. In addition to the proven relay interlocking technology, another central pillar has been added in recent years: the newly developed and type-approved electronic interlocking system EUROLOCKING, which complements the systems business and which is already used by many Stadler customers in Switzerland. In addition to its headquarters in Fehraltorf, Bär Bahnsicherung has sites in Oensingen, Olten and Lausanne, which will be kept on by Stadler along with all employees.
Successful market entry for in-house signalling technology
Stadler entered the signalling business in 2016 so that it would no longer be dependent on direct competitors in the area. Today, Stadler can offer this important component of modern train technology itself. To make this possible, Stadler established its own engineering location in Wallisellen, which became an independent company within the Stadler Group at the beginning of 2020. Stadler’s own GUARDIA train protection system (ETCS solution) received its generic approval in 2019 and is already in use in several European countries. It has also been incorporated into BLS’s new FLIRT trains in Switzerland since 2021. Stadler has successfully gained a foothold in the market for train control for branch lines and urban operators with its self-developed CBTC platform (Communications-based Train Control), which has been in implementation in Switzerland for BLT since 2019 and is also used in the United States.
Support for digitalising rail traffic in cities and on branch lines
The addition of Bär’s team of experts and technology will give Stadler’s in-house signalling the necessary boost to play a decisive role in the ongoing mammoth project: the worldwide conversion to digital signalling solutions.
“We are very pleased to be able to benefit from a significant rise in the number of experienced professionals thanks to the Bär team. The geographical and cultural proximity of our companies forms an excellent basis for making a major contribution to the roll-out of digital interlocking systems and CBTC in the railway industry. We are convinced of the potential of Bär’s solutions and employees, and look forward to developing customised products for our customers with Bär in the future,” says Dr Alexandre Grêt, CEO of Stadler Signalling AG.
“We are delighted to have found a strong partner in Stadler who thinks in a similar way to us”, says Beat Fehr, Co-CEO of Bär Bahnsicherung.
“We share the same goal: to convince our customers of the sustainable digitalisation possibilities available for infrastructure and vehicles, and to offer them the best signalling technology solutions from a single source,” says Julien Veya, Co-CEO of Bär Bahnsicherung.
Bär Bahnsicherung and Stadler have a common objective: to drive forward digitalisation in rail-bound transport. Digitalised mobility also means more sustainable mobility, and makes an important contribution to achieving the 2050 climate goals.