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Important step for the European safety system ETCS 11-05-2012
In April the European Commission and the European railway industry signed a declaration of intent in Copenhagen on the implementation of the European safety system ETCS in the main European corridors by the year 2020.
ETCS: one safety system for all of Europe
ETCS (European Train Control System) is the European safety and signalling system for railway traffic. It enables permanent control of a train's journey, including automatic braking if a train passes through a red signal, or if anywhere on a railway line a train equipped with the safety system exceeds the maximum allowed speed limit.
ETCS is an 'interoperable' system, which means that it will ensure seamless movement of European trains between Member States thanks to the fact that the same standard applies on either side of the border. In other words: the best guarantee for safer and smoother railway traffic.
Important commitment for safer railway traffic
The aim is to have ETCS implemented in all the important railway corridors in Europe by the year 2020. In recent months there was some doubt about the realisation of this project as some countries seemed to renege on earlier arrangements.
However, on Monday 16 April the European Commission, all the European infrastructure managers, railway operators and suppliers signed an important declaration of intent in Copenhagen. In doing so, all the parties involved confirmed their renewed commitment towards the realisation of the European safety system ETCS in all the main European corridors by the year 2020.
This renewed declaration of intent constitutes a very important commitment towards safer railway traffic in Europe. In view thereof, Infrabel wishes to extend explicit thanks to the European Commission for this breakthrough and to congratulate all the parties involved.
Europe is expected to also formally adopt 'Baseline 3' later this year. This most recent standard within the ETCS safety system will offer infrastructure managers a more cost-effective option to switch from a conventional signalling system to the higher security provided by ETCS. Infrabel is planning to install this new version onto part of its railway network.
Infrabel goes the extra mile for safety
On 19 October, Infrabel and SNCB presented their joint ETCS Master Plan to Parliament. Infrabel aims at installing the European safety system onto the entire Belgian railway network by 2022.
* The large European railway corridors:
- Corridor A: Rotterdam-Antwerp-Zeebrugge-Genoa
- Corridor B: Stockholm-Naples
- Corridor C: Rotterdam-Antwerp-Basle-Lyon
- Corridor D: Budapest-Valencia
- Corridor E: Dresden-Constanta
- Corridor F: Antwerp/Rotterdam-Aachen-Terespol-Kaunas