E Corridor: ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) in the Czech Republic


Kolín, 27 September 2012 – An important project as part of integrating the train control system in the European Union – ERTMS was launched on a festive occasion of an expert seminar. The investor of the project in the Czech Republic is the Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organization; the construction project will be implemented by the Association of Czech Technology for ETCS that is run by AŽD Praha. E Corridor Project: ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) in the Czech Republic is co-funded by the European Union from TEN-T Fund.



The key benefits of the system implementation are improved efficiency of the rail traffic management, in particular the markedly enhanced rail safety. The ETCS implementation ensures the operation of uniformly equipped carriages on numerous national infrastructures, which results in better utilization of cars, thus secondarily increasing the real capacity of carriers without further investments.

Ing. Jiří Kolář, Ph.D., SŽDC´s Director General commented on today´s festive occasion:
„The objective of this project is to develop and implement standard procedures for all steps of the preparation, implementation and certification of projects for national ERTMS/ETCS implementation. At the same time, it involves the ERTMS /ETCS installation as part of regular rail operation, including the implementation of its effects on operating regulations of Czech railway with the objective of step-by-step harmonization of this area in Europe. This is quite significant since this process will be taking place on the most important backbone line of the Czech rail network in the track section of Kolín - Břeclav.“

The implementation of the system in the track section of Kolín – Břeclav was preceded by the ETCS pilot project in the track section of Poříčany – Kolín, completed in 2011. Its primary objective was to put the system into operation, to specify the links to the national signalling installation system and to the national rail traffic management regulations.

„The test section of Záboří – Řečany – Přelouč with a temporary radio block centre (ETCS control section) in Přelouč will be ready before the end of this year. In the first half of 2013, RBC tests will be carried out in the test section and the entire system will be harmonized, followed by system testing on cars equipped with ETCS L2 (ETCS functionality level that has been opted for the implementation in the Czech Republic). In 2013 and 2014, 8 RBCs will be installed in the entire section of Kolín – Břeclav (277 km) in their destination on the premises of CDP Přerov. According to the working schedule, the system shall be launched towards the end of 2014,“says Ing. Zdeněk Chrdle, AŽD Praha Director General.

The E Corridor project is necessary for the development of the ETCS interoperable network of lines of the European conventional rail subsystem. Almost every country has its own national automatic train control system that meets the requirements. There are approximately twenty such systems in Europe. This naturally leads to longer transportation time between the states, the costs of transportation are increased and the railway cannot be competitive enough towards the road transport. This situation has called for an integrated train control system in Europe.

Present situation

Railway stations are equipped with different types of station interlocking equipment (from standard electromechanical types to fully electronic ones). However, those different types are still compatible. In most cases, trains are controlled with the so-called continuous train control system (compulsory for the speed of over 120 km per hour). It ensures the transmission of signal information from the line to the traction unit (the engine driver can see on the control panel which signal will follow), of the engine driver´s vigilance state and emergency braking. Prior to the ride, the engine driver must switch on the train control system if installed in the car. When driving on a non-coded line (signal information is not transmitted to the car), he must periodically activate the vigilance button (approximately after 20 seconds). When driving on a coded line, he pushes the button only with the red light on or yellow annulus (he is requested to reduce the car speed). If he fails to push the vigilance button at a specific time interval, toot sound effect is activated, and if there is still no reaction from him, the train will start slowing down automatically.

After the ERTMS/ETCS implementation

The installation will work with the so-called fixed balises placed in the track facility. They serve as a reference point for the exact car position so that the train control system can obtain precise information about the train position. If the sensors on the car bottom register the balise, the ETCS mobile part ensures that this information is transmitted via GSM-R to RBC radio block centre. Vice-versa, following the information on the position and the condition of the fixed track facility, RBC sends the engine driver information about permitted speed and other required instructions. Through the calculation of train parameters, the car - or rather the ETCS mobile part on it - assesses the ideal velocity curve and ensures safe supervision of the car speed. The uninterrupted radio connection serves as a permanent control whether the engine driver observes all the instructions.
If the engine driver makes an error, ETCS prevents any dangerous events. It is quite interesting that no signals are needed on the line for this application level (L2) in case of operating only the ETCS equipped cars (this does not apply to the Czech Republic yet).

The project is being implemented as part of the construction project „ETCS – I Corridor track section of Kolín – Břeclav state border of Austria/Slovakia” with a total investment cost of CZK 623.9 million without VAT. The contractor is the Association of „Czech Technology for ETCS”. E Corridor Project: ERTMS in the Czech Republic is co-funded by the European Union from TEN-T Fund. The amount of the contribution may total up to 50% of total cost.


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