Overall presentation of ERTMS ERTMS European Rail Transport Management System Regional
The basic aim for the ERTMS REGIONAL concept is to enable cost saving solutions for signalling on regional and local lines when renewing or introducing signalling equipment on such lines. The ERTMS REGIONAL concept and idea is a trackside development of specifications and systems based on the interoperable and standardised communication with the rolling stock over the air gap specified and referred to in the CCS TSI TSI Technical Specifications for Interoperability specifications. Interoperability and Intraoperability with the ERTMS onboard equipment is thereby ensured and countries who e.g. would like to use the rolling stock on TEN lines as well as on Regional lines can operate this way. The basic principle of such different kind of lines is schematically shown below.
The need for train operation with mixed rolling stock on the TEN lines as well as on the national conventional main- and secondary lines as shown in figure 1 has been underlined by the rail administrations in their answers on a questionnaire issued by the originally UIC ETCS ETCS European Train Control System -LC now ERTMS REGIONAL project.
Below the blue colour indicates that specifications applicable for the high speed and the TEN networks are covered by the EU directives & the TSI CCS specifications.
The more traction units are equipped with ERTMS on board systems, the more the railways will wish to use same concept on all their lines. However, the trackside equipment standard of the main lines ( especially train detection systems) will be too expensive and even economically not feasible for the secondary lines. Using the same on board system as on main lines, ERTMS REGIONAL provides a solution which allows a significant reduction of trackside investments for those lines. Over and above, this approach also allows a smooth changeover from secondary lines to main lines as it is only a level change within the same system (for example secondary lines connected to main line stations)
The different type of rail operation
Vehicles equipped with onboard ERTMS system (ETCS and GSM-R GSM-R Global System for Mobile Communications-Railways ) shall be operable according to figure 1 on TEN-lines (blue area)- as well as on national conventional lines (green GREEN GREen heavy duty ENgine area). Therefore the ERTMS REGIONAL is basically a trackside development by means of a centralised control, using the GSM-R system to operate the relevant objects (points, level crossings, key locks, shunting areas etc) in the infrastructure. In the centre itself called TCC (Traffic Control Centre) the RBC (Radio Block Centre), CTC (Centralised Traffic Control) and the interlocking functions are integrated. A calculation has shown that ERTMS REGIONAL could allow cost savings in the range of 20 – 35 % for the operation of regional lines compared to the existing signalling equipment.
A typical application scenario for an introduction of the ERTMS REGIONAL concept could e.g. be the need to exchange old fashioned, even mechanical interlockings where local dispatching is required in the today’s operation at each station, to an ERTMS REGIONAL concept which facilitates the introduction of remote controlled functionality based on one or two dispatchers per line.
The basic structure of the ERTMS REGIONAL is shown in figure 2
The ERTMS Regional concept
The key features for ERTMS REGIONAL are as follows:
- Onboard standard Eurocab and air gap Eurobalise and GSM-R
- On board permanent check of train completeness by operational rules or by a technical device
- Trackside train detection devices as an option
- No lineside signals
Regional ERTMS is aimed to be an ETCS level 3 concept whereby the main characteristic aspect of level 3 is to use the onboard odometry for the train localisation. The check of train completeness can be solved more easily on regional lines than on main lines. Level 3 allows significant cost reductions because traditional means for train localisation in the track are no more necessary. The introduction of the GSM-R communication with object controllers in the infrastructure (points, level crossing etc) can reduce the amount of cables. Power supply to point machines is still needed.
The key points for the cost savings are as follows:
- Staff reduction in stations
- Less trackside equipment (e.g. no complete radio coverage)
- No lineside signals
- No traditional interlocking, integrated Interlocking/RBC/TMS with one data model
- Minimising cables by controlling elements via radio
- Track circuits and axle counters only for special locations
- Fall-back by Rules and Regulations
- Safety approach by considering a tolerable hazard rate
GSM-R Track side and ERTMS on boards are not contained in the calculation as it is considered to be a prerequisite.
Each interested Infrastructure manager should elaborate a dedicate business case for such a Regional application and compare it with the traditional signalling concept.