The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is the system of standards for management and interoperation of signalling for railways by the European Union (EU). It is conducted by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) and is the organisational umbrella for the separately managed parts of
The main target of ERTMS is to promote the interoperability of trains in EU. It aims to greatly enhance safety, increase efficiency of train transports and enhance cross-border interoperability of rail transport in Europe. This is done by replacing former national signalling equipment and operational procedures with a single new Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.
The development process was started with the technical foundations for communication (GSM-R) and signalling (ETCS). Both are well established and in advanced public implementation worldwide. Now it begins to start attention for the 3rd part of ETML i.e. for fleet management or passenger information.
|European Rail Traffic Management System|
In the mid 1980s, the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the European Rail Research Institute (ERRI) began the search for a common European operation management for railways, titled ERTMS. Today the development of ERTMS is steered by the ERA and driven by the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE, Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes).
Until this effort began, there were (for historical reasons in each national railway system) in Europe:
all influencing train communication in parts.
Technical targets of ERTMS are:
In 1995 a development plan first mentioned the creation of the European Rail Traffic Management System. In 1996 the first specification for ETCS followed in response to EU Council Directive 96/48/EC99 on interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system.
The functional specification of ETCS was announced In April 2000 as guidelines for implementation in Madrid. In autumn 2000 the member states of EU voted for publication of this specifications as decision of the European Commission to get a preliminary security in law and planning. This was to give the foundation for testing applications in six member railways of the ERTMS Users Group.
In 2002 the Union of Signalling Industry (UNISIG) published the SUBSET-026 defining the current implementation of ETCS signalling equipment together with GSM–R – this Class 1 SRS 2.2.2 (now called ETCS Baseline 2) was accepted by the European Commission in decision 2002/731/EEC as mandatory for high-speed rail and in decision 2004/50/EEC as mandatory for conventional rail.
In 2004 further development stalled for some reasons. While some countries (Austria, Spain, Switzerland) switched to ETCS with some benefit, German and French railway operators had already introduced proven and modern types of domestic train protection systems for high speed traffic, so they would gain no benefit. Furthermore, the introduction of ETCS Level 1 (like in Spain) proved to be very expensive and nearly all implementations are delayed manyfold. The defined standards were comprehensive by political nature, but not exact in technical means. All players would protect their medium old investments until physically or economically constrained time of life. And some active players were willing to overcome the situation with a new Baseline definition, not suited for immediate action.
This situation caused the decision to focus more on the technical parts of ETCS and GSM-R as universal technical foundations of ERTMS. To master this situation, Karel Vinck was appointed in July 2005 as EU coordinator.
In 2005 was inked a Memorandum of Understanding on ERTMS by members of the European Commission, national railways and supplying industries in Brussels. According to this declaration ETCS was to be introduced in 10 to 12 years on a named part of the Trans-European Networks. Following up was in April 2006 a conference in Budapest for the introduction of ERTMS, attended by 700 people.
In July 2009, the European Commission announced that ETCS is now mandatory for all EU funded projects which include new or upgraded signalling and GSM-R is required when radio communications are upgraded.
In April 2012 at the UIC ERTMS World Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, the Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) called for an accelerated implementation of ERTMS in Europe.
After definition of ETCS Baseline 3 in about 2010 and starting of implementation in multiple countries with Baseline 3 Release 2 in summer 2016, it is again possible to direct attention to operational management requirements of payloads. Big logistic companies like DB Cargo have the need to develop functional capabilities in the target scope of ETML, which should be welcome for standardisation.
The deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System means the installation of ETCS components on the lineside of the railways and the train borne equipment. Both parts are connected by GSM-R as the communication part. Various railway roll out strategies can be used. With the introduction of ETCS the infrastructure manager has to decide whether a line will be equipped only with ETCS or if there is a demand for a mixed signalling system with support for National Train Control (NTC). Currently, both 'clean' and mixed systems are being deployed in Europe and around the world.
Many new ETCS lines in Europe are being created and then it may often be preferred to implement ETCS Level 1 or Level 2 only. With this implementation strategy the wayside signalling cost is kept to a minimum, but the vehicle fleet that operates on these lines will need to all be equipped with ETCS on board to allow operation. This is more suitable for new high-speed passenger lines, where new vehicles will be bought, less suitable if long-distance freight trains shall use it. Examples of 'clean' ETCS operation include HSL-Zuid in the Netherlands, TP Ferro international stretch (Sección Internacional / Section Internationale) Figueres [ES] – Perpignan [FR], Erfurt–Halle/Leipzig in Germany, among others. Also all ETCS railways in Sweden and Norway, since the ETCS and ATC balise frequencies are too close so that older trains would get faults when passing Eurobalises.
Mixed operation is a strategy where the wayside signalling is equipped with both ETCS and a conventional Class B system. Often the conventional system is the legacy system used during the signalling upgrade program. The main purposes of introducing a mixed operation (mixed signalling system) are:
With mixed operation it is possible to run a line with both conventional and ETCS trains and to use the advantages of ETCS technology for the trains so equipped (e.g. higher speed or more trains on the line) but with the benefit that it is not necessary to equip the whole train fleet with ETCS simultaneously. Examples of ETCS in mixed operation include HSL 3 in Belgium where ETCS is mixed with national ATP system TBL or High-Speed Line Cordoba-Malaga in Spain where ETCS is mixed with NTC of ASFA and LZB.
Operational principle of ETCS in mixed operation: NTC and ETCS Level 2
The principle of mixed level signalling is based on simple principles using bi-directional data exchange between the Radio Block Centre (RBC) and the interlocking systems. The operator sets a route and does not need to know if the route will be used for a Level NTC (former LSTM) only or a Level 2-equipped train. A route is locked based on the national principles by the interlocking system and the RBC is informed about the routes set. The RBC checks whether it is possible to allocate a train to the route and then informs the interlocking system that a train is allocated to the route. The interlocking system shows the ETCS white bar aspect to all signals along the route including the signal at the end of the route and sends no ATB-EG code to the track.
Movement Authority (MA) is the permission for a train to move to a specific location within the constraints of the infrastructure and with supervision of speed. End of Authority is the location to which the train is permitted to proceed and where target speed is equal to zero. End of Movement is the location to which the train is permitted to proceed according to an MA. When transmitting a MA, it is the end of the last section given in the MA.
The RBC sends a Movement Authority (MA) to the train if a Level 2 train is allocated to the route. Otherwise the signal shows the optical proceed aspect and the related ATB-EG code is sent to the track. As soon as a Level 2 train reports itself in rear of a route currently assigned for optical authorisation (e.g. after start of mission procedure or when the driver changes level from Level NTC to Level 2), the optical authorisation is automatically upgraded to a Level 2 movement authority. Consequently, a Level 2 movement authority is downgraded to an optical authorisation after a predefined time-out if the driver closes the cab or a fault is detected that restricts the movement authority (e.g. if the GSM-R radio coverage is unavailable.)
Companies developing ETCS systems include UNIFE/UNISIG members Alstom, Thales, AŽD Praha (cz), Ansaldo STS (now part of Hitachi), Siemens Mobility, Bombardier Transportation, CAF, ABB and MERMEC. GSM-R equipment is delivered by some companies like Nokia Networks, Kapsch, Huawei, Siemens Mobility and Funkwerk Kölleda (de).
Companies that provide testing solutions for ERTMS systems include: Comtest Wireless
amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system
Ansaldo Signalling and Transportation Systems (Ansaldo STS) is an Italian transportation company with a global presence in the field of railway signalling and integrated transport systems for passenger traffic (Railway / Mass Transit) and freight operations. Ansaldo STS plans, designs, manufactures, installs and commissions signaling systems, components and high technologies for the management and control of newly built or upgraded railways, transit and freight lines worldwide.
Headquartered in Genoa, Italy, it is a subsidiary of Hitachi. It was previously listed on the Borsa Italiana and was a component of the benchmark FTSE Italia Mid Cap Index.
Providing design, manufacture, installation, integration and maintenance of a wide range of train control systems and equipment dedicated to safety, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability, Ansaldo STS employs 3,951 people worldwide.Chinese Train Control System
The Chinese Train Control System (CTCS, simpl.chinese: 中国列车控制系统) is a train control system used on railway lines in People's Republic of China. CTCS is similar to the European Train Control System (ETCS).It has two subsystems: ground subsystem and onboard subsystem. The ground subsystem may based on balise, track circuit, radio communication network (GSM-R), and Radio Block Center (RBC). The onboard subsystem includes onboard computer and communication module.
CTCS has several levels:
CTCS-0: Track Circuit + Cab Signalling + LKJ2000,
CTCS-1: Track Circuit + Cab Signalling + LKJ2000 + Balise,
CTCS-2: Track Circuit + Balise + ATP, the track circuit is used both for block occupation detection and movement authorization, its architecture is similar to TVM-300.
CTCS-3D: Track Circuit + Balise + ATP, CTCS-3D is equivalent to the European ETCS Level-1
CTCS-3: Balise + GSM-R + ATP, using CTCS-2 as the backup system, CTCS-3 is equivalent to the European ETCS Level-2 + CTCS-2.
CTCS-4: Balise + GSM-R + ATP, moving blockLevels 2, 3, and 4 are back-compatible with lower levels.Corridor D (Europe)
Corridor D in Europe is a multinational, multiagency project to improve freight rail capacity and speed, initiated and supported by the European Commission.ERTMS Regional
ERTMS Regional is a simplified and low-cost variant of the European Rail Traffic Management System suitable for train control on lines with low traffic volumes. It is intended to reduce the amount of lineside and equipment required, thus reducing costs, increasing reliability and improving safety for track workers.Eastern Østfold Line
The Eastern Østfold Line (Norwegian: Østfoldbanens østlige linje) is a 79-kilometer (49 mi) railway line which runs between Ski and Sarpsborg. It follows a more eastern route than the Østfold Line, with which it adjoins at both Ski Station and Sarpsborg Station, serving the Indre Østfold district. The line is single track and electrified. The Eastern Line serves the hourly L22 lines of the Oslo Commuter Rail, operated by the Norwegian State Railways. There is no regular traffic south of Rakkestad Station, although the line can be used for freight trains when the Western Line is closed.
The line was built at the same time as the Østfold Line, but opened three years later, on 24 November 1882. Stations were designed by Balthazar Lange. The Eastern Line has always featured fewer trains and had a lower standard. The line was electrified in 1958. It became the first line in Norway to feature the European Rail Traffic Management System, becoming operational in 2015.European Rail Traffic Management System in Great Britain
The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is an initiative backed by the European Union to enhance cross-border interoperability and the procurement of signalling equipment by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.
Its main components are European Train Control System (ETCS) and GSM-R communications system. ETCS is a standard for track-train radio communications using balises (Eurobalises) and associated in-cab train control while GSM-R is the GSM mobile communications standard for railway operations. ERTMS can operate at different levels depending on specific local requirements. Under ERTMS speeds are displayed in the driver's cab in km/h and at Level 2, lineside speed indicators are optional.European Train Control System
The European Train Control System (ETCS) is the signalling and control component of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). It is a replacement for legacy train protection systems and designed to replace the many incompatible safety systems currently used by European railways. The standard was also adopted outside Europe and is an option for worldwide application. In technical terms it is a kind of positive train control.
ETCS is implemented with standard trackside equipment and unified controlling equipment within the train cab. In its advanced form, all lineside information is passed to the driver wireless inside the cab, removing the need for lineside signals watched by the driver. This will give the foundation for a later to be defined automatic train operation.
Because ETCS is in many parts implemented in software, some wording from software technology is used. Versions are called system requirements specifications (SRS). This is a bundle of documents, which may have different versioning for each document. A main version is called baseline (BL).
The need for a system like ETCS stems from more and longer running trains resulting from economic integration of the European Union (EU) and the liberalisation of national railway markets. At the beginning of the 1990s there were some national high speed train projects supported by the EU which lacked interoperability of trains. This catalysed the Directive 1996/48 about the interoperability of high-speed trains, followed by Directive 2001/16 extending the concept of interoperability to the conventional rail system. ETCS specifications have become part of, or are referred to, the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) for (railway) control-command systems, pieces of European legislation managed by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). It is a legal requirement that all new, upgraded or renewed tracks and rolling stock in the European railway system should adopt ETCS, possibly keeping legacy systems for backward compatibility. Many networks outside the EU have also adopted ETCS, generally for high-speed rail projects. The main goal of achieving interoperability had mixed success in the beginning.
Deployment has been slow, as there is no business case for replacing existing train protection systems, especially in Germany and France which already had advanced train protection systems installed in most mainlines. Even though these legacy systems were developed in the 1960s, they provided similar performance to ETCS Level 2, thus the reluctance of infrastructure managers to replace these systems with ETCS. There are also significant problems regarding compatibility of the latest software releases or baselines with older on-board equipment, forcing in many cases the train operating companies to install new on-board equipment. However a Swiss study found that ETCS Level 2 is cheaper to maintain than staying with the old systems, and it can yield higher performance on congested lines for lower investments which was later reassured by Deutsche Bahn in Germany. Countries in the Rhine-Alps Corridor (part of the Blue Banana industrialized area) are now in the process of switching to ETCS on the main tracks.GSM-R
GSM-R, Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway or GSM-Railway is an international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications.
A sub-system of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), it is used for communication between train and railway regulation control centres. The system is based on GSM and EIRENE – MORANE specifications which guarantee performance at speeds up to 500 km/h (310 mph), without any communication loss.
GSM-R will probably be supplanted by LTE-R, with the first production implementation being in South Korea. However, LTE is generally considered to be a "4G" protocol, and some railways are considering moving to something "5G" based depending on the timing of their upgrade cycle, thus skipping a technological generation.Hertford Loop Line
The Hertford Line (also known colloquially as the Hertford Loop) is a branch of the East Coast Main Line, part of the Northern City Line commuter route to London for Hertford and other Hertfordshire towns and an occasional diversion route for the main line. The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 8, SRS 08.03 and is classified as a London and South East Commuter line.Interoperable Communications Based Signaling
Interoperable Communications Based Signaling (ICBS) is an initiative backed by the Federal Railroad Administration to enhance interoperability and signaling procurement in the railway system of the United States by creating a single national standard for train control and command systems. The concept was launched in 2005 and an interoperable prototype system was successfully demonstrated in January 2009.Karel Vinck
Karel Vinck (born 19 September 1938, Aalst) is a Belgian businessman. In 1994 the readers of the weekly business magazine Trends chose him to be the Manager of the year. He graduated as a Master in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and got an MBA from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York, United States).Metrication of British transport
In the British railway industry metric units and distances are used on many new systems while most pre-existing systems have retained imperial units, especially for speed and distance. For the roads, fuel is sold by the litre with fuel consumption still generally being given as miles per gallon.Polaris (train)
The Polaris was a design of locomotive-hauled train designed in concept form by CSRE Ltd. The train was inspired by the British Rail InterCity 125 (HST), and was intended to have a top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h). The loco hauled trains would have had two power cars and been compatible with British Rail Mark 3 coaches. The power cars would have either been Diesel electric, electric and electro-diesel, making the design suitable for use across the whole British railway network. CSRE also proposed an Electric multiple unit (EMU) type of Polaris called the Polaris E.The Polaris concept will now not be taken to market.Rail operating centre
A rail operating centre (ROC) is a building that houses all signallers, signalling equipment, ancillaries and operators for a specific region or route on the United Kingdom's main rail network. The ROC supplants the work of several other signal boxes which have thus become redundant. Network Rail announced the creation of fourteen ROCs situated throughout Great Britain that will control all railway signalling over the British Railways network. This was subsequently revised to twelve ROCs with responsibilities at two (Saltley and Ashford) being transferred to other ROCs (Rugby and Gillingham respectively). In November 2016, Network rail announced that the ROC at Edinburgh would not go into operation with all its functions and responsibilities being transferred to Cowlairs in Glasgow.Nationally this has meant the removal of eight hundred mechanical lever signal boxes and around two hundred Panel and IECC boxes. Some are listed buildings and will be left in situ.The ROCs are built under private contracts for Network Rail, and will only control the rail routes controlled by Network Rail. Railways in Northern Ireland, various heritage railways and other tramways are not subject to control by a ROC. Ashford IECC still controls the UK stretch of the Eurotunnel Rail Link (HS1/CTRL).The ROCs function as signalling and control centres with signalling staff, train operating company (TOC) staff and Network Rail controllers all working under one roof. This is meant to enable quick solutions to signalling problems and less delays to trains and passengers. Network Rail envisage the twelve ROCs to be controlling the entire network by 2058.Rail transport in Europe
Rail transport in Europe is characterised by its diversity, both technical and infrastructural.
Rail networks in Western and Central Europe are often well maintained and well developed, whilst Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe often have less coverage and/or infrastructure problems. Electrified railway networks operate at a plethora of different voltages AC and DC varying from 750 to 25,000 volts, and signalling systems vary from country to country, hindering cross-border traffic.
The European Union aims to make cross-border operations easier as well as to introduce competition to national rail networks. EU member states were able to separate the provision of transport services and the management of the infrastructure by the Single European Railway Directive 2012. Usually, national railway companies were split to separate divisions or independent companies for infrastructure, passenger and freight operations. The passenger operations may be further divided to long-distance and regional services, because regional services often operate under public service obligations (which subsidise unprofitable but socially desirable routes), while long-distance services usually operate without subsidies.Rome–Naples high-speed railway
The Rome–Naples high-speed railway line is a link in the Italian high-speed rail network. It opened from Roma Termini to Gricignano di Aversa on 19 December 2005. The final 25 kilometres (16 miles) from Gricignano to Napoli Centrale opened on 13 December 2009. When the line is completed trains will take 1 hour and 10 minutes between the two cities. The line is part of Corridor 1 of the European Union's Trans-European high-speed rail network, which connects Berlin and Palermo.
Construction of the line began in 1994. Between 2004 and 2005 a series of tests was carried out prior to the line being opened for commercial operations, to obtain approval for the line to be regularly operated at up to 300 km/h (190 mph). During these tests an ETR 500 train achieved a speed of 347 km/h (216 mph). These speeds were made possible by the line's 25 kV AC railway electrification system (rather than the traditional Italian use of 3 kV DC), and the new signaling, control and train protection system provided by the European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System (ETCS). It was the first railway line in Italy to be electrified at 25 kV AC at 50 Hz and the first in the world to use ETCS Level 2 in normal rail operations.
The first 193 kilometres (120 miles) of the line was brought into service on 19 December 2005. The new line begins near Roma Prenestina station (4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) from Roma Termini) and ends at Gricignano di Aversa, where a connecting line leads to the Rome-Naples via Formia line, which is used for the last 25 kilometres (16 miles) to reach Napoli Centrale station. The line features three other interconnections that link with the historical Rome-Naples via Cassino line, near Anagni, Cassino and Caserta.
On 13 December 2009, work was completed on the last 18 km line of the line between Gricignano and Napoli Centrale. This includes the Napoli Afragola station, which was due to be open in 2009 when the construction contract was first awarded, but tenders had to be called again and construction was put on hold. Construction was delayed on several occasions and did not get fully under was until 2015. It was opened on 6 June 2017, with regular traffic for passengers starting from 11 June 2017. The station is planned to provide interchange at Afragola station with the Circumvesuviana line in 2022, once that line has been reconstructed.
The Naples–Salerno high-speed railway (also known as the Linea a Monte del Vesuvio—"line up Mount Vesuvius") was completed in June 2008 to allow high-speed trains to and from Salerno and the south to bypass Napoli Centrale station. When the Rome–Naples high-speed line is fully open the length of the high-speed section will be about 205 kilometres (127 miles). The connecting line to Gricignano di Aversa is now not used for normal operations.The longest tunnel on the line through the Alban Hills is 6,725 metres (4 miles) long. The minimum radius of curves is 5,450 metres (5,960 yards) and the centres of the running lines are 5 metres (16 feet 5 inches) apart. The maximum gradient of the line is 21 per thousand.Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision
The Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision System, abbreviated as TASS, is an overlay to train protection systems allowing the control the speeds of tilting trains. It is only installed on the West Coast Main Line (UK). Its trainborne part is fitted to British Rail Class 221 and British Rail Class 390.Transport in the European Union
Transport in the European Union is a shared competence of the Union and its member states. The European Commission includes a Commissioner for Transport, currently Violeta Bulc. Since 2012, the Commission also includes a Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport which develops EU policies in the transport sector and manages funding for Trans-European Networks and technological development and innovation, worth €850 million yearly for the period 2000–2006.Ådalen Line
The Ådalen Line (Swedish: Ådalsbanan) is a 184-kilometre (114 mi) railway line between Sundsvall and Långsele in Sweden. At Sundsvall, the line intersects with the Central Line and the East Coast Line. At Långsele, the line intersects with the Main Line Through Upper Norrland. It also connects to the Bothnia Line.
The Ådalen Line follows, and is named for, the Ådalen river valley.
Railway stations with stops for passenger trains are (as of 2018):
Västeraspby (Höga Kusten Airport)
Sundsvall Västra (West)