Alstom develops in Spain a pioneering ERTMS project for low-density lines

Alstom will develop for Adif a new ERTMS (European Traffic Management System) system application designed explicitly for low density lines. The project includes the installation and testing on a pilot line of the General Interest Railway Network.

This R&D&I project, managed by Alstom’s railway safety and signalling technology centre in Madrid, aims to develop a new application of the ERTMS standard for low density local and regional lines by introducing satellite technology -among others- and public telecommunications networks. The initiative proposes using novel train positioning systems (such as sensors hybridisation, including satellite sensors) or public communication networks instead of GSM-R networks.

The European Traffic Management System is the most advanced train command and control system adopted by the European Union for signalling and communications between the track and onboard equipment. The development and dissemination of this European system has contributed in recent decades to safe and interoperable railway operation. However, its adoption out of the mainline has been more limited due to its high cost and difficulty ensuring compatibility with the installed equipment.

This new system, which is now being developed with the innovation project, distinguishes itself by having less on-track equipment, while matching the safety performance of the ERTMS usually implemented on high-speed lines. Moreover, it is interoperable and homogeneous with the existing solutions. Secondary railway lines will benefit from the advantages and functionalities of the European standard: ERTMS significantly improves the quality of the service and its performance and conditions of reliability, quality and efficiency. In addition, it increases the system’s transport capacity by reducing the intervals between running trains and lowering operating costs.