The UIC ERTMS ERTMS European Rail Transport Management System REGIONAL project is dealing with the elaboration of the relevant user requirement specifications for the track side application of the ERTMS system for regional lines, e.g. describing the functions of the track side communication with the track side objects by using the GSM-R GSM-R Global System for Mobile Communications-Railways for cost saving reasons, integrating the RBC and interlocking functionality, removing the train detection systems, making available interface specifications to object controllers, etc.
A complete version of the track side FRS FRS Functional Requirements Specifications for ERTMS REGIONAL including several operational scenarios has been available since 2004. This FRS is as well supported by an operational scenario document which shall demonstrate the main functions of ERTMS REGIONAL from an operational point of view. The basic idea of the ERTMS REGIONAL FRS is to have a more detailed and functional specification available for the Train Control Centre (TCC) including the present already specified part for the interoperable RBC, which today contains the minimum set of requirements needed for interoperability. The interoperable telegrams in the air gap already specified in the TSI TSI Technical Specifications for Interoperability documents (annex A) are used for the communication between the train and the trackside.
In 2004 it was discussed in the UIC ETCS ETCS European Train Control System steering group if several railways together under e.g. a MOU MoU Memorandum of Understanding should establish some national pilot applications. It turned finally out that BV, Sweden, was the only administration who made a call for offer for building the system track side.
It was agreed that UIC should support Banverket in the development of the call for offer documents.
These documents were among others
- BV FRS as a review process of the UIC FRS specification
- ARS (Architectural Requirement Specification)
- RAMS RAMS Reliability Availability Maintainability and Safety requirement (Phase 2)
Banverket’s tendering documentation was distributed to suppliers on 23rd June 2004.
The contract with the selected supplier consist of options beyond the development of the System requirements specification, SRS, namely:
- Development of the system based on the SRS.
- The installation on the pilot line Vesterdalsbanan,
- The installation on the rest of the selected lines,
- Service and support for the complete system life time.
The basic strategy of the BV ERTMS REGIONAL is based on the class 1 specifications and foresees that the onboard ERTMS class 1 system is used without any changes. The new developments for ERTMS REGIONAL concern exclusively the track side installation.
It has been agreed between UIC and BV that all specifications including the technical specifications SRS and the interface specs. to the object controllers will be available for use by the UIC administrations free of charge as BV owns the ERTMS REGIONAL Swedish specifications developed by the selected supplier.
The BV pilot project is now under development and installation and the first pilot runs will begin spring 2009
Review and update of the UIC specifications following the ongoing developments in Sweden, workshops held with interested administrations etc.
After elaboration of the Functional Requirements, BV has launched a call for offer for the ERTMS-Regional. This call for offer has been tailored to the Swedish requirements which do not comply completely with the requirements in other European countries, but has been a starting point for the European development lead by UIC. During the elaboration phase it has been tried to prepare the specifications in a way that the different operational processes within the European Railways could be mirrored. Since December 2007 there is an agreed set of specifications for the BV available. However, UIC has to check the consequences on the UIC specifications, including the operational scenarios, during January and February 2008 and agree on the topics with the supplier, who should then integrate the agreed functions in the specifications. The specifications will then be available in public domain. UIC has as well during the BV/Bombardier specification process commented the specifications
Operational rules Developing a new system requests also new thinking. Railways are normally very reluctant to abandon their approved procedures thinking on safety only.
ERTMS-Regional is a completely new way of running railways, the operational safety is mainly based on radio communication, not on train detection common with the existing technology. Over and above, the system shall be as simple as possible and therefore be adequate for simple traffic conditions. This is the starting point. However, the system can be developed in future to serve as a Level 3 system on main lines. ERTMS-Regional, based on a complete different technical and operational approach for running a railway, will require new procedures, technically and operationally. The availability and reliability of the system will allow to have less means for fall-back, and due to the traffic situation on secondary lines, fall-back will be based on operational procedures as far as possible.
As proved in Sweden, this approach will result in a significant cost reduction.
Because of the new approach in a technical and operational way, new procedures require a handbook for the operator how to use the system, but especially the operational approach requires new thinking in terms of traffic rules. The target for the development of the traffic rules shall be to achieve the same, or increased, safety as with the existing systems by applying the technical features and possibilities of the system without being forced to keep old rules because of mixed traffic of old and new vehicles. It is one of the advantages of the system that there has to be a “clean” traffic on that line because of the required equipment (ERTMS/ETCS on board equipment).
It is therefore required to develop rules for the traffic on such lines together with the technical specification to allow a seamless transition to the new environment.
UIC presented to ERA ERA European Railway Agency in August 2007 the basic idea and the present status of the ERTMS REGIONAL concept. UIC especially addressed the need for operational rules available with the ERTMS REGIONAL application. These rules shall take into account the application possibilities of ERTMS REGIONAL and allow a flexible integration of the system in Europe. ERA agreed to that procedure and will integrate the ERTMS REGIONAL rules into the existing ERTMS rules for ERTMS/ETCS level 1.
A first draft of the ERTMS REGIONAL rules has been elaborated by UIC. However, the further procedure and form of rules to be elaborated has to be agreed with ERA.
During the ERTMS REGIONAL specification process, the relation between ERTMS REGIONAL and a future ERTMS/ETCS Level 3 system has been considered. Some of the items could be solved in the ERTMS REGIONAL (they will be the same in ERTMS/ETCS Level 3), some of them have to be specified more detailed for the ERTMS/ETCS Level 3. In this case, the ERTMS REGIONAL specification work could also be seen as a preparation of the general ETCS level 3 specification.
Future of the ERTMS REGIONAL specification work UIC has invited to a first ERTMS REGIONAL workshop on March 7, 2008 to give a status for the ongoing activities at UIC and at BV. Further it has always been the aim to invite other industries interested in such a development beyond those who are involved in Sweden. Therefore all relevant specifications have been distributed mid 2007 to interested UNISIG UNISIG Union Industry of Signalling suppliers as a first step. The Workshop is meant to be a milestone for the last phase of the project where interested railways (Infrastructure Managers and Train Operating Companies) as well as UNISIG and industry suppliers beyond UNISIG shall be invited to be involved developing the ERTMS REGIONAL specifications.
UIC is aiming to install an operational FRS Group with participants coming from railways to contribute to the development and at the same time promote the acceptance of ERTMS REGIONAL. These European specifications should be available in mid 2010.
It is the aim of the UIC ERTMS REGIONAL project to revoke the Railway functional group who in the past participated in the elaboration of the UIC FRS and the operational Scenario specification up to 2004.
It should be the aim of this group to consider the future development adjustment of the UIC ERTMS REGIONAL FRS (version 3.0 2003) taking the BV development into consideration as well as the ongoing process with the ERTMS Class 1, the ERA change request procedure and lessons learned in this field as well as the present operation on ERTMS lines.
The UIC ERTMS REGIONAL specifications FRS, GRS, RAMS have steadily been updated and uploaded on the UIC WEB site following the BV developments.
The following versions are available now:
- UIC FRS version 3.03
- UIC OP version 1.05
- UIC GRS version 1.0
- UIC RAMS version 1.0
- BV FRS version 2.0
- BV OP
- BV GRS version 2.1
- BV RAMS version 7.0
- BV SRS version 3.5
BV will start the pilot level 3 tests spring 2009, so there as well will be an excellent opportunity to have practical experience gained in the first ERTMS Regional level 3 application imbedded in the finalisation of the specification.
At present it is as well planned that the outcome of the ERTMS REGIONAL project can serve as an input for the Eurointerlocking and INESS INESS INtegrated European Signalling System project in the field of
- functional requirements
- architecture of the RBC/Interlocking/ object controlling
- Controllers man machine interface
- ETCS level 3 considerations
An important aspect is as well to establish a set of operational rules for such a level 3 operation of course based on the operational rules for the ERTMS applications developed so far. It is an opportunity for the rail operation to used this “green GREEN GREen heavy duty ENgine ” field of an ERTMS level 3 without any heritage form old interlocking and signalling aspects to ensure that a core set of operational rules are developed in parallel with the technical development.
It therefore can be concluded that this ERTMS Regional development is a starting point for the ERTMS level 3 development.