University of Twente Student Theses


Corridor-central ERTMS Migration

Schutte, B.J. (2022) Corridor-central ERTMS Migration.

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Abstract:Railway infrastructure reflects the common practices of each country and is highly fragmented in terms of cross-border operability, leading to the need for several national systems on a freight locomotive for international operation. This fragmentation seeps through the business in terms of technology, governance, and legislation. The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a common signalling system projected to play a big role in the development of a Single European Railway Area (SERA), but the migration towards the system is largely driven by the national practices, policies and decisions, affecting the interoperability of ERTMS. Besides technological challenges that require tailor-made solutions for operational transitions, this also leads to issues in rolling stock availability and high costs for infrastructure managers and railway undertakings. Differences are found between countries’ migration strategies, being consequences of a few aspects of the country’s network, such as the state of the network and common national practices, influencing migration pace and substantial migration choices. Such migration differences lead to incompatibility issues of the system in a few cases, imposing rolling stock owners with higher costs when new ERTMS deployment to overcome incompatibility issues. Other risks found within the current ERTMS migration fragmentation are the increasing complexity caused by error corrections and new functionalities, the lack of harmonized national rules and the room for interpretation in the European legislation and specifications. For a European designated TEN-T corridor, the current, expected and improved migration scenarios have been described in which a gap is shown between the current national-based thinking scenario and increased corridor-thinking scenario within ERTMS migration. Deducted from these scenarios, KPIs have been set up to assess the success of ERTMS migration in terms of corridor interoperability. The descriptive KPIs relate amongst others to the level of fragmentation in levels, baselines and system versions, to what extent ERTMS maintenance and authorisation are centralized on a corridor and the level of overarching coordination. The latter two variables require priority for the RALP corridor to improve corridor-oriented ERTMS migration here. The current migration on the RALP Corridor has a negative impact on the operational availability of a line, since 32,6% more strandings after failures are expected to occur due to the increased complexity of operational transitions, caused by the lack of cross-border aligned migration strategies. On such a transition, currently 42,2% of the out-of-operation time can be assigned to signalling issues due to the different systems countries opt for. In terms of capacity, there should be steered on a corridor-wide migration to one deployment version of ERTMS Level 2 Baseline 3, to minimize the risk of a lack of availability and decreased safety levels, and make better use of the potential of ERTMS. Overall, the main challenge within ERTMS deployment is to find an optimal balance between the stability of the system on one side and the evolution of ERTMS specifications and functionalities on the other side, while safeguarding interoperability, while it is recommended to move to broader European coordination and top-down coordination while taking the user-end design more into account. However, the legacy of different national choices will persist during the evolution of ERTMS.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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