I am a Consultant or Integrator
The following text is the result of a study performed by ERTMS Solutions in a vast panel of their customers in March 2014. We asked our Consultant/Integrator customers, prospects and partners what they identified as the major challenges in their implementation of ERTMS projects. Their answers are below. You can propose new ideas by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page.
ERTMS concepts, operating rules, definition of the national values, migration, education and training, etc. seem to be underestimated by local authorities, which generally delegate full projects without feeling part of the solution. In some cases, operators and rail infrastructure managers are just unable to participate. Also, differences between the ERTMS standards and the local customer requirements can be problematic.
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On the technical side, transitions between existing ATP and ERTMS have shown to be complex and track-train integration, which is an important part of the validation of the total system, is time consuming and expensive. In addition, the connection between the RBC from one supplier and interlocking from another is difficult or even impossible for technical reasons or because of a lack of cooperation on the IXL supplierâs side.
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One question arises: will it be necessary to replace all IXLs when implementing ERTMS or will it more interesting to reuse existing interlocking and develop an interface with the RBC? In the second case, the current position of block-ends remains and it can have consequences on the performance. A possible solution is to use extra blocks in the RBC but it has not been used up to now.
You want to start brainstorming about this question? Have a look at Movares and ERTMS Solutions’ Open RBC initiative!
Difficulties to estimate the OBU costs and to homologate vehicles in time have also been reported.
Not only the cost is thus an important factor (check out ERTMS Solutions’ work on Open ETCS), but also the homologation. Quality in the work done is a major point, which ERTMS Solutions is dealing with every day, notably in its investments in a complete QMS.
Also, a change or update of an ERTMS-track needs to be revalidated by extra test runs.
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Challenges in implementing ERTMS projects are rather linked to the project than to the implementation itself.
Another problem is that the functionality chosen in the infrastructure does not always comply with all types of train borne equipment. An example is the overlapping acknowledgement windows which appeared to be problematic for a certain type of train borne equipment.