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The main goal of ERTMS is to replace the traditional signal-security systems of individual states and to enable the creation of a unified integrated European railway system that would result in the increase of European railway competitiveness on international level.
The ERTMS communications are radio based communications and, thus, wireless systems are used to transmit the movement authorities from the Radio Block Centre (RBC), the entity in charge of managing trains operation, to the trains.
The ETCS and ERTMS will replace existing signalling infrastructure, offering the potential for better reliability and increased capacity on the network.
Bombardier Transportation has added a new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Level 2 high speed reference to its portfolio with the award of the High Speed North-North West Corridor rail signalling upgrade contract in Spain.
A single example illustrates the importance of the ERTMS: due to different signalling systems in the member states - there are currently more than 20 - the Amsterdam-Cologne-Brussels Thalys has to be fitted with eight systems on its route.
ERTMS in the UK has two major components: a signalling system called the European Train Control System or ETCS and a communications component that conveys messages from the central control.
The BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 550 ERTMS regional system is designed to accommodate increased traffic capacity and automated train control around the clock, while reducing operational costs.
"But ERTMS faults mean we are achieving only 62% and that there have been 'five Category 'A' SPADs (signals passed at danger] in the first five months."
While this would not necessarily mean that the long term need for four tracking to improve capacity at Birmingham New Street Station is not required, ERTMS could go a long way to improve the reliability and performance of rail services." The planning inquiry starts on April 28 and ends on June 26 after which the inspector will report to Hazel Blears..
David Waboso, the Strategic Rail Authority's technical director, said the benefits of ERTMS had to be tested on a branch line before the SRA would consider installing it on main lines.
ERTMS is to become standard across all of Europe's mainline networks as existing systems are renewed.
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