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ETCS Advanced Testing and Smart Train Positioning System

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Innovative positioning system and ETCS laboratory testing to optimise Europe's train protection and control system

An EU initiative improved laboratory testing of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and on-board positioning based on GNSS. The study's model advances signal processing and has led to the design of new tools, plus a smart train positioning system (STPS).

Transport and Mobility icon Transport and Mobility

The ETCS is a system for train signalling, control and protection that replaces various incompatible systems previously used on European railways. System rollout is a concern given the long delays involved in designing, testing and implementing upgrades. The EU-funded EATS (ETCS advanced testing and smart train positioning system) project set out to progress laboratory testing of ETCS on-board equipment. Overall, the aim was to improve the current testing laboratory and accelerate the testing process, leading to more efficient testing tools. To improve the laboratory testing for the on-board ETCS equipment, project partners defined the required tools to further test the system. The focus was on safety, including more realistic tests for the wireless links. As such, they developed an on-board ETCS model to reduce time and effort needed in the verification and certification procedure. The proposed laboratory tools and model will assist certification laboratories and notified bodies in assessing on-board equipment for any scenario and eliminating interpretation differences which lead to wasted effort. Before integrating the STPS into the ETCS on-board equipment, researchers defined requirements for the STPS and developed tools for its testing. The STPS is based on satellite positioning and wireless technologies to overcome current limitations in migrating to ETCS level 3. This third of three levels minimises trackside costs and maximises railway efficiency. EATS resulted in the development of equipment leading to more realistic testing of ETCS components, while reducing certification time and cost and increasing safety and availability. It will also push in the introduction of new satellite-based positioning systems.


European Train Control System, smart train positioning system, train signaling, GNSS, EATS

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