Today, Siemens released the news that Germany’s Federal Railway Authority (EBA) has approved the Vectron locomotive for operating in Germany with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Baseline 3. Approval for Sweden has already been received. Additional countries will follow.
ETCS enables the standardization of train control systems in place of many different national systems and provides the basis for interoperability between trains and trackside infrastructure. ETCS has in the meantime become the global standard in the industry.
ETCS Level 2 enables continuous communication between the locomotive and rail routes. With the system, train drivers receive their driving commands, such as permitted speed, targeted speed and distance, directly on their display rather than from trackside signals as in the past. All data required for operation is transmitted to the locomotive from the rail line’s control center – the Radio Block Center (RBC) – via the GSM-R digital railway radio system and is monitored. The train’s speed, position, and direction are provided by the locomotive’s computer and continually reported to the control center.
Compared to ETCS Baseline 2, which is currently used in most countries, ETCS Baseline 3 has many new features, including a universal braking curve model. This will simplify the deployment of ETCS onboard equipment throughout Europe.