Why is ETCS needed?
Train control – which allows signalling to stop trains – was first introduced more than a century ago. Incompatible national train control standards are now a major barrier to international traffic along Europe’s rail arteries.
• There are currently more than 20 different train control systems in use across Europe.
• Adapting a single locomotive to work on a neighbouring national network can cost more than €2 million.
How does ETCS help?
Trains fitted with ETCS are able to operate freely over suitablyequipped track in any country. Cab signalling is a vital part of ETCS. This makes it possible not only to get rid of conventional signals but also to operate safely at speeds up to 500kmh. In Europe, more than 40,000km of ETCS track is now in operation across 24 countries.
ETCS Level 1
This is the basic version of ETCS and can be easily superimposed over existing national signalling systems. It provides train protection, speed supervision and cab signalling.
ETCS Level 2
The benchmark for main line and high-speed signalling projects. Continuous track-to-train radio delivers performance enhancements and means lineside signals are not needed.
ETCS Level 3
Currently in development, ETCS Level 3 promises significant capacity gains, further reductions in lineside infrastructure and the potential for train automation.