European Train Control System

ETCS "Eurobalise" transceiver, installed between rails, provides information to ETCS trains.

The European Train Control System (ETCS) is a signalling, control and train protection system designed to replace the many incompatible safety systems currently used by European railways, especially on high-speed lines.

ETCS requires standard trackside equipment and a standard controller within the train cab. In its final form, all lineside information is passed to the driver electronically, removing the need for lineside signals that, at high speed, could be almost impossible to see or assimilate.

The need for ETCS stems from European Union (EU) Directive 96/48 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 specification for interoperability for (railway) control-command systems, which is a piece of European legislation managed by the European Railway Agency. 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.

ETCS is specified at four different levels:


The European railway network grew from separate national networks with little more in common than standard gauge. Notable differences include voltages, loading gauge, couplings, signalling and control systems. By the end of the 1980s there were 14 national standard train control systems in use across the EU, and the advent of high-speed trains showed that signalling based on lineside signals is insufficient.

Both factors led to efforts to reduce the time and cost of cross-border traffic. On 4 and 5 December 1989, a working group including Transport Ministers resolved a master plan for a trans-European high-speed rail network, the first time that ETCS was suggested. The Commission communicated the decision to the European Council, which approved the plan in its resolution of 17 December 1990. This led to a resolution on 91/440/EEC as of 29 July 1991, which mandated the creation of a requirements list for interoperability in high-speed rail transport.[1] The rail manufacturing industry and rail network operators had agreed on creation of interoperability standards in June 1991.[2] Until 1993 the organizational framework was created to start technical specifications that would be published as TSI standards (Technical Specifications for Interoperability). The mandate for TSI was resolved by 93/38/EEC.[1] In 1995 a development plan first mentioned the creation of the European Rail Traffic Management System.[2]

The specification was written in 1996 in response to EU Council Directive 96/48/EC99[1] of 23 July 1996 on interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system. First the European Railway Research Institute was instructed to formulate the specification and about the same time the ERTMS User Group was formed from six railway operators that took over the lead role in the specification. The standardisation went on for the next two years and it was felt to be slow for some industry partners – 1998 saw the formation of UNISIG (Union of Signalling Industry), including Alstom, Ansaldo, Bombardier, Invensys, Siemens and Thales that were to take over the finalisation of the standard.[2] In July 1998 SRS5a (System Requirement Specification 5a) documents were published that formed the baseline for technical specifications. UNISIG provided for corrections and enhancements of the baseline specification leading to the "Class P" specification in April 1999.

The baseline specification has been tested by six railways since 1999 as part of the European Rail Traffic Management System[3] The railway companies defined some extended requirements that were included to ETCS (e.g. RBC-Handover and track profile information) leading to the Class 1 Version 2.0.0 specification of ETCS that was published in April 2000. Further specification continued through a number of drafts until UNISIG published the SUBSET-026 defining the current implementation of ETCS signalling equipment – this Class 1 Version 2.2.2 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. The SUBSET-026 is defined from eight chapters where chapter seven defines the ETCS language and chapter eight describes the balise telegram structure of ETCS Level 1.[2] Later UNISIG published the corrections as SUBSET-108 also known as Class 1 Version 2.2.2 "+" that was accepted in decision 2006/679/EEC.[4]

The earlier ETCS specification contained a lot of optional elements that limited interoperability. The Class 1 specifications were revised in the following year leading to Version 2.3.0 document series that was made mandatory by the European Commission in decision 2007/153/EEC on 9 March 2007. Annex A describes the technical specifications on interoperability for high-speed (HS) and conventional rail (CR) transport. Using Version 2.3.0 a number of railway operators started to deploy ETCS on a large scale, for example the Italian Sistema Controllo Marcia Treno is based on Level 1 balises. Further development concentrated on compatibility specification with the earlier "Class B" systems leading to specifications like EuroZUB that continued to use the national rail management on top of Eurobalises for a transitional period. Following the experience in railway operation the ERA (European Railway Agency) published a revised specification Class 1 Version 2.3.0 D ("debugged") that was accepted by the European Commission in April 2008.

The final ETCS (later called Baseline 2) is divided into nine equipment and functional levels. The definition of the level depends on how the route is equipped and the way in which information is transmitted to the train. The movement authority (“permission to proceed”) and the corresponding route information are transmitted to the train and displayed in the cab ("cab signalling"). A vehicle fitted with complete ERTMS/ETCS equipment (EuroCab) and functionality can operate on any ETCS route without any technical restrictions.

Baseline 3

While some countries switched to ETCS, German and French railway operators had already introduced a modern type of train control system so they would gain no benefit. Instead ideas were introduced on new modes like "Limited Supervision" (known at least since 2004[5]) that would allow for a low-cost variant, a new and superior model for braking curves, a cold movement optimisation and additional track description options. These ideas were compiled into a "baseline 3" series by the ERA, published as a Class 1 Version 3.0.0 proposal on 23 December 2008. The first consolidation (3.1.0) of the baseline 3 proposal was published by ERA on 26 February 2010[6] and the second consolidation (3.2.0) on 11 January 2011.[7] The specification GSM-R Baseline 0 was published as Annex A to the baseline 3 proposal on 17 April 2012.[8] At the same time a change to Annex A of baseline 2 (2.3.0d) was proposed to the European Commission that includes GSM-R baseline 0 allowing ETCS 3.3.0 trains to run on ETCS 2.3.0d tracks.[9][10] The baseline 3 proposal was accepted by the European Commission with decision 2012/88/EU on 25. January 2012 [11] and the update for ETCS 3.3.0 and the extension for ETCS 2.3.0d were accepted by the European Commission with decision 2012/696/EU on 6. November 2012.[12]

The ERA work programme concentrated on the refinement of the test specification SRS 3.3.0 that was to be published in July 2013.[13] In parallel the GSM-R specification was to be extended into a GSM-R baseline 1 until the end of 2013.[13] The German Deutsche Bahn has since announced equipping at least the TEN Corridors running on older tracks to be using either Level 1 Limited Supervision or Level 2 on high-speed sections. Current work continues on Level 3 definition with low-cost specifications (compare ERTMS Regional) and the integration of GPRS into the radio protocol to increase the signalling bandwidth as required in shunting stations. The specifications # 2 (ETCS baseline 3 and GSM-R baseline 0) were published as recommendations SRS 3.4.0 and ETCS 3.4.0 by the ERA in May 2014 for submission to the Railway Interoperability and Safety Committee in a meeting in June 2014.[14][15] The SRS 3.4.0 was accepted by the European Commission with the amending decision 2015/14/EU on 5. January 2015.[16]

Stakeholders such as Deutsche Bahn have opted for a streamlined development model for ETCS – DB will assemble a database of change requests (CRs) to be assembled by priority and effect in a CR-list for the next milestone report (MRs) that shall be published on fixed dates through ERA (European Railway Agency). The SRS 3.4.0 from Q2 2014 matches with the first MR1 from this process, the further steps were planned for the MR2 to be published in Q4 2015 (that became the SRS 3.5.0) and the MR3 to be published in Q3 2017 (whereas SRS 3.6.0 was settled earlier in June 2016). Each specification will be commented on and handed over to the RISC (Railway Interoperability and Safety Committee) for subsequent legalization in the European Union.[17]

In December 2015 the ERA published the Baseline 3 Release 2 (B3R2) series including GSM-R Baseline 1. The B3R2 is publicly named to be not an update to the previous Baseline 3 Maintenance Release 1 (B3MR1).[18] The notable change is the inclusion of EGRPS (GPRS with mandatory EDGE support) in the GSM-R specification, corresponding to the new Eirene FRS 8 / SRS 16 specifications. Additionally B3R2 includes the ETCS Driver Machine Interface and the SRS at version 3.5.0.[19] The Baseline 3 series was accepted by European Commission with decisions 2016/919/EC in late May 2016.[20] The decision references ETCS 3.6.0 / SRC 3.6.0 that was subsequently published by the ERA in a "Set 3" in June 2016.[21][22] The publications of the European Commission and European Railways Agency for SRS 3.6.0 was synchronized to the same day, June 15.[20] The Set 3 of B3R2 is marked as the stable basis for subsequent ERTMS deployments in the EU.[23]

Deployment planning

The development of ETCS has matured to a point that cross-border traffic is possible and some countries have announced a date for the end of older systems. The first contract to run the full length of a cross-border railway was signed by Germany and France in 2004 on the high-speed line from Paris to Frankfurt, including LGV Est. The connection opened in 2007 using ICE3MF, to be operational with ERTMS trains by 2016.[24] The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy have a commitment to open Corridor A from Rotterdam to Genoa for freight by the start of 2015. Switzerland has announced in 2011 that it will switch from its national ZUB/Signum to ETCS Level 1 for conventional rail by enabling L1 LS packets on its transitional Euro-ZUB balises during 2017.[25]

Denmark has decided to drop its older ATC, which will reach its end of life between 2015 and 2020, switching the network of 2100 km to ETCS. The S-Bane network in Copenhagen will use the Siemens TrainGuard system. Two suppliers will equip the rest of the country to Level 2 with an option for Level 3 (ERTMS Regional) in rural parts. Implementation will be between 2014 and 2018.[26] Denmark will be the first to introduce GPRS support on its network by 2017.[27][28] Hence Banedanemark is driving this development with other ERTMS users in Europe[28] that has led to the inclusion in B3R2 in late 2015.[19] Due to complexity the completion date was moved by two years to 2023, especially for testing in the S-train network, while the equipmment of the first three main lines will be done in 2018.[29]

Germany will start replacing all its PZB and LZB systems in 2015, to be finished by 2027.[30] Deutsche Bahn has expressed a commitment to keep the Baseline-3 specification backward compatible starting at least with SRS 3.5.0 that is due in 2015 according to the streamlined MR2 process, with the first MR1 adding requirements from its tests in preparation for the switch to ETCS (for example better frequency filters for the GSM-R radio equipment).[17] During 2014 it was planned to use a dual equipment for the four main freight corridors to comply with the EC 913/2010 regulation. Further testing showed that a full ETCS system can increase capacity by 5-10% leading into a new concept "Zukunft Bahn" to accelerate the deployment, presented in December 2015.[31] The overall cost reduction of about half a billion euro may be reinvested to complete the switch to ERTMS that may take about 15 years.[31] For the initial years Deutschebahn hopes to get financing from the federal level to occur after the next German federal elections in 2017.[32][33] With Germany pressing for Baseline 3 neighouring countries like Austria intend to update their vehicle fleet, especially modernizing the GSM-R radio on the trains.[34]

Non-European countries also are starting to deploy ERTMS/ETCS, including Algeria, China, India, Kazakhstan, Korea, Libya, Mexico, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia.[35] Australia will switch to ETCS on some dedicated lines starting in 2013.[36]

The European Commission has mandated that European railways to publish their deployment planning up to the 5 July 2017. This will be used to create a geographical and technical database (TENtec) that can show the ETCS deployment status on the Trans-European Network. From the comparative overview the commission wants to identify the needs for additional coordination measures to further the implementation.[37] On the same day of the publication for ETCS 3.6.0 on June 15, Regulation 2016/796/EC was published that mandates the creation of the European Union Agency for Railways that is replacing the European Railways Agency, tasking it with the creation of a regulatory framework for a Single European Railway Area (SERA) in the 4th Railway Package to be resolved in late June 2016.[38][39] A week later the new EU Agency for Railways emphasized the stability of B3R2 that will be used as the basis for oncoming ERTMS implementations in the EU.[23] Based on projections in the Rhine-Alps-Corridor a break-even of the cross-border ERTMS implementation is expected in the early 2030s.[40] A new memorandum of understanding was signed on InnoTrans in September 2016 for a completion of the first ERTMS Deployment Plan targets by 2022.[40][41]

Alternative implementations

The ETCS standard has listed a number of older ATC as Class B systems where the older line side signals can be read using a Specific Transmission Module (STM) and the Class B signals are fed to a new ETCS onboard safety control system for partial supervision. In practice an alternative transition scheme is used where an older ATC is rebased to use Eurobalises. This leverages the fact that a Eurobalise can transmit multiple information packets and the reserved national datagram (packet number 44) can encode the signal values from the old system in parallel with ETCS datagram packets. The older train-born ATC system is equipped with an additional Eurobalise reader that converts the datagram signals. This allows for a longer transitional period where the old ATC and Eurobalises are attached on the sleepers until all trains have a Eurobalise reader. The newer ETCS-compliant trains can be switched to an ETCS operation scheme by a software update of the onboard train computer.[42]

In Switzerland a replacement of the older Integra-Signum magnets and ZUB 121 magnets to Eurobalises in the Euro-Signum plus EuroZUB operation scheme is under way. All trains had been equipped with Eurobalise readers and signal converters until 2005 (generally called "rucksack"). The general operation scheme will be switched to ETCS by 2017 with an allowance for older trains to run on specific lines with EuroZUB until 2025.[43]

Croco + TBL + ETCS balises at the same signal

In Belgium the TBL 1 crocodiles were complemented with Eurobalises in the TBL 1+ operation scheme. The TBL 1+ definition allowed for an additional speed restriction to be transmitted to the train computer already. Likewise in Luxembourg the Memor II (using crocodiles) was extended into a Memor II+ operation scheme. In the Netherlands the national ATB-EG system has been upgraded with Eurobalises in the ATB-NG system. All lines running across the border of these Benelux countries will be switched to ETCS by 2020 and the core network will be switched to ETCS by 2030.[42]

In Berlin the old mechanical train stops on the local S-Bahn rapid transit system are replaced by Eurobalises in the newer ZBS train control system. Unlike the other systems it is not meant to be transitional for a later ETCS operation scheme. The signalling centres and the train computer use ETCS components with a specific software version, manufacturers like Siemens point out that their ETCS systems can be switched for operating on ETCS, TBL, or ZBS lines.[42]

Levels of ETCS

Level 0

Level 0 applies when an ETCS-fitted vehicle is used on a non-ETCS route. The trainborne equipment monitors the maximum speed of that type of train. The train driver observes the trackside signals. Since signals can have different meanings on different railways, this level restricts drivers to one railway. If the train has left a higher-level ETCS, it might be limited in speed globally by the last balises encountered.

Level 1

ETCS Level 1 schematic

Level 1 is a cab signalling system that can be superimposed on the existing signalling system, leaving the fixed signalling system (national signalling and track-release system) in place. Eurobalise radio beacons pick up signal aspects from the trackside signals via signal adapters and telegram coders (Lineside Electronics Unit – LEU) and transmit them to the vehicle as a movement authority together with route data at fixed points. The on-board computer continuously monitors and calculates the maximum speed and the braking curve from these data. Because of the spot transmission of data, the train must travel over the Eurobalise beacon to obtain the next movement authority. In order for a stopped train to be able to move (when the train is not stopped exactly over a balise), there are optical signals that show permission to proceed. With the installation of additional Eurobalises ("infill balises") or a EuroLoop between the distant signal and main signal, the new proceed aspect is transmitted continuously. The EuroLoop is an extension of the Eurobalise over a particular distance that basically allows data to be transmitted continuously to the vehicle over cables emitting electromagnetic waves. A radio version of the EuroLoop is also possible.

For example, in Denmark and Sweden the meanings of single green and double green are contradictory. Drivers have to know the difference (already with traditional systems) to drive beyond the national borders safely. In Sweden, the ETCS Level 1 list of signal aspects are not fully included in the traditional list, so there is a special marking saying that such signals have slightly different meanings.[44]


In Croatia, Croatian Railways deployed Level 1 on the VinkovciTovarnik line in 2012.[45]

In Hungary, the BudapestHegyeshalom and ZalacsébHodoš lines are equipped with Level 1.

In Poland, Level 1 was installed in 2011 on the CMK high-speed line between Warsaw and Katowice-Kraków, to allow speeds to be raised from 160 km/h (99 mph) to 200 km/h (124 mph), and eventually to 250 km/h (155 mph).[46] The CMK line, which was built in the 1970s, was designed for a top speed of 250 km/h, but was not operated above 160 km/h due to lack of cab signalling. The ETCS signalling on the CMK was certified on 21 November 2013,[47] allowing trains on the CMK to operate at 200 km/h (124 mph).[48]

In Slovakia, the system has been deployed as part of the BratislavaKošice mainline modernisation program, currently between Bratislava (east of Bratislava-Rača station) and Nové Mesto nad Váhom, with the rest of the line to follow. The current implementation is limited to 160 km/h due to limited braking distances between the control segments.

In northeast China, Level 1 is deployed on the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Rail line.

In Auckland, New Zealand, the first true ETCS Level 1 system in the Southern Hemispehere was commissioned on 29 April 2014 for KiwiRail by Siemens Rail Automation, in conjunction with the introduction of the ETCS-compliant AM class electric multiple units.[49] Implementation in Adelaide, SA is planned for mid/late 2014.

Limited Supervision

The ETCS Corridor A will mostly be using Level 1 Limited Supervision.

Limited Supervision mode allows the ETCS cab computer to disregard some information in comparison to the traditional Full Supervision mode. Formally, this is possible for all ETCS levels, but it is most commonly used with Level 1 – specifically the ETCS equipment is only used to control the safety restrictions while the communication of a movement authority is left to other systems. This allows older tracks to be rebuilt by adding ETCS L1LS equipment where movement authority is derived from the existing lineside equipment or radioed by GSM-R. Studies have shown that ETCS L1LS has the same capacity as plain Level 1 for half the cost that has led to railway operators pushing for the inclusion of Limited Supervision into the ETCS standard (Version 3.0.0+).

Limited Supervision mode was proposed by RFF/SNCF (France) based on a proposal by SBB (Switzerland). Several years later a steering group was announced in spring 2004. After the UIC workshop on 30 June 2004 it was agreed that UIC should produce a FRS document as the first step. The resulting proposal was distributed to the eight administrations that were identified: ÖBB (Austria), SNCB/NMBS (Belgium), BDK (Denmark), DB (Germany), RFI (Italy), CFR (Romania), Network Rail (UK) and SBB (Switzerland). After 2004 German Deutsche Bahn took over the responsibility for the change request.[50]

In Switzerland the Ministry of Transport BAV announced in August 2011 that beginning with 2018 the Eurobalise-based EuroZUB/EuroSignum signalling will be switched to Level 1 Limited Supervision.[51] High-speed lines are already using ETCS Level 2. The north-south corridor will be switched to ETCS by 2015 according to international contracts regarding the TEN-T Corridor-A from Rotterdam to Genoa (European backbone).[52]

Level 2

ETCS Level 2 schematic
Radio Block Centre (RBC)

Level 2 is a digital radio-based system. Movement authority and other signal aspects are displayed in the cab for the driver. Apart from a few indicator panels, it is therefore possible to dispense with trackside signalling. However, the train detection and the train integrity supervision still remain in place at the trackside. Train movements are monitored continually by the radio block centre using this trackside-derived information. The movement authority is transmitted to the vehicle continuously via GSM-R together with speed information and route data. The Eurobalises are used at this level as passive positioning beacons or "electronic milestones". Between two positioning beacons, the train determines its position via sensors (axle transducers, accelerometer and radar). The positioning beacons are used in this case as reference points for correcting distance measurement errors. The on-board computer continuously monitors the transferred data and the maximum permissible speed.


In July 2009 the European Commission announced that ETCS is mandatory for all EU-funded projects that include new or upgraded signalling, and GSM-R is required when radio communications are upgraded.[53] Level 2 installations in Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, and Belgium are operational.[54]

In Switzerland, ETCS Level 2 is installed on the Mattstetten-Rothrist new line, a high-speed line opened in 2004 between Bern and Zürich for train speeds of 200 km/h (124 mph) whose ETCS Level 2 installation was the pioneering ETCS installation in Switzerland. Technical problems with the new ETCS technology caused ETCS operation to be put off past the planned starting date of December 2004, and ETCS Level 2 operation was fully implemented in March 2007.[55]

In Belgium, ETCS Level 2 is installed on the LGV 3 and LGV 4 high-speed lines.

In Denmark, plans were announced in December 2008 for the conversion of its entire national network to Level 2. This was necessitated by the near obsolete nature of parts of its network. The total cost of the project is estimated at €3.3bn, with conversion beginning in 2009 and projected for completion in 2021.[56]

In Italy, Level 2 is used on the Rome–Naples high-speed line opened in December 2005.

In Spain, Level 2 was commissioned on the Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line in October 2011, allowing the speed to be raised to 310 km/h (193 mph) with Madrid-Barcelona travel times reduced to 2 hours 30 minutes.[57]

In Sweden, the Bothnia Line was inaugurated in August 2010 using Level 2.

In Hungary Level 2 is under construction in the Kelenföld-Székesfehérvár line as a part of a full reconstruction, and planned to be ready before 2015.

In Poland, Level 2 has been installed as part of a major upgrading of the 346 km Warsaw-Gdańsk-Gdynia line that reduced Warsaw - Gdańsk travel times from five to two hours and 39 minutes in December 2015.[58] Level 2 has been installed on line E30 between Legnica – Węgliniec – Bielawa Dolna on the German border [59] and is being installed on the Warsaw-Łódź line.[60]

In Turkey, Level 2 is installed on the Ankara–Konya high-speed line designed for 250 km/h (155 mph).[61] The new 306 kilometres (190 mi) high-speed line has reduced Ankara-Konya travel times from 10-1/2 hours to 75 minutes.[62]

In China, Level 2 is deployed on the 1,000 km Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway.[63]

In Wales, Level 2 began to be used by passenger trains on the Cambrian Line in October 2010; this is a trial before wider deployment across Great Britain.[64] In 2013, a Network Rail class 97/3 locomotive with Hitachi's Level 2 onboard equipment successfully completed demonstration tests.[65]

In Libya, Ansaldo STS was awarded a contract in July 2009 to install Level 2.[66]

In Israel ETCS Level 2 will begin replacing PZB in 2018. Three separate bids are being issued in 2016 for this purpose (one contract each will be awarded for track-side infrastructure, rolling-stock integration, and GSM-R equipment).[67]

Level 3

ETCS Level 3 schematic

With Level 3, ETCS goes beyond pure train protection functionality with the implementation of full radio-based train spacing. Fixed train detection devices (GFM) are no longer required. As with Level 2, trains find their position themselves by means of positioning beacons and via sensors (axle transducers, accelerometer and radar) and must also be capable of determining train integrity on board to the very highest degree of reliability. By transmitting the positioning signal to the radio block centre, it is always possible to determine that point on the route the train has safely cleared. The following train can already be granted another movement authority up to this point. The route is thus no longer cleared in fixed track sections. In this respect, Level 3 departs from classic operation with fixed intervals: given sufficiently short positioning intervals, continuous line-clear authorisation is achieved and train headways come close to the principle of operation with absolute braking distance spacing (“moving block”). Level 3 is currently under development. Solutions for reliable train integrity supervision are highly complex and are hardly suitable for transfer to older models of freight rolling stock. Some kind of end-of-train device is needed.

ERTMS Regional

A variant of Level 3 is ERTMS Regional, which has the option to be used with virtual fixed blocks or with true moving block signalling. It is possible to use train integrity supervision, or by accepting limited speed and traffic volume to lessen the effect and probability of colliding with detached rail vehicles. ERTMS Regional has lower commissioning and maintenance costs, since trackside train detection devices are not routinely used, and is suitable for lines with low traffic volume.[68][69] These low-density lines usually have no automatic train protection system today, and thus will benefit from the added safety.

As a pilot, the railway between Malung and Borlänge (West Dalarna Line) in Sweden is operating with ERTMS Regional, in full operation from February 2012. In November 2010 demonstration runs were started using ERTMS Regional, attended by foreign visitors, for example from Network Rail.


Instead of using fixed balises to detect train location there may be "virtual balises" based on satellite navigation and GNSS augmentation. Several studies about the usage of GNSS in railway signalling solutions have been researched by the UIC (GADEROS/GEORAIL) and ESA (RUNE/INTEGRAIL).[70] Experiences in the LOCOPROL project show that real balises are still required in railway stations, junctions, and other areas where greater positional accuracy is required. The successful usage of satellite navigation in the GLONASS-based Russian ABTC-M block control has triggered the creation of the ITARUS-ATC system that integrates Level 2 RBC elements – the manufacturers Ansaldo STS and VNIIAS aim for certification of the ETCS compatibility of this system.[71]

The first real implementation of the virtual balise concept has been done during the ESA project 3InSat on 50 km of track of the Cagliari–Golfo Aranci Marittima railway on Sardinia[72] in which a SIL-4 train localisation at signalling system level has been developed using differential GPS.

There is a pilot project "ERSAT EAV" running since 2015 with the objective to verify the suitability of EGNSS as the enabler of cost-efficient and economically sustainable ERTMS signalling solutions for safety railway applications.[73]

Ansaldo STS has come to lead the UNISIG working group on GNSS integration into ERTMS within Next Generation Train Control (NGTC) WP7,[74] whose main scope is to specify ETCS virtual balise functionality, taking into account the interoperability requirement. Following the NGTC specifications the future interoperable GNSS positioning systems, supplied by different manufacturers, will reach the defined positioning performance in the locations of the virtual balises.[75]

Train-borne equipment EVC and STM

European trains will be fitted with an ERTMS on-board system composed of a computer (EVC) and its peripheries, as the ERTMS system is deployed on rail networks throughout Europe. At this moment only certain corridors have been fitted for ERTMS. Trains running on these lines must therefore be equipped to run on both ERTMS lines and classic lines, which still rely on national (Class B) systems. Such a dual system is called a Eurocab. A STM (Specific Transmission Module) is a key element within the Eurocab. The STM handles the national Class B Automatic Train Protection Systems like PZB, Memor, ATB.

Operation modes in ETCS

Modes during a cab change under ETCS Level 2
abbreviation and DMI symbol full name used
in level
Full Supervision 1, 2, 3 the locomotive pulls the train, ETCS has all required information
Limited Supervision 1, 2, 3 This mode is new to SRS 3.0.0
On Sight 1, 2, 3 on-sight ride
Staff Responsible 1, 2, 3 the driver was granted permission to pass faulty signals
Shunting 0, 1, 2, 3
(no symbol)
Passive Shunting 0, NTC, 1, 2, 3 This mode is new to SRS 3.0.0
Unfitted 0 the line is not fitted with ETCS: the system will only observe master speed limit and train protection is left to older systems
(no symbol)
Sleeping 0, NTC, 1, 2, 3 second locomotive controlled from the leading one
Stand By 0, STM, 1, 2, 3
Trip NTC, 1, 2, 3
Post Trip 1, 2, 3 the train overpassed the order to stop, full braking will be executed
System Failure 0, NTC, 1, 2, 3 trainborne ETCS equipment detected its failure
(no symbol)
Isolation 0, STM, 1, 2, 3 driver disconnected ETCS
(no symbol)
No Power 0, NTC, 1, 2, 3
Non Leading 0, NTC, 1, 2, 3 second locomotive with its own driver
(no symbol)
STM European STM This mode has not been implemented by any vendor and was removed by SRS 3.1.0
National System NTC
Reversing 1, 2, 3

ETCS test laboratories

Three ETCS test laboratories work together to bring support to the industry:

To be a reference laboratory ERA is requesting the laboratories to be accredited ISO17025.

ETCS corridors

Based on the proposal for 30 TEN-T Priority Axes and Projects during 2003, a cost/benefit analysis was performed by the International Union of Railways (UIC), presented in December 2003.[76] This identified ten rail corridors covering about 20% of the TEN network that should be given priority in changing to ETCS, and these were included in decision 884/2004/EC by the European Commission.[77]

In 2005 the UIC combined the axes into the following ERTMS/ETCS Corridors, subject to international development contracts:[78][79]

The Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) publishes ERTMS funding announcements showing the progress of trackside equipment and onboard equipment installation.[80]

Corridor A has two routes in Germany – the double track east of the Rhine (rechte Rheinstrecke) will be ready with ETCS in 2015 (Emmerich, Oberhausen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Köln-Kalk, Neuwied, Oberlahnstein, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Mannheim, Schwetzingen, Karlsruhe, Offenburg, Basel), while the upgrade of the double track west of the Rhine (linke Rheinstrecke) will be postponed.

Corridor F will be developed in accordance with Poland as far as it offers ETCS transport: Frankfurt – Berlin – Magdeburg will be ready in 2012, Hanover to Magdeburg – Wittenberg – Görlitz in 2015. At the other end Aachen to Oberhausen will be ready in 2012, the missing section from Oberhausen to Hanover in 2020. The other two corridors are postponed and Germany chooses to support the equipment of locomotives with STMs to fulfill the requirement of ETCS transport on the corridors.[30]


GSM is no longer being developed outside of GSM-R, the manufactures have committed to supplying GSM-R till at least 2030. The ERA is considering what action is needed to smoothly transition to a successor system.[81]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Directive 96/48/EC99". 23 July 1996. 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
  2. 1 2 3 4 Warren Kaiser, Stein Nielson (14 March 2008). "The Core of ATP – Data Engineering". IRSE Technical Meeting "All About ATP" Sydney.|
  3. "ERTMS in 10 questions" (PDF). European Railway Agency.
  4. "I. 284". COMMISSION DECISION concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 964) (Text with EEA relevance) (2006/679/EC) (PDF). European Union. 2006-10-16. pp. 1–176. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  5. "Stand der Entwicklung und Einführung von ERTMS" (PDF).
  6. "Baseline 3 First Consolidation". European Railway Agency.
  7. "Baseline 3 Second Consolidation". European Railway Agency.
  8. "New Annex A for ETCS Baseline 3 and GSM-R Baseline 0". European Railway Agency.
  9. "Recommendation on updating the Annex A of the TSI Control Command and Signalling".
  10. "Recommendation on ERTMS delivered to European Commission". European Railway Agency.
  11. "commission decision on the technical specification for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystems of the trans-European rail system". 2012-01-25. 2012/88/EU.
  12. "commission decision amending Decision 2012/88/EU on the technical specifications for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystems of the trans-European rail system". 2012-11-06. 2012/696/EU.
  13. 1 2 "ERA Work Programme 2013". European Railway Agency. 19 December 2012. Section 6. ERTMS System Authority. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  14. "System Requirements Specification (SUBSET-026)". European Railway Agency. 2014-05-12.
  15. "ETCS Driver Machine Interface (ERA/ERTMS/015560)". European Railway Agency. 2014-05-12.
  16. "COMMISSION DECISION (EU) 2015/14 amending Decision 2012/88/EU on the technical specification for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystems of the trans-European rail system". European Commission. 2015-01-05.
  17. 1 2 "European Train Control System (ETCS) bei der DB Netz AG" (PDF) (in German). April 2014. p. 15. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  18. "ERTMS Recommendations". ERA. Retrieved 2016-01-08. The ETCS Baseline 3 release 2 specifications (B3R2), which will coexist in parallel with the current Baseline 2 and Baseline 3 / The formal maintenance of ETCS Baseline 3 Maintenance release 1 (B3 MR1), on the basis of two Technical Opinions of the Agency already approved
  19. 1 2 "ERTMS Recommendations". ERA. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  20. 1 2 "COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2016/919 on the technical specification for interoperability relating to the 'control-command and signalling' subsystems of the rail system in the European Union". European Commission. 2016-05-27.
  21. "Set of specifications # 3 (ETCS baseline 3 and GSM-R baseline 1)". ERA. 2016-06-15.
  22. "ERA_ERTMS_015560 - ETCS Driver Machine Interface". 2016-06-15.
  23. 1 2 "ERTMS B3R2 Launch - The Time Has Come for a Truly European Train Control System". EU Agency for Railways. 2016-05-22.
  24. "ERTMS Pilot Project: Paris-Frankfurt corridor & ICE3 and POS trainsets" (powerpoint). Deutsche Bahn. 3 December 2003. Presentation of the DB/RFF/SCNF projekt to working group ERTMS.
  25. SBB, Walter von Andrian: ETCS L1 LS und Geschwindigkeitsüberwachung bei den SBB. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International, Heft 11/2011, ISSN 1421-2811, S. 543
  26. "Biting the Bullet – the Danish ERTMS Rollout". TheRailEngineer. 2013-11-06.
  27. "A GSM-R evolution strategy starts to emerge". Railway Journal. 2013-10-14. Alstom plans to start conducting live demonstrations for some of its customers next year and will begin to roll-out the first full-scale GPRS deployment in Denmark as part of the national ERTMS programme in 2017.
  28. 1 2 "The Danish Signalling Programme - The Projects". BaneDanmark (Danish Railways). Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  29. "Danish ERTMS programme facing two-year delay". Internation Railway Journal. 2016-10-12.
  30. 1 2 "Nationaler Umsetzungsplan für die TSI Zugsteuerung, Zugsicherung und Signalgebung des konventionellen transeuropäischen Eisenbahnsystems im Rahmen der Richtlinie 2001/16/EG in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (PDF). European Commission. 4 August 2009.
  31. 1 2 "Bahn entdeckt Pünktlichkeit". 2015-12-18.
  32. "Zukunft Bahn: Weitere Etappe im Ankündigungs-Marathon der DB" (2). Eisenbahn-Revue International. 2016: 94 f. ISSN 1421-2811.
  33. "DB-Aufsichtsrat nimmt Zukunftskonzept zur Kenntnis – ETCS-Vollausstattung des Netzes geplant". Eurailpress. 2015-12-18. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  37. "2016/919/EC - technical specification for interoperability relating to the 'control-command and signalling' subsystems of the rail system in the European Union". European Commission. 2016-05-27.
  38. "Technical Pillar of the 4th Railway Package approved by European Parliament". European Railways Agency. 2016-04-28.
  39. "European Union Agency for Railways Policy" (PDF). European Union Agency for Railways. 2016-06-15.
  40. 1 2 "ERTMS business case confirmed". Railway Gazette. 2016-06-22.
  41. "European Rail Sector commits to the 4th ERTMS MoU at InnoTrans 2016". UNIFE ERTMS. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  42. 1 2 3 "Trainguard" [Train Guard] (PDF). (in German). Siemens. 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  43. The City Tunnel (Malmö) has ETCS Level 1 signals as a preparation for ETCS Level 1 installation
  44. "Croatia begins operating first ERTMS equipped rail line". 18 January 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  45. "Cab Signalling to Bring 200 km/h to Poland". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  46. "First ETCS Certified in Poland". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  47. "Polish Pendolino Launches 200 km/h Operation". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  48. "Auckland launches electric suburban services". Railway Gazette. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  49. "UIC Project – ETCS Annual Report 2004" (PDF). UIC. 31 March 2005. section New ETCS Mode "Limited Supervision". I/92/E/051.
  50. "Siemens Awarded Swiss ETCS Level 1 Roll-Out Contract". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  51. "Information zur Weiterentwicklung der ETCS-Strategie" (in German). Bundesamt für Verkehr.
  52. "EC Sets Out ERTMS Deployment Deadlines". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  53. UIC ERTMS Implementation Maps
  54. "Alstom Awarded ERTMS Service Contract". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  55. "ETCS Level 2 for Entire Danish Network". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  56. "Madrid–Barcelona at 310 km/h with ETCS Level 2". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  57. Dziennik Baltycki, 'Pociagi Gdynia-Warszawa 160 km/h?',pociagi-gdyniawarszawa-160-kmh-rusza-ostatni-etap-modernizacji-szyciej-pojedziemy-w-2015,id,t.html
  58. Kolejowy, Rynek (15 April 2014). "EP09 z Europejskim System Sterowania" [EP09 with the European Control System]. (in Polish). ZDG. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  59. "Warszawa–Lódż ERTMS Contract Awarded". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  60. "First ETCS Level 2 Contract Awarded in Turkey". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  61. "Opening of Ankara–Konya Fast Line Completes Strategic Link". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  62. "Bombardier secures €66m Chinese ERTMS contract". International Railway Journal. September 2007. p. 7.
  63. "UK's First ETCS Level 2 Signalling Goes Live". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  64. "Hitachi ETCS Level 2 tested in Wales". International Railway Journal. 11 June 2013.
  65. "Ansaldo STS Wins Huge Libyan Signalling Contract". Railway Gazette International. DVV Media Group. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  66. Dori, Oren (1 May 2016). מכרז האיתות של רכבת ישראל יוצא לדרך [Israel Railways Commences Signalling System Contract] (in Hebrew). TheMarker. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  67. "Overall presentation of ERTMS ERTMS European Rail Transport Management System Regional". International Union of Railways.
  68. "Yet more ERTMS challenges ahead". International Railway Journal.
  70. "Комплексная российско-итальянская система управления и обеспечения безопасности движения поездов".
  75. de Cicco, Paolo. "Implementing the European Train Control System – Opportunities for European rail" (PDF). International Union of Railways.
  76. "UIC Project – ETCS Annual Report 2004" (PDF). UIC. 31 March 2005. section 2.1 ETC migration strategy for European Rail corridors. I/92/E/051.
  77. "Migration und Sicherung der Interoperabilität von ETC" (PDF). DLR. 7 December 2009.
  78. "ERTMS Corridor route comparison" (PDF). European Commission. 2008.
  79. "ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System)".
  80. "Radio Communication". 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to European Train Control System.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/6/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.