ETCS starts passenger operations in Germany
Paris, France – Alcatel today announced that the new interoperable ETCS (European Train Control System) line began commercial passenger operations in Germany. This is a premiere in main line railway traffic based on ETCS Level 2 standard.
Following intensive testing of the standardized European train control system ETCS, the German route between Berlin and Halle/Leipzig was authorized for commercial passenger operations on December 5th.
The development of this ETCS Level 2 project was carried out by a consortium led by Alcatel and Siemens. On July 7th 2003, testing of ETCS began in the presence of Hartmut Mehdorn, Chairman of the Board for the Deutsche Bahn AG. A first for Europe was witnessed with a ETCS-Level2-driven train traveling between JÃ¼terbog and Bitterfeld at 200 km/h.
European train companies and the train industry agree that only the equipment of whole corridors with ETCS is economically viable and the desired timing and economic benefits can only be guaranteed over long distances. In Germany, the hub of European transport, the aim is to equip 4,500 km of these trans-European corridors with ETCS by 2020. However only in cooperation with EU member states, is it more economical to migrate goods transport from roads to rail. At present there are 6,000 km of ETCS-equipped routes in the development and testing phases in Europe. In the consolidation of long distances, Germany has a particular responsibility as far as transport politics is concerned due to its central location within Europe.
“This illustrates the fact that the ETCS standard is working stably and reliably”, commented Hans Leibbrand, Vice President of transport automation activities of Alcatel in Germany. “Our technology delivers the basis for standardized cross-border rail transport in Europe underlining our top position in rail control and safety technology.”
“The proof in functional operations is a milestone on the road to interoperability of trains in Europe. Now it is important to set the political conditions in such a way that the technological progress in German industry becomes a lasting economic success”, added Andreas Busemann, Director of Rail Automation from Siemens Transportation Systems.
The commitment shown by Alcatel, Siemens and the Deutsche Bahn in innovative and revolutionary technology has been rewarded with the Train Technology Innovation Prize 2005. The Prize is awarded by the Interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbund Bahntechnik e.V. (ifv) (interdisciplinary research association for train technology) to the best players for their commitment to the modernization of the railway industry.
ETCS stands for “European Train Control System” and is a train control system for cross-border traffic. Differences in signaling systems, train control technology, operations management and communication have led to considerable loss of time at the borders. In the long-term, the ETCS will replace the 14 train control systems used in Europe with a standardized technology, with a part of the light signals on routes replaced by cab signaling. This not only substantially reduces costs in infrastructure but also enables interoperable European train transport.