ERTMS director Wim Knopperts of ProRail

‘ERTMS lays the foundation for autonomous driving’

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is intended to improve the train’s competitive position in relation to aviation and road traffic, says the Dutch ERTMS program director Wim Knopperts. Besides that it allows trains to travel closer together and more frequently with the system, it will also lay the foundation for autonomous driving. The implementation of ERTMS will be discussed today and tomorrow during the RailTech Infra Forum, a virtual conference.

By 2040, the entire Dutch railway network must run on ERTMS. Until 2030, 2.5 billion euros will be spent on the conversion of 1,300 trains and locomotives, the training of about 15,000 people and the conversion of 350 kilometers of tracks. After that, more money will become available. From 2030 to 2050, there will be an additional 100 million euros annually for the existing management and maintenance money for the track for the ERTMS system.

The rollout of the new train protection system is not limited to Europe. All over the world, variants with ERTMS are being developed as a starting point. In India, among others, a letter of intent has now been signed for the start of a pilot on four routes. The system is also being viewed with great interest on other continents.

Hurdles to take

In the Netherlands, there are still some snags to the introduction, such as the willingness to invest in the system among freight transporters. This is because they largely pay for the conversion costs of their own equipment, says Knopperts. The new system is also a challenge for train builders due to the increasing demand, Knopperts expects. “Everyone wants to have this system for the next ten years, the capacity in the industry is limited. Whether this will affect us is still unknown, but we are paying attention. ”

The second day of RailTech Infra Forum takes place on Thursday October 29 from 10am to 12.30pm. Speakers from the European Commission, Deutsche Bahn, Infrabel, ProRail, Indian Railways and Alstom will be featured during this conference. You can register via the website.

(Source: MvG / ANP)

Author: Paul van den Bogaard

Paul van den Bogaard is editor of SpoorPro, a sister title of RailTech

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