Proving Train Integrity Using Satellite Navigation Services For Train Control Applications

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EMITS reference

Opportunity type



Intended Tender

ARTES Integrated Applications Promotion

Feasibility Study

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is an initiative backed by the EU with the objective of improving safety and increasing interoperability of rail transport in Europe through a Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems. Interoperability and harmonisation have been key drivers of the development and growth of this single market, through economies of scale and reduction of certification, testing, etc. The creation of harmonized and transparent rules for railway operators and the railway supply industry in Europe has resulted in non-EU countries following suit with the adoption of ERTMS, to the extent that it has become a de-facto world standard. While Levels 1 and 2 of ERTMS are currently in operation, Level 3 brings with it many potential advantages including increased capacity and reliability, reduced exposure of maintenance staff to hazards related to working on the track, and reduced costs associated with the trackside (capital and operational expenditure); however, a major obstacle for the introduction of Level 3 in mainline operations is train integrity proving, especially for locomotive hauled trains that have variable consists / compositions. The use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can potentially enable the development of cost-effective solutions with minimal impact on rolling stock (also in terms of reliability and availability) for locomotive hauled trains, unlocking the significant benefits Level 3 can bring and improving the competitiveness of ERTMS in a broader range of application scenarios. The objective of the study is to assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of an on-board train integrity supervision device for locomotive hauled variable consist trains, utilizing GNSS as an element of the solution to be investigated. The study will propose a roadmap for implementation and demonstration of the proposed solution. It is envisaged that the study will be supported by key users and stakeholders, who will contribute to requirements and explore opportunities for demonstrating the proposed solution through a potential follow-up ESA Business Applications Demonstration Project.