Siemens: ETCS Level 2 certified for passenger service
Erlangen, German – As of December 5 2005, the new â€œEuropean Train Control Systemâ€ (ETCS) is being used for revenue passenger service in Germany. It is the first country to use Level 2 of ETCS for controlling trains in regularly scheduled service. This is a milestone in the development of cross-border rail traffic in Europe. ETCS technology is being employed on the stretch of line between JÃ¼terbog and Halle/Leipzig. Siemens and Alcatel, as the members of a consortium, worked with Deutsche Bahn to implement the German ETCS pilot project.
The consortium spent six years developing ETCS technology until series trials began in July 2003. That was when a train traveling at 200 kilometers an hour between JÃ¼terbog and Bitterfeld was controlled by ETCS Level 2 for the first time in Europe. After the two-year trial period, the JÃ¼terbog-Halle/Leipzig line was the first route in Europe to be approved for commercial passenger services with ETCS Level 2.
Andreas Busemann, head of the Rail Automation Division at Siemens Transportation Systems, stressed that â€œthis demonstration of the systemâ€™s performance in actual train operations is a milestone on the way to the interoperability of all European railways. What is important now is to create the general political framework which will ensure that this technological lead is turned into sustained economic success for German industryâ€.
â€œThis fact demonstrates that ETCS performs safely and reliably and is also characterized by a high degree of availability,â€ said Hans Leibbrand, head of Alcatel’s Transport Automation Systems division in Germany, expressing his pleasure at the success that has been achieved. â€œWith our technology, we can provide the basis for cross-border rail traffic everywhere in Europe and underline Germanyâ€™s lead in the area of train control and protection systems.â€European railways and the railway industry agree that it only makes economic sense to equip entire corridors with ETCS and that this is the only way to secure the desired chronological and economic advantages over long distances. In Germany, which is a major transportation turntable for Europe, 4,500 kilometers of the trans-European corridors passing through the Federal Republic are to be equipped with ETCS by 2020. At the present time, trials with ETCS are being carried out on railway routes throughout Europe over a total distance of around 6,000 kilometers. When these routes are joined together to create even larger distances, Germany will acquire special responsibility for rail transportation due to its central position in Europe.
ETCS stands for â€œEuropean Train Control Systemâ€ and is a train protection system for cross-border rail traffic. Differences in the signaling systems, the train protection systems, the operations control systems and communication previously led to considerable delays at the borders between countries. In the long term, the uniform ETCS technology will replace the 14 different train protection systems currently being used in Europe and driverâ€™s cab signals will then replace some of the light signals along the track. This will not only substantially reduce the infrastructure costs involved but will also enable interoperable European transportation by rail. In order to take into account the requirements of the individual railway authorities and the different types of trackside equipment belonging to the European train control and protection systems, different levels have been defined for ETCS complying with those operational requirements which also differ from country to country.
About Alcatel Transport Automation Solutions
In order to satisfy demands for greater mobility, Alcatel and Siemens supply customized turnkey solutions in the form of control and protection technology for mainline and mass transit networks. They possess international experience in the field of transportation and are one of the world’s leading providers of train and route protection systems, network management systems and also services in the area of technical network operation and maintenance.