CBTC Standardization: Mixed Operation on Shared Lines in accordance with ERTMS/ETCS Standards


Is it possible a CBTC standardization in accordance with ERTMS/ETCS ?

ERTMS is the current state-of-the-art technology that is being  deployed worldwide to give response to main lines (not limited to High Speed lines). CBTC is the recognized concept for mass transit state-of-the-art technology. However, there are currently no independent CBTC standardization  defining functional requirements for interoperability with ERTMS/ETCS standards to be satisfied by a CBTC system. CBTC Standardization will enhance performance, availability, operations and train protection, and permit new CBTC applications.Suburban lines tend to use a mixture, and we are now witnessing some initiatives to use both technologies combined.

According to Crossrail and other railway companies, provision has been made to plan for the migration from CBTC systems, to ERTMS systems to enable ETCS level 3 (moving blocks) to operate.

A couple of years ago an interesting presentation was given by Beatriz Munoz from Invensys (now Siemens) exploring the convergence of CBTC and ERTMS for suburban rail. According to it, the concepts, principles and architectures seem to be totally compatible to allow this to work.

Another good reference to get further details on this topic is this paper, released by UIC in order to give some updates about the possibility of CBTC Standardization and mixed operation on shared lines in accordance with ERTMS/ETCS Standards.

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