Thalys, high speed train

“Looking over the borders for the ERTMS implementation”

In implementing ERTMS, the safety system, it’s not only problems in the Netherlands that need to be resolved – a look over the borders is also needed.  ‘’Each country in Europe has opted for a different rollout of this system. This means that the impact will differ from country to country. ‘’ says Peter Zijdermans, Senior Consultant for Lloyd’s Register Rail.

Zijdermans talks about compatibility between material and infrastructure on Wednesday 18th March at Rail-Tech’s ERTMS conference. ‘’Sometimes it seems rather obvious that a train simply travels on a track and that everything works, but a lot of work has to be done for that to happen.’’

Installing ERTMS

Zijdermans works as a consultant to Thalys’ operator on the high-speed line and has been closely involved in the installation of ERTMS in the train’s equipment. He works out which changes in the equipment are needed, arranges authorization in the Netherlands and provides additional operational instructions.

‘’In the last five years we have constantly been installing new versions of the software on the trains’’, the consultant says. ‘What we now see with rolling out ERTMS in Belgium is that we are forced to add certain functions to the installation, or to add more recent versions. We now face the choice of either continuing to develop a version that solves today’s and tomorrow’s issues, or one that will also offer solutions longer term.

Changes to the infrastructure

“The Thalys trains operate in four different countries, so we also have to overcome any obstacles in four different countries. In order to achieve this, we go through a process of negotiation with different parties, including the infrastructure managers, about which changes in the infrastructure are possible – or indeed necessary – for the equipment to be altered in good time.”

Read more at SpoorPro.

Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor-in-chief of, and, online magazines for railway professionals.

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