Following the long successful history of ERTMS Conferences (Brussels February-March 2016, Istanbul April 2014, Stockholm March 2012, Malaga March-April 2009…), the International Union of Railways (UIC), in close cooperation with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS Group), is organising the 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling in Milan, Italy, from 25 – 28 March 2018.
Signalling is the heart of the railway system and ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) has become de facto a world reference in the area of train signalling systems. The UIC conference programme will give pride of place to “The Evolution of ERTMS”. Other systems are also very actively developed in the world: PTC (USA), ATACS (Japan), KLUB (Russia) among the most important ones.
The conference will give a general overview of them too and it will be a worldwide forum for stakeholders, professionals, local authorities, research institutes and every person interested in understanding the current trends of modern railway signalling and how the ERTMS system and its competitors are evolving in the world.
Different ecosystems, different legal constraints and/or norms have to be respected around the world; yet very common targets characterise the different countrywide rail systems: safety ,customer care, cost effectiveness, driving effectiveness, environmental protection, protection of investments and others.
In order to properly tackle all these aspects and their perspectives, the return of field experience of past ERTMS and other main CCS installations worldwide, the different rail environments, and the possibilities for funding new CCS projects, will be duly addressed in the first three sessions of this 1st UIC Global Conference on Signalling.
Mixing safety with driving effectiveness and cost saving is the crucial challenge of integrating ATO/ATS (Automated Train Operation/Supervision) in Signalling Systems, typically designed to strictly respect safety requirements only. This will be the topic of Session 4.
“Safety first” and cost effectiveness with protection of investments of signalling solutions bring common trends of innovation that are recognisable worldwide: the use of time-continuous information channels and radio link for transmission of safety data; the migration from GSMR to FRMCS (Future Radio Mobile Communication System) as a universal and independent bearer, the cut between evolution of radio support and CCS (Control Command and Signalling) core systems, the removal of track based train detection systems and the integration of satellite based geo-localisation of trains and, last but not least, looking towards satellites for transmission of data too, as the very last enabler for a real very large scale installation of modern CCS systems worldwide, including regional areas. Sessions 5 and 6 will duly cover these fundamental aspects in every detail.
Centralised remote radio control of trains and infrastructures as well as exchange of safety relevant data on large, open networks (also public networks sometimes) are key for an effective deployment of modern CCS systems, but security becomes an important issue that must be taken into consideration, from the first stage of the design. The conference will duly address this topic in Session 7.
So these two days in Milan for this Global Conference on Signalling will be of most interest and importance to open, share and connect practice, experience and vision of all stakeholders in this common field of Signalling and Telecoms for the railway sector.