The benefits of ERTMS
Besides the benefits ERTMS offers in terms of interoperability, it also offers other advantages in many fields. In fact, trains equipped with ERTMS can increase their speed up to 500 km/h and this despite hard natural conditions. Italy recently broke the world speed record in tunnel reaching 362 km/h. In terms of capacity, ERTMS, being a continuous communication-signaling system, allows reducing the distance and time between trains and thus increase the capacity of existing infrastructure up to 40%. This is an advantage for both operators and infrastructure managers as more capacity means more benefits. An increasing in capacity is vital to some countries isolated by the sea such as Taiwan or Australia, which are significantly investing in ERTMS implementation.
Punctuality and reliabilities, which are essential to meet the expectations of passengers and freight transport, are also enhanced. Indeed, 80% of the delays caused by defiance in signalization will not occur with ERTMS. Passengersâ security is also enhanced. Previsions suggest that the cost of ERTMS will sufficiently decrease and thus, could be installed on more and more lines. This is crucial as the root of many accidents lies in the signalization and speed-control. In terms of security, the main benefit of ERTMS is to allow a continuous monitoring during train operations. In fact, with ERTMS, signaling information appears inside the cabin, so that the drivers do not have to rely only on the trackside signalization anymore. Also, the driver is constantly aware of the distance he is allowed to travel. Another significant advantage for drivers and maintenance staff is that the training time needed to be familiar with different signalization systems will be drastically reduced as they will be replaced by ERTMS. For all these reasons, countries such as Spain and Italy observed a huge rise in the demand for passengers transport. This is undoubtedly a substantial environmental advantage as trains only produce one sixth of the carbon a plane produces.
On the market side, ERTMS will allow an increase in the market share of European railway. ERTMS reduces the migration time, which is essential for a more competitive railway. And, consequently, it creates a more competitive market of suppliers and decreases the costs of European railway. Furthermore, one homogeneous system is easier and cheaper to install, to maintain and to produce.