European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) world
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When fully introduced,
standards will allow rail interoperability between participating
European countries, enhancing rail service performance while
lowering operating costs for freight and passenger rail
operators. ERTMS is an industry-wide response to CEE initiatives
calling for the development of such highly advanced technology.
The CEE believes that developing and integrating this next
generation of signaling will do much towards alleviating road
congestion and related problems such as truck and automobile
accidents and air pollution.
On 23-24 November, an important milestone was achieved on a
section of French high-speed rail line known as TTF (Test Track
France) and used for testing signaling equipment compatible with
new pan-European signaling standards known as ERTMS. For the very
first time, a train has been able to proceed along the line
receiving authorization for movement successfully from
radio-emitted signals coming from several Radio-Block Centers
(RBC), rather than the traditional track-side balise
equipment.The hand-over from one RBC to an adjacent one was
The event took place during a technical visit that had been
organised, together with a conference, by RFF (Reseau Ferré
de France, responsible for France's rail infrastructure); SNCF
(French National Railways) and ALSTOM along with other private
industry rail supply companies, for a group of 65 engineers of
the IRSE, the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers UK
organisation with international representation.
The French Test-Track includes two distinct parts:
- a 30km section of the High-Speed-Line branch east of Paris
which links the 'TGV-Nord' and 'TGV-Sud-Est' (South-East TGV
line) and includes the new stations of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle
airport and Eurodisney leisure
- a 10km section of a suburban line
('Tournan-Marles-en-Brie') at a junction with the
ERTMS is being tested in both environments (High-Speed-Line
and suburban line) and also being tested are the 'STMs' or'
Specific Transmission Modules' used for RFF-SNCF standard types
of 'ATP'(Automatic Train Protections) that are currently in
It is the first world demonstration of ERTMS with
ALSTOM-designed KVB-STM (track-side speed control) for use on
conventional French rail lines.
KVB - the 'Contrôle de Vitesse à Balises'
(Beacon-based Speed Control system) - is an ALSTOM-designed ATP
system used by most of France's rail network and rolling stock.
Over 140, 000 beacons, over 15, 000 signals and speed limit
positions and more than 7, 000 pieces of rolling stock are
equipped with KVB; and KVB system protects more than 95% of
French National Railways traffic, (in passengers x km for
passenger traffic and tons x km for freight), making RFF-SNCF
network one of the worlds most efficiently protected rail
Demonstrations are carried out on RFF-SNCF Test Tracks for
ERTMS Levels 1 and 2. Three levels have been envisaged in all,
the third still in development.
The implementation of ERTMS equipment and the testings on
'TTF' continue. Another major step will come in 2002 with the
implementation of the latest version hardware and
software- of the RBC, fully compliant with the latest version of