European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System
The ERTMS / ETCS standard (European Rail Traffic Management System / European Train Control System), is to be considered among the most significant innovations introduced in the European railway sector.
The ERTMS / ETCS standard (European Rail Traffic Management System / European Train Control System), is to be considered among the most significant innovations introduced in the European railway sector wich is also generating enormous interest throughout the entire world.
It allows the interoperability of trains from different nationalities on the basis of common information transferred by means of a standard protocol through trackside and on-board systems.
In particular the standard defines the procedure for exchanging information about the signalling scheme between the trackside and train, identifying the transmission techniques to be used and the format and content of messages, thus overcoming the problems originating from the differences between systems currently in use in different countries.
The ERTMS / ETCS system provides all the information necessary for a safe running of the train with continuous surveillance of the actions taken by the driver and application of the emergency brake should the train exceed the prescribed limits.
The ERTMS / ETCS Level 1 system is a discontinuous train management system since the information is transmitted from the trackside equipment to the on-board equipment at precise locations characterised by the presence of transponders (Eurobalise). The ERTMS / ETCS Level 1 can also be used together with other domestic signalling equipment, such as track circuits, that provide additional functionality (i.e. broken rail detection).