On 25 October UIC participated in a conference held in Lille (France) on Interoperable Railway Communication in Europe organised by the European Railway Agency (ERA) and attended by several personalities and experts. Among them were Marcel Verslype, Executive Director of the European Railway Agency, Karel Vinck, Coordinator of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) at the European Commission and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General.
During this conference Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed that “UIC with its global dimension has a role as a rail institute – a technical body, serving its members and offering technical expertise to political bodies. In this sense, in the field of GSM-R, UIC acts in this role by supporting the sector – CER and EIM, and recently ERA – in an official way; described in the MoUs signed between UIC, and the three above. At this stage implementation in Europe has been more or less finalised even if several problems must be solved. Frequency interferences are a reality in Europe; and at UIC we are taking important actions to overcome them; the key is the local radio coordination, which must be done according to rules enforced by European law. We are working to develop solutions, and we strongly need the support of the European Authorities”.
GSM-R is the new railway digital radio system in Europe – a main component of ERTMS – enforced by European law. 154,000 km of track are planned to be covered with GSM-R, of which more than 68,000 km are already in operation; while 40,223 cab radios, 1,880 EDORs (ETCS Data Radio) and more than 115,000 handhelds are reported to be activated. The main topics of this conference were important items on the GSM-R agenda in 2011, such as the alignment of the GSM-R EIRENE specifications to the TSI and the planning for the first EIRENE baselines validated by ERA, GSM-R Frequency Management – interferences issues, border crossing, implementation requirements, and the Future Railway Mobile Telecommunications Systems, even if the railway system is a very “young” one. UIC supported the conference with speakers on all these topics, where a report was made for the ongoing work and results.
The EIRENE specifications have been in discussion for some time with ERA, the sector companies and industry partners to depict the relevant requirements for interoperability in the light of the CCS TSI, and agreement was reached on the solution, for the CCM Process for the relevant interoperability requirements, and for the requirements needed for the system technical interworking. UIC’s participation in the ERA ERTMS/GSM-R CCM process as a technical body was announced by ERA during the Conference. Work is ongoing, the target being to have the EIRENE 7v2/15v2 part of the CCS TSI Annex A for mandatory documents by mid 2012.