The ‘European Rail Traffic Management System’ (ERTMS) is the European standard for automatic train protection. ERTMS consists of a safety system that enforces compliance by the train with speed limitations and the signalling status. This system is installed both on the railway track (trackside subsystem) and on the rolling stock (on-board subsystem).
According to the relevant EU legislation, such as the ‘Guidelines on the Trans-European Network Transport’ (TEN-T), the deployment of ERTMS is mandatory on railway infrastructure projects for new or upgraded rail subsystems receiving financial support from the EU. Furthermore, following the entry into force of the 4th Railway Package in 2016, any ERTMS project has to be approved by the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) to ensure interoperability with EU specifications (‘ERTMS Trackside Approval’). ERTMS is therefore one of the key enablers to create the ‘Single European Railway Area’ in which trains can run seamlessly.
Infrastructure Managers (IMs) are the key drivers of the deployment of ERTMS on national level. Traditionally, national rail safety and signalling systems have been developed by manufacturers considering the specificities of every national system. The ‘ERTMS Trackside Approval’ process will therefore enable interoperability, reduce purchasing and maintenance costs, while ERTMS shall improve the capacity of the infrastructure via increased train speeds as well as improved safety of the network.
The activities are regulated by Regulation (EU) 2016/919 on the Technical Specification for Interoperability relating to the Control-Command and Signalling (CCS TSI). CCS TSI applies to both on-board subsystems of vehicles and control-command and signalling trackside subsystems of the rail networks.
EIM in action
- EIM contributes to the European Commission’s ‘ERTMS Stakeholder Platform’, together with the ERA, the railway undertakings and the suppliers;
- EIM’s ERTMS Working Group (ERTMS WG) reviews the evolution of ERTMS in Europe. The ERTMS WG cooperates with other EIM WGs (e.g. Train Detection Compatibility (TDC WG) and Telecommunications Working group (TEL WG)) to ensure a single, coherent EIM position in this domain.
- EIM contributes to the development of the future architecture to be done under Europe´s Rail (system pillar).
- EIM organised the members’ input to the draft update of the TSI CCS which were successfully discussed with ERA and the European Commission;
- EIM participated via the ERA ‘Control Group’ in the ERTMS Change Control Management (CCM) process to keep the ERTMS specifications stable via a controlled evolution of the so-called ‘game changers’.
- EIM will follow as a member of the core group, the EC/S2R (Europe´s Rail) activity related to the future architecture and modularisation of the ERTMS (System Pillar).
- EIM will continue the work progress of the system pillar in a dedicated ad-hoc task force created for that purpose.
- EIM speakers will continue to contribute to the ERA ERTMS CCM process and the ERTMS Stakeholders Platform working groups such as the new ERTMS Subgroup on the game changers. Main focus in 2021 is the preparation of the TSI update which is planned to be adopted and published in 2022.
EC Regulation (EU) 2016/919 on the technical specification for interoperability
Train Detection Compatibility (TDC) defines the specifications of all electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) issues related to interface parameters. This applies in particular to all compatibility issues related to train detection systems. These range, among others, from electromagnetic effects caused by traction and track circuits, sanding problems for track circuits, eddy current brakes, to more general frequency management issues of rolling stock. Train detection compatibility is defined in the Regulation (EU) 2016/919 on the Technical Specification for Interoperability relating to the Control-Command and Signalling (CCS TSI). IMs are actively involved in this matter as they manage the EMC and the ‘immunity’ of the signalling and telecommunications systems of their infrastructure with the emissions/frequencies of the rolling stock.
EIM in action
- EIM’s Train Detection Compatibility Working Group (TDC WG) works in cooperation with CER notably on EMC compliance of track circuits, frequency management and migration;
- EIM commented TDC related aspects in the CCS TSI and contributed to the corrections in the table for axle counter compatibility, the development of conformity assessment (wheel detectors) and the requirements on axle distances for high speed;
- EIM advocates improvement of compatibility in the CCS TSI by extending its scope to non-standard gauge widths.
- EIM members will continue to attend and influence the joint rail sector Subgroup and TDC Working Party;
- EIM members will work on the closure of further open points in the TSI CCS;
- EIM contributes to the ERA’s workstream on frequency management for track circuits;
- EIM and CER set up a dedicated Working Group on sanding issues;
- ERA finished the application guide and included, among others, how to use frequency management for track circuits between IMs and manufacturers of track circuits. Some parameters will be sent to CENELEC.
- Different annexes have been modified or added and are under discussion:
- Annex 1: Basic Parameter 4.2.10 – Shunting impedance for track circuits (modified)
- Annex 2: Basic Parameter 4.2.11 – Electromagnetic fields (modified)
- Annex 3: Basic Parameter 4.2.11 – Conducted interference (new)
- Annex 4: Requirements concerning the compatibility to loops (vehicle metal construction) (new)
- EIM members will make the link between CENELEC requirements and the requirements in the TSI CCS;
- EIM members will investigate the compatibility between axle counters and magnetic brakes.
EC Regulation (EU) 2016/919 Technical specification
Telecommunications are a highly strategic topic for Rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) as they enable safe and secure communication of railway operations. This applies to the current railway mobile telecom technology, 4G/5G public services, GSM-R and its 5G successor technology. GSM-R will be phased out by 2030, and a successor is essential for the railway industry and IMs. The ‘Future Railway Mobile Communication System’ (FRMCS) is currently being defined and its roll-out is expected to start from 2025 onwards. Like ERTMS, the Regulation (EU) 2016/919 on the Technical Specification for Interoperability relating to the Control-Command and Signalling (CCS TSI) also applies to telecommunications.
EIM in action
- EIM’s Telecom Working Group (TEL WG) supports the life cycle management of GSM-R and its current use for ERTMS (e.g. ETCS over GPRS and KPI management);
- EIM’s TEL WG supports the strategy for the Future Railway Mobile Telecom system (FRMCS) in cooperation with the ERTMS community;
- EIM advocates a high-performing, robust and cost-efficient FRMCS, as well as a clear migration plan between the old and new system.
- Spectrum allocation has been confirmed for railways, which is a major step in the feasibility of FRMCS.
- EIM’s TEL WG focused mostly on the GSM-R successor technology (FRMCS) and more specifically its architecture, spectrum and migration. The group reached an agreement with other sector representatives and presented this position to the ERA.
- EIM’s TEL WG (together with CER) issued a final ‘Strategic Deployment Agenda on Digital Rail Operations and Gigabit train’ in the context of the EU funding instrument ‘CEF2’.
- EIM conducted a survey on the use of public mobile networks by IMs. It revealed that IMs expect FRMCS to support both the use of private networks and public mobile networks (when this is appropriate).
- EIM’s TEL WG will provide regular feedback on the upcoming TSI update (functionality, architecture, spectrum, migration) and will coordinate its effort with EIM’s ERTMS WG.
- EIM’s TEL WG will further develop its position on FRMCS to ensure usability, cost effectiveness and interoperability;
- Within FRMCS, EIM’s TEL WG will promote the implementation of a solution which supports both the use of private networks and public mobile networks.
- The EIM’s TEL WG and CER will follow up the ‘Strategic Deployment Agenda on Digital Rail Operations and Gigabit train’ and will continue to identify corresponding actions and next steps.