The fast track to ERTMS

The fast track to ERTMS

I am a Rail Operator
ERTMS Solutions > I am a Rail Operator

I am a Rail Operator

Fotolia_101567440_XL_railoperatorThe 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 Operator 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.

From an operator’s point of view security and interoperability should increase, at least in Belgium. Those two aspects are essential for a better traffic regulation, a better composition and speed of the trains. They are also essential for a better positioning of track-side services and headways regulation.

One major problem encountered especially on ETCS level 2 is the adaption to the local signalization rules (in Belgium).  So, one of the main challenges is to introduce national rules into an interoperable system.
One solution would be to make different constructors work together but the problem is to know whether they are ready to do so. It is unlikely that one developer will put a proprietary protocol into place in order to block the situation as it would make it impossible for him to sale his material where infrastructure is already built. This is a historical problem that will disappear with time. Some big companies subcontract a lot and it would be in their interest to use standard protocols.
Also, not all the countries apply the same strategy when it comes to rebuild their infrastructure. In Denmark, for instance, the entire infrastructure is changed at once whereas in Belgium everything is adapted step by step. Furthermore, all countries do not begin with the same situation (the security, for example, is not organized the same way). So, different needs generate different strategies.
One question arises: will it be possible to implement GSM-R/GPRS in big railway stations? If not, another communication standard will be needed.
Concrete problems could be, at ECTS level 1, linked to changes in the infrastructure when a TSR appears. On level 2, the TSR is simpler and this problem disappears.

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