Critical Software Partners with BlackBerry to Drive Safety Improvements for Portugal’s National Rail Network

January 27, 2022

Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) has chosen Critical Software to develop a railway protection system designed to improve the overall safety of the country’s rail network.

yellow train wagon standing at a train station in Portugal

The international technology company will partner with BlackBerry® on the project, making use of its QNX® operating system (OS).

IP awarded Critical Software a contract to design, supply and supervise the installation of a complementary safety system for its fleet of maintenance and inspection vehicles. IP is responsible for the maintenance, modernisation, and growth of Portugal’s railway infrastructure, including 2,526 km of sprawling track. 

The new safety system - built in line with CENELEC standards - will perform active supervision of vehicle operations, ensure that applicable speed restrictions are met on the railway, and avoid Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) scenarios. In protecting against SPAD situations, for example, the technology automatically stops vehicles that might try to pass a red-light signal. 

To help implement the new system being deployed, Critical Software sought a technology partner to supply an operating system capable of providing the essential support required to certify the solution. Following careful consideration, Critical Software chose BlackBerry QNX for its QNX® OS for Safety solution. 

“Overseeing the safety of the legions of maintenance vehicles that work across a rail network as vast as Portugal’s is no small task,” said Luís Gargaté, Business Development Director at Critical Software. “We will be developing a system that improves overall safety within the context of stringent industry certification standards. Working with our partner, BlackBerry QNX, will enable us to certify the solution efficiently - crucial to the solution’s rapid deployment.”

“Increasing rail safety and separating maintenance workers from train traffic is critical to saving lives. BlackBerry QNX is trusted by rail partners around the globe, and it’s a real pleasure to share our expertise and proven technology to support the comprehensive safety solution that Critical Software will be rolling out across the Portuguese rail network,” said Jörg Zimmer, Vice President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions Sales – EMEA.

Keen to learn more about how Critical is making railways safer? Download our free white paper below.