It is with great sadness that UIC learned of the passing on 27 March of Bengt Sterner, “founding father” of ETCS and former Chairman of the UIC Signalling Sub-Committee 7A.
Bengt Sterner, one of the chief architects of the electronic train control system ETCS, was active in the introduction of the first electronic interlocking system in Sweden at the end of the 1970s. He also took part in the development of the Nordic automatic train protection system now used in Sweden and Norway in 1974.
At the beginning of the 1990s he moved to the European Railway Research Institute (ERRI) in Utrecht to chair the A200 group in charge of the development of ETCS System Requirement Specifications. He was responsible for inventing major principles of ETCS that were finalised in 1997. In parallel he was involved in the A201 project to harmonise interlocking systems, before he retired in 1999.
In 2009, Bengt Sterner was presented the European Railway Award in the category for technical achievements by then UNIFE Chairman Hans-Jörg Grundmann. In his address, Mr Grundmann said:
Bengt Sterner can truly be called a founding father of ERTMS and the railway industry, rail operators and infrastructure managers are extremely proud to recognise his achievements with the European Railway Award 2009.