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ERTMS pilot Amsterdam-Utrecht

The Dutch railway network is one of the busiest and fastest growing networks in the world. The replacement of the Automatische Trein Beïnvloeding (ATB) signalling system with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is one of the measures being undertaken to make sustainable future growth possible. Other aims are to increase safety, interoperability and capacity.

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Amsterdam-Utrecht route
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Amsterdam-Utrecht route The Dutch government is investing €2.5 billion with the introduction of ERTMS on all major routes from 2016 to 2018.
Image credit www.ertmspilot.nl

The Dutch government is investing €2.5B to introduce ERTMS on all major routes from 2016 to 2028. A pilot project has been set up on the busy 4-track Amsterdam-Utrecht route to gather information on issues that might arise during the early phases of implementing ERTMS, while the existing ATB signalling is still partly in place. The final decision for the use of ERTMS is a complex operation requiring several steps to be taken, all of which need to be supported by the entire rail sector in the region.

We were awarded one of the pilot projects, ‘Cluster 6’, on the Amsterdam-Utrecht route. Here, ERTMS plus ATB are installed and some of the rolling stock is capable of running under both systems. Our role will involve answering questions related to rolling stock.

The 19 research questions refer to the following aspects of European Train Control System (ETCS) in rolling stock:

  • Brakes – choice for braking curves and their impact on capacity and safety, from a practical and theoretical point of view.
  • Installation of ETCS into vehicles – experiences with requirements for installation and the installation process.
  • ETCS protocol analysis – differences between various combinations of suppliers and the impact on operation.
  • Maintenance – accreditation of ETCS maintenance companies.
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