The European Commission, the European Union Agency for Railways and Representatives of the Rail sector signed on 20 September in Berlin at Innotrans 2016 a new Memorandum of Understanding that paves the way for a much greater cooperative effort regarding the deployment of ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System.
The MoU was signed by and in the presence of European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc.
This 4th version of the MoU was signed by UIC, as the technical body for the railway operating community and the worldwide railway organisation, as well representatives of European associations or industry groups CER, EIM, EPTTOLA, ERFA, the ERTMS Users Group, the GSM-R Industry Group, UNIFE and UNISIG.
Through this MoU, all the stakeholders acknowledge that the success of ERTMS can only result from a commonly agreed, collective, disciplined and structured approach. They all recognise the added-value that the longer term perspectives of ERTMS will bring to the efficiency of the railway system and the overall objective for interoperability.
To that end, the Memorandum has the following specific objectives:
- achieve and maintain compatibility in legal and technical terms. Maintaining compatibility entails that the game changers will not create technical barriers to accessing infrastructure,
- reach the best economic and environmental performance by deploying ERTMS under optimal revenue, cost and financial conditions, and speed-up ERTMS deployment in the EU,
- protect investments made in CCS (Control Command & Signalling) TSI compliant systems and products.
In signing this new Memorandum the signatories “acknowledge the expertise and relevant activities in promoting ERTMS specific to UIC, the ERTMS Users Group and UNISIG. These contributions are essential for the successful implementation of the system”.
The MoU recognises that “the worldwide organisation UIC is a leading player in the European railway sector in the topic areas of research, innovation and standardisation…”
In supporting the objectives set out in the MoU, the UIC will play a full role and will work closely with the Agency for the future development of ERTMS. A particular contribution will come through the establishment and the coordination by the UIC of a framework of operational feedback on the experience of operation of ERTMS on the real-time railway.
Furthermore the UIC team will provide technical expertise in the area of communications systems and will also “promote the operational added-value of European ERTMS in its dealings with rail companies that are beyond Europe”.
Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux highlighted that
this Memorandum of Understanding signed in Berlin fully takes into account and recognises the continuous involvement and commitment of the railway operating community through the UIC. Since the early 1990s there has been consistent work undertaken in defining the functional requirements and specifications for ETCS and GSM-R and accompanying all activities aimed at the deployment of this interoperable traffic management system. The UIC ERTMS conferences organised every two or three years in close cooperation with all actors including European institutions, the railways and the manufacturing industry, most recently in 2016 in Brussels, provides a unique forum for exchange of experience and best practice between all stakeholders involved in ERTMS deployment. UIC also offers the expertise of its expert teams to work toward effective, secure and international solutions.