Most of Europe and British Engineers are facing to talk about ERTMS , the European Railway Traffic Management System. The European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a major industrial project developed by eight UNIFE members – Alstom Transport, Ansaldo STS, AZD Praha, Bombardier Transportation, CAF, Mermec, Siemens Mobility and Thales – in close cooperation with the European Union, railway stakeholders and the GSM-R industry.

What is ERTMS?

The European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a major industrial project being implemented to enhance cross-border interoperability through Europe by creating a single standard for railway signalling. ERTMS is a continuous communication-based signalling system

What’s the Reason Behind introducing ERTMS?

Europe has developed many different train control systems (TBL, EBICAB, INDUSI, KVB, LZB, TVM, ATB, etc) according to their national requirements on technical standards and operating rules and this has made merely imposible to operate trains between various countries often drivers and sometimes trains had to change at borders.

Unifying the multiple signalling systems will provide better interoperability of freight and passenger rail services, minimise technical and cultural problems of cross-border rail operations, reduce costs, improve the overall quality of rail transport and increase competitiveness.

What are the components of ERTMS?

ERTMS has two basic components:

  • ETCS-  European Train Control System, is an automatic train protection system (ATP) to replace the existing national ATP-systems in Europe.The system aims to standardise the signalling and train control systems and remove the hindrance to the development of international rail traffic.  It specifies for compliance with the High Speed and Conventional Interoperability Directives.
  • GSM-R, a radio system for providing voice and data communication between the track and the train, based on standard GSM using frequencies specifically reserved for rail application with certain specific and advanced functions.

Levels of ETCS:

ETCS is categorised  into different levels based on equipment used and functionality.  The definition of the level depends on how the route is equipped and the way in which information is transmitted to the train.

ETCS – Level 1
ETCS Level 1 is a cab signalling system that can be overlay or used in conjunction with existing signalling systems.  Lineside signals are generally retained and block control is achieved in the conventional manner by the interlocking, based on the information detected by track circuits or axle counters.

ERTMS_Level_1_Rail_Eng_Digest
It is a system based on intermittent track-to-train communication.  Balises, which are linked to the signals or interlocking via the Lineside Electronic Unit (LEU), transmit route data as movement authority to the trains.  The on-board computer continually monitors and calculates the maximum permitted speed and the braking curve.

In Summary, Eurobalise without infill is a Overlay to Existing Signalling System.

  • Movement Authorities through Eurobalise.
  • Train Integrity & Position by Track Circuit.

And Eurobalise + infill (euroloop, radio, or extra balises)

  • Overlay to Existing Signalling System.
  • Movement Authorities through Eurobalise.
  • Train Integrity & Position by Track Circuit.

 

ETCS – Level 2

At ETCS Level 2, the transmission of variable data between the Radio Block Centre and the trains is based on continuous digital radio-based system, GSM-R, in the 900 MHz frequency band.

ERTMS_Level_2_Rail_Eng_DigestThis system can be used with or without lineside signalling as a backup (subject to operating rules).   It enables safe operation at higher speeds, and provides a near instantaneous update of the movement authority and display in the cab for the driver through Radio Block Centre using GSM-R.  The Balises are used at this level as passive positioning beacons. All trains automatically report their exact position and direction of travel to the RBC at regular intervals.

In Summary Eurobalise + Euroradio (GSM-R) + Radio Block Centre

  • No more Trackside Signals Required.
  • Movement Authorities through GSM-R.Train Position via Eurobalise.

ETCS – Level 3

In Level 3, ETCS goes beyond the pure train protection functionality with the implementation of fully continuous radio-based train spacing.  ETCS replaces the lineside signals as well as the trackside detection devices.   The train driver views all speed and signalling information on in-cab displays and no signals are required along the line.

ERTMS_Level_3_Rail_Eng_DigestIn short, ERTMS Level 3 has two main features over and above Level 2. It facilitates much closer headways by the opportunity of adopting moving block, meaning that trains in close succession can close up particularly at lower speeds, and it allows for the removal of track-based train detection equipment in the form of track circuits or axle counters, which should reduce capital and maintenance costs and improve reliability.

In Summary ,Eurobalise + Euroradio (GSM-R) + Radio Block Centre

  • Movement Authorities through GSM-R.Authorities through Eurobalise.
  • Train Position via Eurobalise.
  • Train Integrity On-board.
  • Moving Block.

The ERTMS is gradually replacing the existing incompatible systems throughout Europe.  This will bring substantial benefits to the railway sector in terms of maintenance cost savings, safety, reliability, punctuality and traffic capacity.  It will definitely boost international freight and passenger transport.  The increasing implementation of ERTMS outside Europe such as Algeria, China, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey also demonstrates its success.

What are benefits of ERTMS ? Follow us in the next article

RELATED LINKS:

 

 

Technical Article: What is ERTMS/ETCS ?

To view this newsletter as a web page, go to: http://www.irse.org.hk/eNewsletter/issue06/issue06.htm

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ERTMS

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The European Rail Traffi​c Management System (ERTMS)  comprises of the European Train Control System (ETCS), the Global System for Mobile communications – Railway (GSM-R), Traffic Management Systems (TMS) and operating rules.

European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)

The European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a major industrial project being implemented to enhance cross-border interoperability through Europe by creating a single standard for railway signalling. ERTMS is a continuous…

 

 

 

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