Automatic train control systems

TVM

In recent years, France has developed its own automatic train monitoring system, TVM (Transmission Voie-Machine - Transmission Track-Machine). This system is also in service in Belgium on the high-speed line between Brussels and the French border.

It works as follows: information is sent to trains via electrical impulses transmitted by the rails.  An aerial placed underneath the train receives the signal. This is decoded by an on-board computer, providing the driver with details about the current speed and the maximum authorised speed. If the train exceeds this maximum speed, the system stops the train automatically.

TBL2

TBL 2 (Transmission Beacon Locomotive 2) is an automatic train monitoring system in service on the high-speed line between Louvain and Ans. This system was installed in Belgium in 2002 at a time when the European ETCS system was not yet operational.

Information is sent to the train via beacons placed along the track which transmit an electromagnetic signal. An aerial placed underneath the train receives this electromagnetic signal. This signal is then decoded, as for the TVM, by a computer in order to provide on-board information about the maximum authorised speed. If the train exceeds the maximum authorised speed, the system stops the dispatch automatically.

 

ETCS1

With the European system ETCS 1 (European Train Control System), the locomotive receives a flow of information via trackside beacons which send out electromagnetic signals. Thus, systems carried on-board the train determine at a given time the maximum authorised speed for the train according to the signalling conditions further down the track. If the driver does not respect the maximum authorised speed or breaks a red light, emergency braking is activated automatically. The great advantage of ETCS is that it is standard throughout Europe.

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ETCS2

The main difference with ETCS1 is the continuous transmission of signalling information. With the ETCS2, information is transmitted via GSM-R radio antennae placed along the tracks.

 

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