V-Híd Zrt., a leading Hungarian railway construction company and AŽD Praha s.r.o., the leading Czech electronic railway signalling system developer and manufacturer, founded a joint venture on 8 December 2022 as the next step in their strategic cooperation.
V-Híd will hold a 60 percent stake and AŽD Praha a 40 percent stake in the jointly established V4SIL Kft. The choice of name symbolises the cooperation between the V-Híd Group and the Czech company AŽD Praha in the Visegrád region. SIL4 (Safety Integrity Level 4) stands for Safety Integrity Level 4, the highest level of safety. It is the requirement set by the European Union in the CENELEC standard that railway safety equipment must meet; in simple terms, it reflects the level of reliability.
Railway signalling systems require major upgrades, which are time and capital intensive. The Hungarian rail network is currently running on Western European equipment which enters the country at the end of its product cycle. Until now, there was no realistic prospect of a Hungarian-developed, fully electronic alternative. This is one of the reasons why the agreement with AŽD Praha and the jointly created company are a milestone.
The Hungarian majority-owned company will develop the software and hardware components of the equipment meeting MÁV's (Hungarian Railway Company) specifications, and later manufacture them. The Czech manufacturer will also undertake the technology transfer for its state-of-the-art system to lay the foundations for equipment specialised for the Hungarian market.
The joint venture will carry out the domestic roll-out, support the design of Hungarian railway projects, train and certify domestic suppliers and subcontractors, build the laboratory and simulator centre necessary for the operator's work, and install the on-board equipment in Hungary.