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.


In North America, there is little operating consistency between railroads; each has its own signaling system, operating rules and equipment. When trains must traverse territory under the control of more than one railroad company, they usually must stop and change crews and equipment at each boundary between railroads.

In Europe, similar situations have existed in that trains must change as they move from one country to another. This is being addressed with European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and European Train Control System (ETCS) systems, which enhance interoperability.


Companies developing ICSB systems include Alstom, Ansaldo STS, GE Transportation Systems and Safetran.[1] Alstom and Ansaldo STS have also developed ERTMS systems in Europe.







See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Positive train control in transition", Progressive Railroading, October 4, 2007
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ICBS summary
  3. "Safetran Demonstrates Signal Interoperability", Mass Transit magazine
  4. "Highlights of R&D Activities for PTC Implementation", Federal Railway Administration Research and Development Program Review, March 12, 2009 (see page 11)

External links

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