Victor’s Challenge

Victor’s Challenge: managing projects in which things are put in motion

  • 27 September 2018
  • 5 min

The Amsterdam Noord/Zuidlijn is a 9.7 kilometre underground railway connection that cuts the travel time from the north to the south of Amsterdam in half. The extremely prestigious and ambitious project involved drilling and construction beneath the busy city, in which people live and work.


The Noord/Zuidlijn is a project commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council. The Council signed a contract with Siemens for the realisation of the tunnel-technical installation. Siemens is a reputable party in the domain of system integration and optimisation, and has the required expertise and experience when it comes to infrastructure projects. “In a large project like the Noord/Zuidlijn, there are times when you need additional manpower and knowhow. This is why Siemens contacted ICT Group to obtain their assistance and advice required for connecting the station systems and central control systems with the current network. And this is when I got involved in the project”, says Victor Sikkel, technical project manager for ICT Group.

Putting things in motion

Victor is literally putting things in motion on the Noord/Zuidlijn. “The station system consists of the camera monitoring system, the dynamic route information system and the PA systems, which had to be interconnected with the underground railway tracking system. To achieve this, we worked in close collaboration with the hardware supplier. Together we developed a lay-out on an industrial mini pc with Windows Embedded. This became the foundation for building a .net application with a web-based user interface.” We also used .net for creating a user interface for the camera system and the Dynamic Route Information System (DRIS). The central control systems include the escalators, elevators, burglar alarms on the ticket machines and the fire alarm system.

“I prefer to be involved in a project from day one, and don’t like leaving a project until everything conceived on the drawing table has actually been put in motion.”

Smart technology

The Noord/Zuidlijn was officially opened and put into operation on 22 July 2018, a moment that residents, commuters and local business owners had been looking forward to for years. Safety always had top priority during the entire project, both during the construction and the testing phase. Victor: “We also created additional safety and security by means of the gate detection functionality. This allows for prompt detection of intruders and the necessary subsequent actions. In addition, the smart technology has achieved substantial savings in terms of time and manpower. In the past, when a gate was closed, we had to travel to the actual location and check whether everyone had left. Thanks to this smart technology this is no longer necessary.”


Victor continues: “The nicest aspect of the Noord/Zuidlijn project is the level of freedom I was given by the client. Freedom to realise better solutions. A lot of technological developments took place between the moment of receiving the request and the actual start of the project, and we have been able to apply these developments. The Noord/ Zuidlijn project has been completed, and the underground is moving. I’m also putting myself in motion by taking on a new assignment. That’s what I’m looking forward to. We’re working on a large number of interesting and challenging projects at ICT Group. The company stimulates taking initiative and entrepreneurship, and this turns each project into a challenge.”

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